Stonehenge - Th Ancient Stone Circle Investigation
Trip Start May 30, 2012
83Trip End Nov 07, 2012
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Stonehenge was only about a 12 minute drive away from our hosts in Salisbury, so we set out for there first. Alex, the one I think of as the mother hen of the house, graceously lent us his National Trust membership card to obtain free entry to many National Trust things throughout the day. Stonehenge was included. Also Jack, our couch surf contact, and the one who is good at everything (a real Jack of all trades), lent us his National Trust parking sticker that allowed us to park free at all National Trust sites for the day
The Avebury stone circle is sometimes overshadowed by Stonehenge, although it is 16 times larger in area and 500 years older. In Avebury, the common folk are permitted to walk around the stones as well. Our National Trust card allowed us to see some other stuff in Avebury, including the Avebury Manor, so we went to see that first. The house was set up to look like it would have during it's time of use. Old style chairs, beds, and tables among other things were in every room. It was a very interactive place. You could lay on the beds, sit on the chairs, pick up the kitchen utensils, and walk through the garden. It would have been a lovely place to live back in it's time. We moved on from there back to the stone circles, this time walking amongst the rocks. The Avebury stones are not connected by lintels, and were not shaped to prisms like Stonehenge, but they are just as large if not larger. One other thing we noticed here, was a trench ring dug around the outside of the stone circle. Stonehenge had this too but in Avebury it was way bigger and deeper. Many historians have no idea what these trenches were for. Still puzzled by these mysterious stones, Jess and I took a break from our investigation and drove down the road. We stopped at place that had tombs built into the side of a hill. The same sort of stones were used to build these. We headed down the road again to see a chalk white horse on the side of a hill
Feeling dejected and a little discouraged that our own investigation had ended in the same result as the generations of historians, we hung our heads and started trotting back to the car. It was then, as I started day-dreaming and recalling the events of the day, that my mind went back to our time walking around the Avebury stones with the herds of sheep. A smile came upon my face as I recalled the fluffy sheep rubbing their butts against the ancient stones to get a relief from an itch...UREKA!! The historians have gotten it wrong! The ancient stone circles weren't made by people for people, they were made by people for animals! Back then animals, especially sheep were super important and these stone circles served a few purposes for them. They were a calendar, to keep track of when the sheep needed to be sheared. The ditches were dug to give shelter for the sheep from the wind. The circles were built in grass fields because that's what sheep eat. The white horses are there to signal the sheep and make them feel at home. And most importantly, the stones were a meeting place for the very social sheep, where they could give themselves a good scratch on the excellent scratching posts. It all makes sense. Our day had not been wasted! Now I just have to find a way to set the historians straight. Thanks for sticking it out with me!