Stonehenge Tunnel Vision

Stonehenge 31

I’m extremely grateful to Brian for writing in so eloquently a few days ago, thereby planting the seed of an idea in my mind, while I’m also very grateful to Jon for his incisive thoughts on the matter and for his offer of assistance. As I’m sure I’ve written many times before, one of the greatest joys of my former/hopefully soon to return Eternal Idol site was, as Aynslie described it, the community that sprang up around it.

And what pleased me most about this community was the simple fact that while we all had our differing takes on Stonehenge, the minutiae of the ruins and what could be meaningfully inferred from these details, we all revered Stonehenge equally, whether those who wrote in were atheists, Christians, pagans, Druids, agnostics, engineers, biologists, accountants, dowsers, librarians, archaeologists, astronomers or those belonging to other faiths and disciplines.

I learned a great deal from you all, so my gratitude for this knows no bounds. I’ve been pondering the matter of the proposed Stonehenge tunnel for a while now, while my thoughts have been invigorated by what Brian and Jon have had to say, so I intend to try to do something about it by means of a written work whose content, form and placement I’m still mulling over.

In the meantime, if anyone has an further thoughts about this proposed tunnel, I’d like to hear them and it doesn’t matter in the least if they’re not original. I’ll read any links anyone cares to send in, as well as any and all other contributions, regardless of their length or content, while I shall also ask for assistance and advice as and when I feel I need it. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to come up with anything of worth at the end of it, but this is clearly a matter of the utmost importance, so I shall certainly give it my very best shot.

Post Scriptum: Does anyone else see any kind of link between William Blake’s wonderful illustration at the top of this post and the content of Dan’s guest post?

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14 Responses to Stonehenge Tunnel Vision

  1. William Blake’s sublime image above reminds me of William Stukeley’s illustration of the Serpent temple at Avebury http://www.sacred-texts.com/etc/wos/img/37400.jpg , an image Blake may have drawn on when working on his own illustration of Stonehenge above. This intuitively points to the stone circle at the river Avon end of the Avenue Mr Johnston refers to in his post here. Guy Underwood, a barrister and master dowser during the 1960’s, visited the Stonehenge environs many times. In his unpublished works he recorded an ‘incredible serpent enclosure ‘ close to the monument. I dare dream for the moment at least, the other leg of William Blake’s interpretation above is the serpent enclosure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      If nothing else, it’s a very pleasing coincidence that Dan should have presented his work about the triangle formed by Stonehenge, Woodhenge and Bluestonehenge, for me to subsequently see that none other than William Blake had previously composed an illustration consisting of Stonehenge and two other monuments with similar architecture; not only that, but one of the ‘fallen angels’ is wielding a compass! I’m absolutely certain that there are many more real wonders to be discovered at Stonehenge and in the landscape, be they archaeological, astronomical, geometrical, literary or something else in addition.

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  2. Austin says:

    Tunnel vision. The world heritage site and archaeology should remain intact. The A303 main road from London to the West Country could be entirely re routed around the WHS. A narrowed stretch of the A303 could also remain past Stonehenge as a toll road for those who wish to retain the existing pleasure of driving past the stones. Andy Rhind Tutt seems to have a handle on the practicalities of a proposed re routing of the A303.

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  3. In the meantime, if anyone has an further thoughts about this proposed tunnel, I’d like to hear them and it doesn’t matter in the least if they’re not original. I’ll read any links anyone cares to send in, as well as any and all other contributions, regardless of their length or content, while I shall also ask for assistance and advice as and when I feel I need it. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to come up with anything of worth at the end of it, but this is clearly a matter of the utmost importance, so I shall certainly give it my very best shot.

    I’ve given this one quite a lot of thought Dennis. It is likely to be very simple to show that there is an overall economic benefit to the proposed route and method of construction. In addition, there is an overall environmental benefit. A significant proportion of the population want this to happen (almost everyone who lives any distance west of Stonehenge). On top of all that, this is a low cost option and, in addition to that, the relevant road infrastructure policy was introduced some years back by the coalition as part of their economic strategy. The policy has a lot of support from industry and broad cross-party support.

    In summary, any new opposition would have a herculean task, especially given that consultations have already occurred. It is possible that by scheduling the monument, something could be preserved. However, anyone pursuing this line (to try to prevent the cut and cover option currently presented) would have little or no chance of success. But I also confess to a conflict of interest: I have my own TOAOTATS-like theory so have gone back over it to see how I would use that type of interpretation if I were an archaeologist who happened to know about civil engineering procedures: One method comes to mind, though it is a bit of a long shot:

    It is possible that one or more of the special monuments, such as Stonehenge, could represent some very early turning point in the development of our own culture. If this were found to relate to something that continues to be pursued today, it would then become relevant to our society. Should this type of interpretation be found, and become accepted by the archaeological establishment before the road scheme progresses too far, it might allow a re-visit of the consultation on routing options: A second bite at the cherry by increasing the perceived importance of the site as a whole.

    But archaeological theories are not taken particularly seriously, so only interpretations from the major archaeological players would stand a chance. Nevertheless, a lot of work has been done on Stonehenge in the last few two decades and it is not unreasonable for the archaeological community to expect some reasonably new insight to come out. One interpretation that is quite new is Mike Parker Pearson’s Unification Theory. Unfortunately, that theory does not relate to the use of the monument and also does not bring in anything that would be seen as particularly relevant to today’s society.

    If one of the major players does have an interpretation for the monument’s usage that would work in this context (and also be accepted as having a realistic probability of being true by a reasonable number of the other major players), there is a possibility that the overall perceived importance of the site could be raised: This would allow the existing EIAs to be challenged.

    Real long shot this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eternalidol says:

      When faced with the Herculean task you describe, Jon, I think there’s nothing for it but to follow Virgil’s suggestion: Geniumque loci primamque deorum Tellurem Nymphasque et adhuc ignota precatur Flumina, or “He prays to the spirit of the place and to Earth the first of the gods and to the Nymphs and as yet unknown rivers.”
      We’ll see.

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      • Could be a good strategy Dennis: It’s unlikely that any major financial commitments will be made prior to the election. If there are major changes to the parties in power, it’s possible the whole thing will get shelved.

        If not, there’s probably six months to a year’s grace before the announcements become more entrenched.

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      • PS There are two phrases that stand out in the various new Stonehenge stories, especially when it comes to elevating Stonehenge’s status outside of archaeological circles:

        “British pre-history may have to be rewritten,”
        “Blick Mead could explain what archaeologists have been searching for for centuries,” he said, “an answer to the story of Stonehenge’s past.”

        Prof Jacques seems to be the most likely source of some sort of discovery about what Stonehenge represented. I understand that they have some sort of announcement due in the spring: This would be just the right timing.

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      • eternalidol says:

        As we both know, the ‘Mesolithic people’ or as I prefer, the Old Ones, built three huge posts to the northwest of Stonehenge in or around 8,500 BC, so this structure or structures predates the earthworks at Stonehenge – with the possible exception of the North Barrow and postholes beneath the internal bank – by something like 5,000 years.

        Again, as we both know, there was a vast amount of activity on the part of the Old Ones just to the south-east of Stonehenge at Vespasian’s Camp and Blick’s Mead, so it’s inevitable that Stonehenge’s origins lie there in some form, even if we haven’t yet discerned this form and even if we disagree about the nature of what comes to light; it’s a bit like finding the Sumerian versions of the Epic of Gilgamesh after everyone else has been drooling over the Akkadian text, I suppose.

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  4. Format of this doesn’t allow responses more than two.. probably a good thing. Really miss the content you had up on the old site Dennis.

    Again, as we both know, there was a vast amount of activity on the part of the Old Ones just to the south-east of Stonehenge at Vespasian’s Camp and Blick’s Mead, so it’s inevitable that Stonehenge’s origins lie there in some form

    Could be. Hopefully the teams are looking in the right place to discover what the ordinary person would think the word ‘origins’ means. There’s also a new book out from the Parker Pearson team soon (with Cleal et al). Has an exciting title: Maybe they’ll have something new to say?

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    • eternalidol says:

      The Mesolithic pits in what was the car park were once home to a structure or structures that I think it would be reasonable to describe as a monument or monuments of some kind. Given the proximity of this ‘monument’ to what later became Stonehenge in the form of the earliest known manmade feature on the site, the North Barrow, or the later massive sarsen circle, I think it’s reasonable to say that the Old People had an idea in mind that survived for the next 5,000 years or so, which is impressive by any standards. There are a few other unavoidable links between the Old People who made their homes around Vespasian’s Camp and the very earliest days of Stonehenge, of course, but I’m sure that future excavations at Blick’s Mead will reveal – sooner or later – yet more evidence that any ordinary, impartial onlooker would regard as evidence of ‘origins’.

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      • I think it’s reasonable to say that the Old People had an idea in mind that survived for the next 5,000 years or so, which is impressive by any standards.

        We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one Dennis: I don’t think it’s reasonable to associate the mesolithic pits with the later constructions. The initial idea, or the thing that the ordinary person would regard as the ‘origins’, may have survived from the past, but the mesolithic posts may be a red herring.

        One alternative explanation is that the Stonehenge site was a very good place to site whatever it is that they had in mind. Older uses for the part of the site that we call ‘Stonehenge’ may not have been a consideration. If so, the archaeos need to consider alternative development paths in order to find the ‘something’ that the Man on the Clapham Omnibus would regard as proof of the origins of Stonehenge.

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      • eternalidol says:

        I’m perfectly content to agree to disagree and I wouldn’t have it any other way; however, where you see a red herring, I can most certainly discern the form of an ugly duckling with all that that entails. Another time, another place, perhaps?

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    • eternalidol says:

      And while I think of it – archaeologists and others come up with new things to say about Stonehenge all the time, but whether or not it’s readable is another matter entirely. The results of the laser scan of Stonehenge promised to be the most exciting thing I’d read in years, but the document was so bloody dreary, riddled with superfluous references and otherwise unintelligible that I simply gave up reading after a page or two, while I somehow doubt I was the only one to do so.

      By complete contrast, look at NASA and their news reports and/or press releases about the rovers on Mars, for example. They’re absolutely brilliant, because they manage to convert otherwise unfathomable technical information into simple, comprehensible but entrancing observations about what the robots have found. We’ve been digging at Stonehenge for longer than we’ve been exploring space, but for the vast majority of the time – with some highly notable exceptions – I’d derive more enjoyment from reading a Finnish telephone directory than I would from reading archaeological reports on our greatest and most intriguing monument.

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  5. Another time, another place, perhaps?

    Yes.. very interesting the Postholes, but another time

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