Was Stonehenge A Site Of Ancient Mass-Hedonism Festivals?

Is Stonehenge far less lofty than previously believed? Phys.org reports:

British researchers on Saturday unveiled a new theory saying Stonehenge was originally a graveyard and venue for mass celebrations. The findings would overturn the long-held belief that the ancient stone circle was created as an astronomical calendar or observatory.

A team of archaeologists led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson of University College London carried out a decade of research which included excavations, laboratory work and the analysis of 63 sets of ancient human remains. They said the original Stonehenge Appeared to have been a graveyard built around 3000 BC. Analysis of cattle teeth from 80,000 animal bones excavated from the site also suggest that around 2500 BC, Stonehenge was the site of vast communal feasts.

“People came with their animals to feast at Stonehenge from all corners of Britain—as far afield as Scotland,” Parker Pearson said—the “only time in prehistory that the people of Britain were unified.”

27 Comments on "Was Stonehenge A Site Of Ancient Mass-Hedonism Festivals?"

  1. its been around long enough that its probably hosted a lot of different kinds of parties

  2. its been around long enough that its probably hosted a lot of different kinds of parties

    • Anarchy Pony | Mar 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm |

      That’s what I was thinking. I’m sure over the centuries all sorts of things the creators never intended went on there.

  3. Matt Staggs | Mar 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm |

    Further studies indicate that there is indeed “no party like a Stonehenge party ’cause a Stonehenge party don’t stop.” This research funded by a generous grant from the Raise the Roof Foundation.

    • Anarchy Pony | Mar 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm |

      Research also indicates that it was “off the hook”. A companion study raises the prospect that it may in fact have been “off the chain”. Further research is required to confirm.

    • Anarchy Pony | Mar 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm |

      Research also indicates that it was “off the hook”. A companion study raises the prospect that it may in fact have been “off the chain”. Further research is required to confirm.

  4. lazy_friend | Mar 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

    Umm, first it was a star gate. ALIENS….

  5. lazy_friend | Mar 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

    Umm, first it was a star gate. ALIENS….

  6. lazy_friend | Mar 11, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

    Umm, first it was a star gate. ALIENS….

  7. BuzzCoastin | Mar 11, 2013 at 9:59 pm |

    I once saw a cartoon (wish I could find it)
    where archeologists are excavating a modern bathroom
    and have all sorts of wild ideas about what things were used for

    considering the site is about 10-12 thousand years old
    just about anything could have happened there at one time or another
    but who, how & why it was built, of that wee haven’t a clue

    • KidMystic | Mar 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm |

      You might be thinking of “Motel of the Mysteries” by David Macaulay, an illustrated book in which a team of archaeologists from 4022 excavate a motel that was “buried under many feet of detritus from a catastrophe that occurred back in 1985.” I remember reading it in elementary school and having it make a big impression on me.

      If that’s not what you were thinking of, you should check it out anyway 🙂

    • Calypso_1 | Mar 11, 2013 at 10:30 pm |

      I believe you may be describing an illustrated book about an archaeological dig 2000 years in the future called ‘Motel of Mysteries’.

  8. what could be more lofty than that purpose?

  9. Our modern celebrations and holidays are centered around specific dates on the calender and things were no different then. Seems like the “astronomical calendar” idea dovetails nicely with the “vast communal feasts” theory, these are definitely not mutually exclusive concepts.

  10. Our modern celebrations and holidays are centered around specific dates on the calender and things were no different then. Seems like the “astronomical calendar” idea dovetails nicely with the “vast communal feasts” theory, these are definitely not mutually exclusive concepts.

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  12. well, If we know ONE thing it’s that it wasn’t BOTH a celestial marker AND area for frenzied rites. That would be RIDICULOUS.

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