Sea access to Stonehenge area
There is a strong correlation between the location of Neolithic Henges and Barrows in the area and a contour line of 97mtrs above sea level.
The obvious conclusion is that those structures were built adjacent to the coastline as it existed then. That would enable access by travellers and structural material by ship and sea.
Sea shells used in pottery at Stonehenge
Pollen and snail evidence indicates that this floodplain was a treeless, wet, sedge fen, a more or less permanent swamp (Evans, 2003: 80; Cleal et al., 2004: 234). At Durrington Walls, the Avon gorge is lined on its west side by a high ridge, before turning westwards at the chalk cliff of Ratfyn.
On both banks, people dug pits, not to hold posts but to deposit some unusual materials, including wood ash and charcoal. We have no idea how many ash pits were dug along the cliff tops of the river – the chance nature of the discoveries suggests that there are many more to be found. Eight are known from the west bank – four at Woodhenge (Cunnington, 1929: 39) and four south of Woodhenge at Woodlands (Stone and Young, 1948; Stone, 1949) – and another was found on the east side of the river further downstream at Ratfyn amongst a group of three other prehistoric features (Stone, 1935a).
Often more than a metre wide and half a metre deep, these steep-sided, flat-bottomed pits were filled with wood ash and/or charcoal; single-episode dumps, which must have been scooped up from extinguished fires (Figure 13). Unburnt artefacts and animal bones had been mixed in, including flint tools and flakes, lumps of sarsen and flint, marine shells, wafer-thin, poorly fired and highly decorated pottery and (in the Ratfyn pit) a bear’s scapula. To accumulate wood ash in sufficient quantity to fill such pits requires the burning of many tons of wood and these fills seem to be the product of large and long-lasting outdoor fires. One pit contained only a small deposit of wood ash and charcoal, dumped into a chalk dust and rubble fill. However, the shape of the deposit indicates that it had been carried in a flat-based basket (Parker Pearson, 2004: 77–9).
Although this part of the Avon is 50 km from the sea, the most common temper added to the Grooved Ware found within Durrington Walls was marine shell (Cleal, 1995). On a utilitarian plane, shell has excellent thermal properties as a ceramic temper, yet its inclusion in Grooved Ware is unusually prominent at Durrington Walls. The deliberate inclusion of marine shell strikes a chord with the finds at Durrington Walls of numbers of oyster shells (Harcourt, 1971: 338). The presence of seashells in pits and other deposits at Durrington Walls and elsewhere along this stretch of the Avon, together with their use as temper in the Grooved Ware pottery from this site, may perhaps be explained by their referencing human bones, particularly cremated bone.
The ash pits seem to contain single-episode dumps, produced by burning many tons of timber at a short-term event, rather than collected from years of accumulated ash in domestic hearths. The areas under the east bank of Durrington Walls and outside its east entrance, excavated in 2005, also produced deep deposits of large middens which were principally composed of wood ash, indicating that fires burned around the east side of the henge, close to the riverside.
When we consider that the entire local landscape at this time (what time) was largely or wholly devoid of trees, the provisioning of huge quantities of firewood must have been a considerable logistical arrangement over long distances, on a par with the transport of timbers to build the wooden circles.........
The linear monument known as the Stonehenge Avenue is .... formed by two parallel ditches and banks set about 30 m apart; and 2.8 km long. From just west of the largest meander on this section of the River Avon, the Avenue heads north west, running in a straight line before curving westwards to ascend King Barrow Ridge. From the barrow ridge, it descends into the Stonehenge bowl before turning sharply south west to head for Stonehenge, oriented on the midwinter sunset. It physically joins the bank and ditch which encircles Stonehenge, and might have been built around 2300–2200 BC, when Stonehenge had its sarsens and repositioned bluestones in place and Durrington Walls’ Southern Circle was in its later stages of post arrays.
The Stonehenge Avenue’s precise terminus and character at the riverbank is not known but it is located immediately downstream from a spring which marks the end of a former water course that once rose on Larkhill.
This cursus is another linear monument, consisting of parallel ditches and internal banks running for over 2.5 km; it has not been firmly dated by excavation but is accepted on the available evidence to have been built around 3400–3000 BC, the Middle Neolithic. This class of linear monuments is found throughout Britain (J. Harding and Barclay, Parker Pearson et al.: MATERIALIZING STONEHENGE 247 1999). Their purpose is unclear .... Their most important feature is their relationship with the surrounding landscape, particularly water: most cursuses are positioned with water courses running perpendicular to them, either at their ends or through their middles, and the Greater Cursus is no exception.
Largely barrow-free zone between these encircling barrow cemeteries and Stonehenge
If the gap between the barrows and Stonehenge were filled with water, then that would explain the gap.
Stonehenge is ringed by linear cemeteries of round barrows, the most famous of which are the Normanton Down group (see photographs), with their gold provisioned burials; the most spectacular of these is Bush Barrow (Ashbee, 1960: 76–8; Parker Pearson, 2005: 87). These barrow cemeteries occupy positions at some distance from the monument, towards the edges of its ‘envelope of visibility’ (Batchelor, 1997: 71). Importantly, there is a largely barrow-free zone between these encircling barrow cemeteries and Stonehenge (Woodward and Woodward, 1996) which suggests that human remains were mostly excluded from a ‘buffer zone’ around the monument at this time.
The large round barrows on King Barrow ridge occupy an important position within the Stonehenge environs. On ascending onto the ridge along the line of the Stonehenge Avenue from the riverside, people passed through three linear barrow groups which formed monumental facades through which processions must necessarily have moved when walking along the Stonehenge Avenue (Figure 15). A first facade of barrows sits astride the Stonehenge Avenue 600 m from the riverside. A second line of six round barrows lies 350 m further on. On gaining the ridge 500 m further on, from where Stonehenge finally becomes visible, people passed through the most impressive facade, with 11 barrows on the left-hand side and 11 barrows on the right-hand side. The six to the south of the Stonehenge Avenue’s route, the New King Barrows, (see photos) are among the largest on the Plain. Each facade was grander than the previous one and the largest, on the ridge top, had these biggest barrows on the left (Figure 16), the side to which those walking the Stonehenge Avenue would look towards the monument.
Parker Pearson et al.: MATERIALIZING STONEHENGE [])
Archaeologists don't talk about the ditch although it is unique to Britain - for it's NOT a real ditch!
It's a series of individual pits with walls and seats laid into the chalk with stone holes in the base.
"Bluestones started to be broken up and chipped away more or less from the time they were set up in each successive arrangement. The great spread of flakes and debris usually referred to in archaeological literature as the ‘Stonehenge Layer’ is not, as once thought, the debris from a one-off act " Professor Tim Darvill .........but why? Perhaps because the blue stones were being reshaped after removal from Bluestonehenge?
If Stonehenge was built as an 'observatory' for the Sunrise or Sunset.... why was it built halfway down a hill - rather than on top or by the coast so the trees and hill would not obstruct the view?
Stonehenge is in fact on the edge of a dry river valley with the Avenue running down into the bottom
If they were so unimportant - why have only two of them got mounds and moats, whilst the other two have nothing?
The experts suggest they are glacial marks that influenced where Stonehenge was built
Yet, these marks are only a few inches under the surface - but supposed to be TEN THOUSAND years old?
We are told that the first settlers and farmers who made Stonehenge camped a distance away at Woodhenge
But Wheat and Barley do not grow well in high chalklands - our farmers are in the fertile lowlands
Moreover, why build the camp a mile away out of sight of Stonehenge and then build a second wooden monument next to the camp?
It appears, that “the Minoan civilization could have had contact and communion with the Hyperboreans (northbounds). As Diodorus states (B2,47), there is a magnificent temple, circular in shape, dedicated to Apollo, where his priests, singing guitar, sang hymns in a dialect near Greek. The relationship of the Hyperboreans with the Athenians has existed from the ancient times”.
Four "Totem" Post Holes have previously been found in the old visitor's car park that date back to 8500 BCE.... these Post Holes are full of 'silt' so they must have been a river running by to fill them with such a deposit.
Aubrey Holes (the late fourth and early third millennium BC)
The 56 Aubrey Holes (see also Seahenge 56 post holes) are a series of chalk pits 4 to 5m apart, that form a circle with a circumference of 271.6m, inside the bank of Stonehenge. They are named after John Aubrey, the seventeenth-century biographer and philosopher who first observed and noted them. The average depth of the Aubrey Holes is 0.76m, the average diameter of the pits 1.06m.
The holes were supposed to contain Bluestones, but there does not appear to be any evidence for that.
The quarry site for the original Bluestones has now been located Moreover, and all three Hearths and a majority of the carbon dates obtained match the SAME dates as the 'Totem Post Poles' of 8500 BCE. This is a lot older than the currently accepted date of construction.
The construction of the stone with the Blue Stonehenge III stones dates (according to the current expert opinion) from about 2200 to 1600 BC, I. Velsing (2017) showed that the Minoan Computer dates back to 2100BC, which is, the same period as the construction of the petal with the “Blue Stones”. “Sagittarius' tomb, using C14 radio dating, established the date of about 2200 BC. In the petrographic analysis of the blocks, the scientists found that these monoliths were carved and transported from Welsh quarries and calculated that the monument remained in use for about 1500 years, as a place of worship and an astronomical observatory.
We are told that the stones were dragged over two hundred miles from Wales to Stonehenge through a landscape was 90% dense Pine Forest?. But if they were able to be brought by water, there would be no need for "dragging".
Researchers have called it 'Bluehenge' , (see more information here, and here), after the colour of the 27 giant Welsh stones it once incorporated - but are now missing. (It's not really a henge though as it doesn't have a bank and ditch) The find is already challenging conventional wisdom about how Stonehenge was built - and what it was used for. Bluehenge was put up 5,000 years ago - around the same time as work began on Stonehenge - and appears to have been a miniature version of it.
The two circles stood together for hundreds of years before Bluehenge was dismantled. Researchers believe its stones were used to enlarge Stonehenge during one of a number of redevelopments.
Is NOT a real ditch!, it is a series of individual pits with walls and seats laid into the chalk with stone holes in the base.
Linear A symbols on Sarcens
“A team of Wessex Salisbury experts in 2003, using laser scanning on all Stonehenge stones and sculptures other than the two known swords, were discovered. The first stone-sculptural symbols at Stonehenge were found by Richard Atkinson in 1953 and identified as knives or swords with dimensions, from 8 to 36 cm. Inside of the Sarsen 53 stone were found some symbols, which, if fitted under the glyphic symbols of the linear A letter, are read as to-na. According to the rules of reading we actually indicate the word Stone or Stone, which is interpreted as stone, in ancient Greek: digit, stone.
Similar symbols, he says, were found on the outer face of Sarsen 4 stone, and on the outer surface of stone 3. Especially on stone 3 there are cavities, a shallow rectangle. The significance of these sculptures is debated by archaeologists, and it is probable that incised engravings and swords resembling Mycenaean swords may have been engraved by those who would construct Stonehenge, the Cretans.
“In many ortholiths the symbol appears morphologically like the column of the temple, that is to say, a column and on top of a sidewalk stone. This symbol is a syllable of Linear A with a vowel value na, and is an acronym for the word NaFu, which indirectly bears the adjective na-Fi-jo naFi in Linear B, “the researcher argues, adding that ”It appears the word to-na, Ston = stone three times, and many times the acronym na, reminds us of the logic of our Minoan palaces, where there are engravings of linear A syllables that stone-builders used internationally. These are called Tekton marks- and they probably stated that the stone processing had been completed and was ready to be transferred from the mine to the place where it should be placed.
“Finally, we consider the symbols that have been designated swords to be Minoan scriptural syllables denoting the word stone and temple,” argues the Aegean Bible researcher.
“In addition, based on the above correlation of Stonehenge with the disc of Palaikastro that Stonehenge is an enlargement of the Minoan astronomical “mechanism of Palekastro”, which has now proven to be the first computer to measure time and predict lunar eclipses. We can therefore claim that its most probable builders were related to Minoan civilization."
What could cause sea level rises on this scale?
Younger Dryas event?
- Materializing Stonehenge: The Stonehenge Riverside Project and New Discoveries, Mike Parker Pearson, Josh Pollard, Colin Richards, Julian Thomas, Christopher Tilley, Kate Welham, Umberto AlbarellaFirst Published July 1, 2006 Research Article
- The Stonehenge Enigma 
- In Stonehenge the Ortholithi have Minoan Linear A script