Thera is an ancient name for today’s Aegean archipelago of Santorini, which are the remains of a volcanic island.
Only two of the islands are inhabited, the main island, Santorini and Therasia, which had been joined before the 16th century BC eruption. Recent excavations have revealed a pre-eruption settlement on Therasia(x).
Although it exhibited low-level activity in 1939-41 and 1950-51, it was in 1926 when it last erupted violently, destroying many hundreds of buildings in less than a minute. Eruptions of similarity intensity occurred in 1650, 1707 and 1866. Although Thera is thought to have violently erupted around 54,000 & 18,500 BC, it was not until the middle of the sixteenth century BC that it provided what was probably the most powerful and destructive volcanic explosion in the Mediterranean during the Bronze Age. Although the exact date of this event is still the subject of some controversy, the most recent evidence(a) indicates a date around 1613 BC ±13years, while archaeologists are more supportive of a date circa 1500 BC.
Professor Floyd McCoy of the University of Hawaii has written and broadcast extensively on the matter of the Late Bronze Age eruption of Thera, including a paper delivered to the 2005 Atlantis Conference. In it, he noted that “New finds of tephra – ash and pumice – both on land and on the seafloor indicate a far larger eruption than previously assumed, suggesting a volume of at least 100 km3 of tephra (bulk volume) ejected, perhaps more. Such a volume ranks the eruption on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) at 7.0, equivalent or larger than the 1815 eruption of Tambora (‘the year without a summer’), ten times larger than the eruption of Krakatau in 1883, and approximately 100 times that of Mt. St. Helens in 1980.”[629.311]
The 1500 BC date was supported by David A. Warburton who edited the Acts of the Minoan Eruption Chronology Workshop in 2007(af). The workshop provided a good overview of the Theran eruption dating debates, Warburton’s comments are to be found in the Epilogue.
There was a series of eruptions that ended with a final enormous explosion that has been linked to the ending of the Minoan civilisation on Crete, the Plagues of Egypt and agricultural failures throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. For a geologist’s view of the island’s dramatic history, Walter Friedrich’s bookis hard to beat. His book supports a 1640 BC date for the eruption although he has subsequently revised this to 1613 BC. Sturt W. Manning supports a 1628 BC date and Mike Baillie has offered dendrochronological evidence for a 1628 BC eruption date at the 2011 Quantavolution conference in Athens(j). This converges with McCoy’s date above. However, the dating of the eruption continues to be controversial as this December 2012 link(i)demonstrates. At the heart of the problem is that acceptance of an early 17th century BC date for the event conflicts with established Egyptian chronology. While the exact year of the eruption continues to be debated, there is now scientific evidence that it occurred in early summer(s).
A 2014 paper published in Antiquity by Paolo Cherubini would appear to confirm the 16th century BC as the date of the catastrophic eruption ruling out an earlier date as untenable(o). In the same year, the University of Birmingham published a report(u) that supported the 1625 BC date. The earlier Antiquity paper prompted a response by a group, led by Sturt Manning later in 2014(y).
In August 2018, an interdisciplinary group led by dendrochronologist Charlotte L. Pearson published a paper(ab)(ad), which concluded that the eruption of Thera took place in the 16th century BC. This conclusion was the result of using a combination of ‘dendro’ along with high-resolution radiocarbon dating methods. In April 2020, a new report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explained how a new study of “the wood of an ancient grove of juniper trees, which suggested that the volcano blew its top around the year 1560 B.C.”(ae)
October 2018 saw further evidence for an early 16th century BC date for the eruption emerge after the radiocarbon dating of some olive wood found on Therasia, one of the Santorini group(z). The same month saw the publication of a paper on the ResearchGate(aa) website date the event to 1727-1600 BC!
After the eruption, we learn from Herodotus that Thera was resettled in the thirteenth century BC by the Phoenicians and around a century later by the Dorians(am)*.
The doctoral thesis of Dr David Sewell explores the cultural effects of the Theran eruption and can be read online(h).
Many centuries later the volcanic ash deposited by the Theran eruption was used in huge quantities to manufacture cement for the construction of the Suez Canal. It was during the mining of this material that workmen encountered large stone blocks under the layers of pumice, indicating buildings of great age.
It is claimed by many that a garbled Egyptian description of this devastating event was the basis for the story of the destruction of Atlantis. Louis Figuier was the first, in 1872, to publicly link the demise of Atlantis with the explosion on Thera. Opponents of this theory counter it by pointing out that Plato describes the inundation of an island much larger than Santorini or Crete, located in the Atlantic following an earthquake, not a volcanic eruption many thousands of years earlier. Various attempts have been made to reconcile this Minoan Hypothesis and its obvious inconsistencies with Plato’s text. They are discussed separately under
It was announced at the end of February 2010 that the BBC was about to air a dramatisation of the Theran disaster as well as a documentary on the eruption as its influence on the development of Plato’s story of Atlantis. June 2010 saw the historian, Bettany Hughes, front a disappointing BBC Timewatch Special, which also promoted the idea of the eruption on Thera as the inspiration for Plato’s story of Atlantis. The material introduced as evidence was highly selective and, for me, unconvincing. A few parallels between Thera and Plato’s description were trotted out, while the more numerous differences were ignored!
Alain Moreau has written a highly critical review(v) of the idea that the island of Thera/Santorini had been home to Atlantis.
Dr Dora Constantinidis who studied under Prof. Christos Doumas delivered a lecture in Melbourne on May 29th 2014 with the inviting title of Unravelling the Atlantis Myth at Akrotiri. However, the primary purpose of the talk was not to advance our knowledge of Atlantis but to encourage the sale of Bronze Age inspired merchandise(p). Nevertheless, in late 2020, one commentator did speculate that Akrotiri may originally have been Atlantis!(aj)
It is noteworthy that “Unlike Pompeii, no human remains have been found at Akrotiri, and only one gold object was found on the site, suggesting that the Minoans performed an orderly evacuation before the eruption, and they had time to take their valuables before they fled.”(ak)
Another twist on the Thera explosion is offered by Andis Kaulins who suggests that there is a connection between that event and the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah(g), while Riaan Booysen has linked two separate Theran eruptions with two Exodus events in the Bible(k), offering as evidence, the existence of two distinct Theran ash fallout areas, caused by different wind directions at the time of the events.
Initially, it was thought that the collapse of the Theran caldera generated very destructive tsunamis, but new studies have concluded(w) that instead of that it was the violent entry of pyroclastic flows into the sea that triggered the tsunamis.>Dale Dominey-Howes has published a paper suggesting that some claims relating to tsunamis generated by the Theran eruption(s) are exaggerations.<
A further possible consequence of the Theran eruption(s) was proposed after the discovery of the Nebra Sky Disk(n), which was buried about 3,600 years ago. This is suggested to have resulted from the volcanic ash generated by the eruption blotting out the sun for up to 25 years. It is thought that the Disk had been used to synchronise the lunar and solar calendars(l) and when this was no longer possible the Disk was buried as some form of offering. A contrary view is offered elsewhere on the Internet(m), as well as further controversy(t) led by Peter Schauer from the University of Regensburg.
Andis Kaulins has also written an extensive paper on the Nebra Sky Disk. A 2014 update(r) on the Disk was posted by Claudia Bracholdt.
2020 brought further debate with the claim, in a lengthy paper, that the date of the Disk should be brought forward to the 1st millennium BC(ag). This was followed by a shorter but vehement rebuttal(ah)(al).
In December 2020, the Discovery Channel aired a new documentary, which attempted to revive the Minoan Hypothesis, placing Atlantis on today’s Santorini. This recycled claim adds little that is new and has been taken up by several media outlets(ai), repeating an old error which claims that Plato said that Atlantis was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, when in fact he clearly states that it was the result of an earthquake.
Paul Dunbavin in Prehistory Papers  discusses the Minoan Hypothesis and the extent to which it is inconsistent with the details provided by Plato. Despite the support from some academics for the idea that the story of Atlantis is linked to the Theran eruption, Dunbavin reiterates that “whenever you find a conflict between the opinion of a modern expert and that given in an ancient text then you should always prefer the source closest to the events.” [p160]
An extensive bibliography of books and articles on the subject of Thera can be found on the Internet(b).
(h) See: Archive 2199
(i) See: Archive 2200
(ac) Archive 3919
Dr. Rainer Walter Kühne was born in Braunschweig, Germany in 1970 and has a PhD in Physics (Dortmund 2001). He has proposed a modification of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), which predicts a second kind of photon (’magnetic photon’) and a second kind of light (’magnetic photon rays’). He has also offered evidence for the existence of a rotating universe. He lectured in the Institute of Physics at Dortmund University.
Kühne had studied Plato’s Atlantis story and concluded that many of its elements are fictional although based on three historical but unconnected sources. For example, on the basis of Plato’s description of the Acropolis at the time of the ‘Atlantean’ war that it can be dated to around 1200 BC, not 9600 BC. He linked the Atlantean war with the invasion of the ‘Sea Peoples’ recorded by the Egyptians and locates Atlantis in Andalusia in Southern Spain and places its capital in the valley of the Guadalquivir, south of Seville. Satellite photos of this same area have recently revealed rectangular structures surrounded by parts of concentric circles with dimensions similar to Plato’s description of Atlantis. Werner Wickboldt, a teacher, who lives in Braunschweig (Kühne’s birthplace) announced the discovery of these features on January 8th 2003. These structures include a rectangle of size 180 meters x 90 meters (Temple of Poseidon?) and a square of length 180 meters (Temple of Poseidon and Cleito?). Concentric circles surround these two rectangular structures, so that the site closely resembles Plato’s description of the Atlantean capital. However, the dimensions of this location are approximately 20% larger than Plato’s figures, so Kühne has suggested that the unit of measurement used by Plato, the stade, may have been greater than usually accepted.
It was a surprise to many when, in their June 2004 edition, the highly respected journal Antiquity published details of this discovery and Kühne’s interpretation(a).
Overall, despite offering a number of interesting thoughts regarding Plato’s Atlantis, we find Kühne sceptical regarding its actual existence, describing Plato’s account of it as a “philosophical fiction invented to describe Plato’s fictitous ideal state in the case of war.” Nevertheless, he is keen to point out that the narrative does contain historically factual elements.(e)
An outline of Kühne’s theories, in English, is also available on the Internet(c).
(a) https://antiquity.ac.uk/ProjGall/kuhne/ (if offline, see Archive 2081)
(e) Did Ulysses Travel to Atlantis – https://vixra.org/pdf/1103.0058v1.pdf
Dr. Spyridon Marinatos (1901-1974) was born in Lixouri, Cephalonia, Greece. In the early 1930’s he was engaged in excavations on Crete but was soon to turn his attention northward to Santorini. He was an early supporter of a connection between Thera and Plato’s Atlantis story. In 1939 Marinatos first published his views regarding the connection between Thera’s eruption and the destruction of Minoan civilisation in the journal, Antiquity. However, the editors forbade Marinatos to make any reference to Atlantis. This is very different to the attitude of the same publication recently, when it permitted a speculative article by Dr Rainer W. Kuhne that proposed a site in Andalusia as the site of Atlantis based on satellite photos of the lower Guadalquivir River. Perhaps it should be noted here that Dr. Kuhne has pointed out that Marinatos, like himself, identified the Atlanteans with the Sea Peoples.
Marinatos was fascinated by Thera since the early 1930’s but was unable to take up continuous excavation until 1967. This continued until his death in 1974, following a fall on the site. Charles Pellegrino has written a fascinating book about Thera and Marinatos’ work there. Work at the site continued under the direction of Dr. Christos Doumas a confirmed Atlantis sceptic.
In 2003, Mario la Ferla published L’uomo di Atlantide in which he investigated the ‘suspicious’ death of Marinatos and its aftermath. In this book, Atlantis takes a back seat to terrorists, the Greek colonels and Nazis(a).
Werner Wickboldt (1943- ) is a teacher and amateur archaeologist, living in Braunschweig, Germany. On January 8, 2003, he gave a lecture on the results of his examination of satellite photos of a region south of Seville, in Parque National Coto de Doñana, he had detected structures that very closely resemble those, which Plato has described on Atlantis. These structures include a rectangle of size 180 x 90 metres (Temple of Poseidon?) and a square of 180 x 180 meters (Temple of Poseidon and Kleito?). Concentric circles, whose sizes are very close to Plato’s description, surround these two rectangular structures. The largest of these has a radius of 2.5 km. Among the suggested explanations for the structures are; a Roman ‘Castro’, a Viking fort or even a dam for salt production, which is an activity still carried today in the locality.
In his lecture, Wickboldt went further and claimed that the Atlanteans should be identified as the Sea Peoples.
Wickboldt’s discovery inspired Rainer Kühne to develop his theory on Atlantis, which was published in Antiquity. Wickboldt and Kühne hold differing views on various aspects of the Atlantis, which were aired in the comments section of an online forum in 2011(b).
Some debate has developed regarding the actual state of this area in Phoenician times.
It would appear that, during the Roman period, sedimentation brought the mouth of the Guadalquivir about 40 km further south to a position near modern Lebrija. However, in the age of the Tartessians, it was only 13 km south of Seville. If correct this would imply that Wickboldt’s structures were under water at the time of Plato’s Atlantis. The only way to resolve this issue would be to excavate on the site, but unfortunately, the location is in a national park and at that time any digging was forbidden. Nevertheless, non-intrusive investigative methods were employed to produce additional evidence that might justify a formal archaeological dig. 2010 saw this work begin at the site, with preliminary results indicating that the area was probably hit by a tsunami or a storm flood in the 3rd millennium BC.
The sedimentation argument is not clear-cut, so that over a period of millennia, when other factors such as seismic activity are brought into the picture, different scenarios are possible. Even if it is not Atlantis or one of its colonies, it would still appear to be a very interesting site, with a story to tell.
(b) https://blogs.courant.com/roger_catlin_tv_eye/2011/03/muddying-up-atlantis.html (Link broken March 2020)<
Stonehenge is part of what is now arguably the most extensive and complex megalithic site in Europe. It was actually purchased in 1915 for a sum equivalent today (2020) to £680,000 by Cecil Chubb, who later gave it to the nation(aa).
Professor Howard Goldbaum’s excellent website on Irish megaliths recounts that “According to legend the monument was once situated in Co. Kildare, southwest of Dublin. As explained by Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100 – c. 1155), Merlin the magician moved Stonehenge from Ireland to England to serve as a memorial for the hundreds of Britons treacherously slain by the Saxons during a truce meeting on Salisbury Plain. In this story, which Geoffrey claimed was based on an older work he had found, King Ambrosium Aurelianus (uncle of King Arthur) wanted to build a memorial for his dead warriors which would last forever, but his builders could think of no way of doing it. Merlin provided the solution: go to Ireland and bring back the one that’s there.”(bw)
Two depictions of Stonehenge exist which go back as far as medieval times, with a third recently added by Professor Christian Heck(ai). Sometimes claimed to have been known in medieval times as Chorea Giganticum. Little serious study of the monument was undertaken until the 17th-century antiquarians, predecessors of archaeologists took an interest.
“In the 17th century, archaeologist John Aubrey made the claim that Stonehenge was the work of the Celtic high priests known as the Druids, a theory widely popularised by the antiquarian William Stukeley , who had unearthed primitive graves at the site” (Wikipedia).
What is not generally known is that the monument has been subjected to numerous ‘restorations’ over the past hundred years and what we see today is actually a 20th-century vision of the original site. One website(au) shows a large series of images recording some of these renovations. There is evidence that at least one stone was re-erected a metre and a half from its original position.
Photos from 1867 show parts of Stonehenge, before later ‘restorations’ altered their earlier positions(ax), originally released by the UK’s Ordnance Survey(ay).
New technology has now revealed the existence of another henge less than a kilometre from Stonehenge (BBC Focus October 2010). We were next presented with evidence that an early form of ball bearings may have been used to move the large stones of which the monument was constructed(d). Other recent discoveries in the vicinity include the 3,550-year-old skeleton of a teenage boy buried with a rare amber necklace – a clear indication of status. Furthermore, dental analysis revealed that he had come from the Mediterranean region.
In 2019, the UK’s Independent newspaper published a report, which claimed that “The ancestors of the Britons who built Stonehenge were farmers who had travelled from an area near modern Turkey, arriving around 4000 BC, and who rapidly replaced local hunter-gatherer populations, according to new research.”(bo)
Stonehenge is not the only site to have its area of interest expanded in recent years. The 2018 drought in Ireland and the UK had produced evidence of a previously unknown henge situated not too far from Newgrange, Ireland’s best-known megalithic site(az). This new location has been dubbed ‘dronehenge’. Anthony Murphy, one of its discoverers, has written about the story of its discovery.
Similar sites have been revealed throughout these islands as a result of the current (July 2018) dry period.
October 2015 gave us a report(ad) that a semi-permanent structure was discovered about a mile east of Stonehenge and dated to be 1,300 years earlier than the more famous megalithic edifice.
The two big questions relating to Stonehenge are its exact purpose and the method of construction.
Allied to that is the question of how the ‘bluestones’ were transported from Wales. Was it by humans or glaciers(aj). However, an early theory proposed that the ‘bluestones’ were deposited by glaciers much closer to the Stonehenge site. This idea was quickly debunked but has once again surfaced in a new book  by Brian John(bt).
What may have been a much earlier precursor to Stonehenge’s calendrical features, tentatively dated as 10,000 years old, has been identified in Scotland’s Aberdeenshire(f). This is now arguably the world’s oldest lunar calendar, although an incised stone found in southern Italy has now been put forward(bg) with a similar claim. I doubt that the Guinness Book of Records will be adjudicating on this one.
We were next presented with evidence that an early form of ball-bearing may have been used to move the large stones of which the monument was constructed(d). Stone balls, some intricately carved, were also discovered near megalithic monuments in Scotland, while in Malta, stone balls have been found in the vicinity of the ancient temples there – some still in situ under the stones.
Keith Critchlow in his fully illustrated Time Stands Still  claims that the carved stones found in Scotland display knowledge of Platonic solids a thousand years before Plato!
Michael Poynder has noted that plain balls were also found at the Loughcrew site in Ireland . Even more intriguing, is that a similarly carved stone ball was discovered at Tiwanaku in Bolivia, which Hugh Newman has drawn attention to in a YouTube video(bi)!
In 2004, Gordon Pipes put forward a radical new ‘stone-rowing’ method of construction(ac), which requires minimal manpower and equipment. In 2009, Pipes expanded on this idea in book form .
The Ancient-Wisdom.com website has an interesting item regarding the use of balls and tracks in 1770 to shift very heavy weights, noting that “The largest stone ever (recently) recorded to have been moved purely by human power alone is the famous ‘Thunder Stone’ from Russia, which was moved to St. Petersburg from the Gulf of Finland. It was rolled along on small balls placed on a track (Only 100m in length) at a rate of 150m per day.”(ba)(bb).
In 2019, archaeologists at Newcastle University put forward the idea that lard (pig fat) had been used to grease the sledges that were used to transport the huge stones(bh). “Fat residues on shards of pottery found at Durrington Walls, near Stonehenge, have long been assumed to be connected with feeding the many hundreds of people that came from across Britain to help construct the ancient monument. But new analysis by archaeologists at Newcastle University in the UK suggests that because the fragments came from dishes that would have been the size and shape of buckets, not cooking or serving dishes, they could have been used for the collection and storage of tallow – a form of animal fat.“
More discoveries are expected as investigations continue. In 2014, it was announced that although most attention is focused on the rising sun at the summer solstice, it is now thought that Stonehenge was more likely to have been concerned with the midwinter setting sun(m). This opinion has been voiced by many, including archaeologist Anthony Johnson in his Solving Stonehenge [1794.253].
Another form of solar association was put forward some years ago by John Ivimy (1911- ) in his first book The Sphinx and the Megaliths , in which he proposed “that Stonehenge was in fact an Egyptian colony, established for political reasons by the priests of the sun god Ra.”
It is worth mentioning that as early as 1906, Norman Lockyer (1836-1920), a respected scientist and amateur astronomer raised the possibility that Stonehenge had astronomical significance(bq). Wikipedia noted that “Lockyer is among the pioneers of archaeoastronomy. Travelling 1890 in Greece he noticed the east-west orientation of many temples, in Egypt he found an orientation of temples to sunrise at midsummer and towards Sirius. Assuming orientation of the Heel-Stone of Stonehenge to sunrise at midsummer he calculated the construction of the monument to have taken place in 1680 BC. Radiocarbon dating in 1952 gave a date of 1800 BC.”
In the 1960s, it was Gerald Hawkins who set a cat among the pigeons with the publication of his Stonehenge Decoded . in which he proposed that the monument was in fact used as an astronomical computer. Many of the leading astronomers and archaeologists of the day offered apoplectic responses. Hawkins went as far as to suggest that the 56 Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge functioned as eclipse predictors, an idea endorsed by Fred Hoyle . How this can be achieved is outlined on the internet(by). I am reminded that one of the suggested functions of the Antikythera Mechanism was predicting eclipses(bz).
Another theory has recently been advanced by Thomas O. Mills which suggests that Stonehenge was aligned with the position of the North Pole as it was situated around 10,000 BC, as proposed earlier by Charles Hapgood.(u)
Paul D. Burley has published a two-part paper(q)(r) on Stonehenge, which draws attention to the fact that most commentators have focused on the solar or lunar significance of the site’s alignments that he feels is in stark contrast to other European megalithic monuments that would appear to have been designed with stellar alignments in mind. Burley is the author of Stonehenge: As Above, So Below.
In 1995 Duncan Steel suggested in his book, Rogue Asteroids and Doomsday Comets , that Stonehenge I had been constructed as a predictor of the Earth’s intersection with the path of a comet and its attendant debris, which had a 19-year periodicity(x).
Stonehenge, among other megalithic structures, has been linked by various writers with Plato’s Atlantis. One extreme example of this, from John Nichols,<is the suggestion that if the number of Aubrey Holes, 56, is multiplied by the diameter of the Aubrey Circle we get 16,200 feet which is “the exact diameter of Plato’s Atlantis”.(bv) Now, a ten-minute search on the Internet reveals FIVE different figures for the diameter of the Circle, ranging from 271.6’ to 288’. Combine that with the uncertainty attached to the value of the unit of measurement employed by Plato, it is clear that any claim of a connection between the Aubrey Holes and Atlantis is at best tenuous and at worst foolish.
Jürgen Spanuth suggested that the five trilithons “most probably represented five sets of twins.” [0015.85], an idea echoed later by Dieter Braasch(as). Spanuth was adamant that a commonly held view linking Stonehenge with Hyperborea was incorrect as Hyperboreans had come from Jutland.
Two Swedish researchers, Nils-Axel Mörner & Bob G. Lind have proposed(bm) that the Ales Stones in Sweden were built with the same basic geometry and using the megalithic yard as a standard of measure as Stonehenge.
The late Philip Coppens echoed(b) the views of a fellow Belgian, Marcel Mestdagh, that there might be a connection between monuments within the Stonehenge Heritage Site and Atlantis, namely Woodhenge, which comprised of posts arranged in six concentric circles. The suggestion being that this arrangement is in some manner a reflection of the concentric features in Atlantis described by Plato. I can only consider this to be highly speculative, somewhat akin to the suggestion(c) that Stonehenge I was an earthquake predictor.
For those interested, a recently reconstructed German counterpart of Woodhenge has had the original dated to 2300 BC(aq). A Portuguese ‘woodhenge’ was reported in 2020(bk), which is thought to be the work of the Bell Beaker people (3500 – 2000 BC).
However, in the meanwhile we will have to be content with a recent book by Professor Mike Parker-Pearson, Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery , which includes all the discoveries revealed by the recent ten years of investigation.
A 2014 offering from Professor David P. Gregg, The Stonehenge Codes , throws further light on the mathematics used for the building and development of Stonehenge over a 1500 year period was consistently the same polygon geometry. Gregg has also identified an earlier Babylonian influence. His book has considerable numerical content that many will find heavy going. The text of the book is available online(j). The July 2014 edition of the BBC Focus magazine offers evidence that the history of the Stonehenge location can be traced to nearer the end of the Ice Age.
It has been generally accepted for many years that the bluestones (spotted dolerites) at Stonehenge had been brought from the Preseli Mountains of Wales. Now (Nov.2013) evidence has been presented that identifies the precise outcrop, Carn Goedog, as their source(h).
However, in November 2015, a report threw doubt on the existence of a Neolithic quarry in the Preseli Hills(ag). Confusingly, the following month it was reported(ah) that studies carried in Wales suggested that the stones had been erected there first before their transportation to Wiltshire. In May 2016 the controversial matter of the method of transportation from Wales was claimed to have been resolved when it was demonstrated by students from University College London, supervised by Parker-Pearson that the bluestones could have been mounted on a sycamore sleigh and dragged along timbers requiring far less effort than was previously expected.(ao) Parker-Pearson believes that originally the stones had been part of a Welsh tomb that was dismantled and brought to Wiltshire as the successors migrated westward(ap). There is now a search underway to locate the site of the original monument in Wales.
>In 2004, Jennifer Viegas from Discovery News (June 14) suggested that Stonehenge had been built by Welshmen based on remains found in builders’ graves found close to Stonehenge(bx).<
A further twist to the Welsh connection was proposed in a 2021 paper(bs), again in Antiquity, when a team of archaeologists proposed that the Stonehenge bluestones may have been taken from one or more pre-existing stone circles. One candidate is to be found at the remains of the dismantled Waun Mawn circle in the Preseli Hills(be). A few years ago Robin Heath published Proto Stonehenge in Wales  that expanded on the Welsh connection.
Parker-Pearson published a paper in the February 2019 edition of Antiquity in which he reports on his research at the Welsh site, where he found some of the tools used to extract the pillars and determined the method of transportation(bc).
The transportation question received new attention with a study which suggested that “to move these stones such long distances, the builders likely manoeuvred them onto timber sledges and rolled these over logs,” using pig fat as a lubricant to minimise the friction between the sled and the logs. It is suggested that ceramic vessels, with high concentrations of pig fat, found on-site at Durrington Walls, may have been used to collect fat from the carcasses as they were roasted on a spit, which was then stored as lard or tallow! (bf) My question is, how many pigs are needed to grease a path for a stone from Wales to Stonehenge?
Further investigation has produced the claim by Paul Devereux that the rock there was chosen because of its acoustic qualities(I), raising the possibility that Stonehenge was the site of the first ‘rock’ concert. A more wide-ranging essay on the subject of archaeoacoustics is available online(ak). Robert Hensey notes [1766.40] that acoustic experiments have been carried out inside Newgrange and Cairns I & L at Loughcrew, while in the Orkneys, Aaron Watson and David Keating have investigated sound effects at two passage tombs.
After centuries of being described as one of the wonders of the megalithic world, the construction skills of Stonehenge’s builders have been harshly criticised by Professor Ronald Hutton of Bristol University, who went as far as to describe them as ‘cowboy builders’(n).
In 2012, Gordon Freeman, a Canadian scientist, published Hidden Stonehenge  in which he offers an extensive study of a native American “medicine wheel” in Alberta and compares its astronomical alignments with that of Stonehenge, revealing ‘incredible’ similarities(bu). . His book highlights the use of sophisticated astronomical knowledge at both locations, in the very distant past suggesting cultural links millennia before Columbus!
A somewhat cruder but equally effective winter solstice alignment was recently identified in the Chilean Andes(aw).
A site in Australia discovered in the first half of the last century by Frederic Slater (President of the Australian Archaeological Society) and dubbed as ‘Australia’s Stonehenge’ was bulldozed in 1940 on the orders of the Australian Government! The location, obviously, never as impressive as its namesake on Salisbury Plain, has been again identified and with drawings made over seventy years ago has enabled a computer-generated image of the site to be made(t). A father and son team, Steven & Evan Strong have recently relocated the damaged site(af).
In May 2013, Melville Nicholls published a Kindle ebook, Children of the Sea God, in which he argues strongly for a Stonehenge built by Atlanteans, better known as the Bell Beaker People!
Robert John Langdon has now proposed(g) that Stonehenge was constructed by megalith builders, around 8500 BC, who had migrated from Doggerland/Atlantis as it became submerged and that the Altar Stone at Stonehenge points to Doggerland! Langdon is highly critical of the generally accepted interpretation of various features found at Stonehenge, listing13 items that he claims “don’t make sense”(bp).
Shoji Yoshinori has suggested that Stonehenge was intended as a model of Atlantis(k), as had also the late Philip Coppens(b).
It is quite obvious that more convincing evidence is required if any claim of a Stonehenge/Atlantis connection is to gain greater traction. In 2018, David L. Hildebrandt published Atlantis – The Awakening , in which he has endeavoured to do just that with a mass of material that he claims supports the idea of Atlantis in Britain and Stonehenge as the remnants of the Temple of Poseidon. He suggests that the five trilithons represent the five sets of male twins, an idea voiced by Jürgen Spanuth and more recently by Dieter Braasch. Even earlier George H. Cooper proposed Stonehenge as the Pillars of Herakles. I am not convinced by the spirited defence of his hypothesis, as I consider his date too early and the location too far from Athens or Egypt to consider them to be within ‘easy striking distance’ for the purpose of invasion.
As recent as the summer of 2014 evidence was accidentally discovered(o) that suggested that the Stonehenge megalithic stones form a complete circle. Commenting on the discovery Susan Greaney from English Heritage said “A lot of people assume we’ve excavated the entire site and everything we’re ever going to know about the monument is known, but actually there’s quite a lot we still don’t know and there’s quite a lot that can be discovered just through non-excavation methods.” An extensive digital mapping project carried out at Stonehenge by researchers from the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Vienna has revealed, “that the area around Stonehenge is teeming with previously unseen archaeology and that the application of new technology can transform how archaeologists and the wider public understand one of the best-studied landscapes on Earth.”(p)
December 2014 saw an encampment site just 1.5 miles from Stonehenge has its date confirmed at around 4000 BC(s).
Marden Henge, situated between Stonehenge and Avebury is reckoned to be ten times bigger than Stonehenge and has now (2015) seen the start of a three-year, £1,00,000, dig by 80 archaeologists hoping to unlock its secrets(a). Dr Jim Leary, a leading archaeologist working at the site is convinced that Marden may turn out to be more significant than Stonehenge(w).
Earlier in 2015 Tim Daw, a steward at the Stonehenge site has claimed that he had discovered a previously unknown alignment, involving a line of stones at 80 degrees to the axis of the monument. His theory is that the tallest stone at Stonehenge points towards the midsummer sunset and has been observed to be correct(v).
The archaeological importance of Stonehenge was boosted further in September 2015 with the announcement that a line of nearly 100 buried stones had been discovered just a mile away, beside the Durrington Walls ‘superhenge’(y). There are images available, including a short video clip relating to this new discovery(z). Subsequent excavations revealed no stones, but 90 holes that had held wooden posts.(bn)
In June 2020, the significance of Durrington was greatly enhanced by the revelation that adjacent to the ‘Walls’ is a series of shafts five metres deep and ten metres in diameter. The shafts are arranged in a circle having a diameter of 1.2 miles. The site is 1.9 miles northeast of Stonehenge(bj).
In November 2015, the New York Times published an updated overview(ae) of the various excavations that have taken place in the vicinity of Stonehenge.
Sarah Ewbank has now offered us a fascinating new theory regarding the original purpose and plan of Stonehenge. In a fully illustrated website(al) she reveals that the structure was conceived as “a ‘Cathedral-like’ building with a massive oak-framed roof, and a huge hall at its centre.”
Further discoveries are listed on the Heritage England website(ab). What is not listed there is the information that Stonehenge was constructed by giants on the instruction of the Devil! This b.s. tidbit was imparted to us in April 2016 by Dr Dennis Lindsay on the TV show of disgraced US evangelist Jim Bakker(am). Another blog from Jason Colavito exposed further Stonehenge nonsense, this time from New Zealander, Ted Harper, who has recently claimed that the Wiltshire monument together with the Great Pyramid, both warn of a meteor strike in 2020.
Theories relating to Stonehenge and Atlantis seem to proliferate at comparable rates. In a new book, The Memory Code , by Lynne Kelly, she proposes that the Wiltshire monument is a giant mnemonic(ar) and that other megalithic sites also were.
July 2017, saw a BBC review of the recent acceptance of Stonehenge as just a part of a huge complex of monuments, with a hint of more to come(at).
In June 2019, Dr Christophe Snoeck, a Belgian archaeological scientist offered evidence for the origins of some of the cremated human remains discovered at Stonehenge. “During his doctoral research he developed a method to extract information about the geographical origin of cremated individuals.“ This method, he says, “was applied to 25 cremated individuals from Stonehenge and our results show that 40% (10 out of 25 analysed individuals) did not live near Stonehenge in the last decade or so prior to their deaths but came from further away. Some might actually have originated from west Wales where the bluestones came from, some 250 km away,” he adds. “This shows the importance of the site in the British landscape during the Neolithic period.” (bd) Italian scientists have also been working on new ways of gleaning information from cremated remains(be).
In 2020, it was announced that acoustic engineers from the University of Salford had demonstrated that Stonehenge had acoustic qualities that allowed “any sounds produced inside the temple would have been much less audible to anybody outside the circle, despite the monument almost certainly not having a roof.
The findings, therefore, suggest that any sounds generated by activities carried out inside the circle were not intended to be shared with the wider community. This reinforces theories suggesting that the potential religious activities conducted inside Stonehenge were reserved for an elite of practitioners, rather than for a wider communal congregation.”(bl)
(a) Daily Express, Fri. June 19, 2015
(b) See Archive 2140
(j) https://www.stonehenge-codes.org/StonehengeCodesFinal-2012.pdf (link broken)
(m) BBC Focus Magazine, July 2014, p.51
(x) See Archive 2657
(ai) See Archive 2832