The Bell Beaker People identified by their distinctive pottery existed from around 2800 BC until 1800 BC. They occupied large areas of Iberia, Central Europe and the British Isles as well as some of the western Mediterranean islands. Melville Nicholls claims that they originated in Portugal. Associated with them are the Wessex people divided into Wessex I and Wessex II, who are found in western Europe and southern Britain, the latter, dated to 1650-1400, were involved with the construction of the later stages of Stonehenge.
Uwe Topper associates the beginning of metallurgy with the Bell-Beaker People(e).
Nicholls and others(b) have linked Atlantis with the Bell Beaker culture, identifying a location near Gibraltar as the site of Atlantis. He published his views in Children of the Sea God, a 2013 Kindle ebook(a) and a second ebook, The Real and Imaginary Atlantis generally reprising the first, later the same year! Further comment from Nicholls can be found on an internet forum(f).
David D. Miner, is an American Doctor of Medicine, who published a paper linking the Beaker People, Atlantis and Salisbury Plain. He makes a serious and imaginative effort to explain details in Plato’s narrative in the context of this proposed association.
The Beaker People are also claimed to have crossed the Atlantic, where they have been linked to the Adena culture of North America. A leading exponent of this theory is undoubtedly Jay S. Wakefield, co-author of How the SunGod reached America . He has reprised his views in a 2018 paper on the Diffusion & Migration website(c)(g) . Others have expanded on his concepts(d).
(b) https://widespreadblyss.blogspot.ie/2013/02/platos-atlantis-and-bell-beaker-culture.html (link broken Sept. 2018)
Melville Nicholls is a senior research scientist at the University of Colorado where he studies atmospheric science, mainly relating to hurricanes. In May 2013, he published Children of the Sea God as a Kindle ebook. One of his main contentions is that Atlantis existed during the early Bronze Age at the time of the Bell Beaker culture, >which he claims originated in Portugal around 2800 BC.<
He also contends that Britain was the large island of Atlantis described by Plato. However he also proposes that the main port city of Atlantis, with the concentric rings of land and water was situated in southwest Spain near Gibraltar. He proposes that this port was destroyed by an event such as a tsunami.
While all these features have been proposed individually as characteristics of Atlantis, Nicholls brings them together in a comprehensive theory, but not without indulging in a liberal amount of speculation.
He devotes a considerable amount of space attempting to link Stonehenge with the Atlanteans. While I was not won over by Nicholl’s book, it is worth a read and might best be studied along with Donald Ingram’s book, The Unlost Island.
In November 2013, Nicholls published a second ebook, The Real and Imaginary Atlantis, in which he revisits his theory of a British/Spanish Atlantis and its relationship to the Bell Beaker People. In conclusion, he seems to reluctantly write that “I still come down in favor of the theory that Plato invented the story as the one most likely to be correct.”
Britain. For as long as I can remember, received wisdom told us that the ancestors of the British (and Irish) had Celtic origins. Then in 2007, Dr Stephen Oppenheimer, professor of genetics at Oxford University ‘threw a cat among the pigeons’ when he bluntly wrote “Everything you know about British and Irish ancestry is wrong. Our ancestors were Basques, not Celts” in Origins of the British .R.Cedric Leonard reviews Oppenheimer’s claims in the book and two earlier papers(d)(e)(f).
Britain as the home of Atlantis has been claimed by many writers and not without undertones of nationalism by some of the British authors. Nevertheless, support for the idea has been offered by a number of more disinterested researchers. Probably the first to advance this idea was John Wallis (1660-1703), who, in 1700, proposed that the Atlantis story had been corrupted over time and was a reference to the destruction of the landbridge that had existed between France and England, leaving a British Atlantis more isolated (The original Brexit!)(c). It was nearly a century before the idea was taken up by Thomas Pennant and then more than another century passed before Cooper, Spence, Beaumont and Calestani produced related theories. Fast forward to the 21st century, when Donald Ingram identifies the Wessex II culture as Atlantean and Melville Nicholls considers Britain to be one of the Atlantean islands referred to by Plato.
The precise location, the exact date and the probable cause of the destruction of Atlantis are the basis for a range of theories. There is general acceptance that following the deglaciation at the end of the last Ice Age vast regions of low-lying land that had linked Ireland and Britain to mainland Europe were gradually flooded.
One school of thought is that these flooded regions contained Atlantis, of which the most extensive was in the North Sea and is now known as Doggerland. Other offshore locations proposed for Atlantis are the Celtic Shelf (Gidon, Steuerwald & Koudroiavtsev) and the Irish Sea (Dunbavin). These lands had been settled and following the inundations, its inhabitants were forced to retreat to the higher ground of what is modern Europe and the British Isles.
David L. Hildebrandt in Atlantis-The Reawakening  proposes a reworking of the ‘Atlantis in Britain’ theory with some new perspectives. For me, his date, location and identity of the Atlanteans do not ring true, particularly why Stone Age people in Southern Britain would want to launch an attack on Athens, over 2,000 miles away, a city-state that did not even exist at the time. Those early Britons did not have the wheel, yet Plato tells us that the Atlanteans had chariots!
E. J. de Meester on his now-defunct website postulated a link between Stonehenge and Atlantis(b). After arbitrarily dividing Plato’s dimensions by ten, he suggested that the plain described by Plato lay in a rectangle between Salisbury and Chichester.
Donald Ingram (1944- ) is Australian who has worked in journalism as a newspaper artist for 34 years. He initially took a sceptical interest in the Atlantis story but as his researches continued he began to realise that there were historical realities behind Plato’s narrative, after identifying interpretive errors made by later commentators. In 2002 he took early retirement in order to develop his hypothesis, which was eventually published in 2009.
Ingram reviews the development of Atlantis theories over the centuries, dismissing, Donnelly, the esoteric Blavatsky, the inventive Cayce as well as today’s New Agers. He has used new technologies, such as DNA combined with a correction of mistranslations of specific Platonic texts to conclude that the “Atlanteans can almost certainly be equated with the Wessex II culture of Britain”.
In support of this contention he draws heavily on the similarities between the weaponry of western Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. This is reminiscent of the work of Jürgen Spanuth over thirty years earlier, when he identified the Atlanteans as originating in northern Europe and supported his contention with a comparison of the weapons and helmets of the Sea Peoples depicted at Medinet Habu with those of Denmark and northern Germany during the 12th century BC.
Much of this book deals with ancient mythologies, their possible underlying historical realities and parallels with the story of Atlantis. In that respect, Ingram has quite clearly invested a lot of time into research. However, I found it somewhat disappointing that the author devoted just a few pages, towards the end of the book, to the actual text of Plato.
In May 2013, Melville Nicholls published his ebook, Children of the Sea God, in which he also saw Britain of the early Bronze Age as the large island of Atlantis described by Plato. Nicholls has opted for the Bell Beaker people as Atlantean rather than the Wessex II culture proposed by Ingram, which succeeded them.
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, a barrister, 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) One explanation for this comment may stem from the fact that in ancient times parts of Wales were controlled by the Irish!
National Geographic (August 2022) relates that historian Henry of Huntingdon, writing around 1130 – offers the first known reference to Stonehenge in print (sic), declaring it to be one of the wonders of England(cj).
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, and 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)(ci).
Mike Parker Pearson, arguably today’s leading archaeologist working at Stonehenge has published a paper titled Researching Stonehenge: Theories Past and Present, in which he reviews the range of opinions that the site has generated from the time of William Flinders Petrie in the 19th century until now(cq).
Dimitar Dimitrov, a Bulgarian researcher, has also published a book on the historical references to Stonehenge, but in conclusion, he thinks that the monument was simply used as a royal palace that included a ‘coronation stone’!(cr).
More recently, in the 19th century, H. S. Warleigh, Vicar of Ashchurch in England, was convinced that the biblical Nephilim had been responsible for the building of the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge among other ancient structures. Jason Colavito located this reference(ck).
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). In the course of the 1958 restoration, Robert Phillips had to remove a cylindrical core from Stone 58, which he kept. 60 years later the core was returned enabling geochemical tests to be carried out(cb). This was most fortunate as Stonehenge’s protected status would not permit a core to be removed today.
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 with 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, a dental analysis revealed that he had come from the Mediterranean region.
Paul Dunbavin has published a paper(cu) on the Academia.edu website in response to the overreaction in the British media to the DNA research by Brace et al: “Population Replacement in Early Neolithic Britain” published in Nature, April 2019 suggesting that the origins of the Stonehenge builders may have been in the Aegean.
One example is the UK’s Independent newspaper which published an article, 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). This DNA evidence is also referenced in a recent National Geographic article(cj). Dunbavin’s point was that, before DNA was discovered, it was already generally accepted that migrants from the eastern Mediterranean had arrived in Britain and Ireland via Spain during the Neolithic Period.
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 with which the monument was constructed(d). Stone balls, some intricately carved, were also discovered near megalithic monuments in Scotland, Ireland and Norway, 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!
Crichton E M. Miller, who is best known for his studies of the pre-Christian ‘Celtic Cross’ and its use for navigation, surveying, and astronomy during the Bronze Age has now turned his attention to those mysterious carved stone balls and their possible time-keeping function(co).
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 .
Some years later Steven Tasker put forward an alternative transportation theory that he claims could have been used to move the Stonehenge monoliths from Wales and goes as far as to suggest that the ancient Egyptians may have used a similar method to move the blocks for the pyramids(cc).
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 a 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 in 1890 in Greece he noticed the east-west orientation of many temples, in Egypt he found the orientation of temples to sunrise at midsummer and towards Sirius. Assuming the 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). ohn Edwin Wood in Sun, Moon & Standing Stones [1951.76] preferred Hoyle’s method over Hawkin’s. A 1999 paper has proposed a simpler method than those put forward by either Hawkins or Hoyle(ap).
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)
Conventional wisdom has it that Newgrange was built around 3200 BC, while Stonehenge was built in six stages between 3000 and 1520 BCE. Of course, there are dissenters, such as Yair Davidy, who made the following unusual claim on the Brit-Am website – “Dolmens and Megalithic Monuments originated in Ancient Israel. Jeremiah 31:21 says that the Ten Lost Tribes will construct a trail of Megalithic Monuments from Israel to their places of exile and evidence of this path will enable them to return. Such a trail exists! It is the Trail of the Dolmens from the Middle East to the West.”(cs). Professor W.A. Liebenberg has written a longer piece(ct). on the ‘Ten Lost Tribes’ as the builders of the megaliths. However, since the megalithic building period is generally accepted to have lasted from around 4000 BC until 1500 BC, this created a problem for Davidy and Liebenberg (D & L). The disappearance of the Lost Tribes is dated to around 700 BC leading to their dispersal and proposed megalith building as they travelled. D & L include Newgrange and by extension Stonehenge) among their monuments and that is where their difficulties begin. Both claim that before 700 BC the year was 360 days in length (after Velikovsky [037.128]) rather than our present 365 days. They argue that if Newgrange (among other monuments) had been built when we had a 360-day year the sun would not still light up the interior at the winter solstice. Therefore, they conclude that most megaliths were erected AFTER 700 BC! It just shows that if you combine the Bible with a fertile imagination you can prove anything.
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 which 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).
Graham Philips in his most recent (2019) offering, Wisdomkeepers of Stonehenge  has a different approach to understanding Stonehenge, as explained by the cover notes “Graham argues that, with stones aligned to the sun, stars, and positions of the moon, stone circles were not just astronomical calendars, as some scholars have proposed, but were part of an elaborate system to determine precise timings necessary for the cultivation of medicinal plants. The Druids, he reveals, had medical knowledge well beyond their time, and may even have found a cure for cancer. Graham also discovers that the Megalithic people developed phenomenal memory techniques, resulting in a priesthood that became both the guardians of the stone circles and the living libraries of inherited knowledge. Wisdom keepers of Stonehenge uncover the long-forgotten secrets of the Megalithic people and the true extent of their astonishing achievements: a vast network of monuments, as important to the ancient peoples of the British Isles as the internet is to us today. The true purpose of Stonehenge is ultimately revealed. It was not just a religious monument, but served a vital, practical function – as a prehistoric healthcare facility.”
It was a pleasant change when in March 2022 Professor Timothy Darvill of Bournemouth University offered the results of a new analysis of Stonehenge’s intended function, which is much simpler and arguably more credible than some of the suggestions noted above. Darvill claims that the site was a calendar based on a tropical year of 365.25 days. “The proposed calendar works in a very straightforward way. Each of the 30 stones in the sarsen circle represents a day within a month, itself divided into three weeks each of 10 days,” said Professor Darvill, noting that distinctive stones in the circle mark the start of each week.(ce)
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’. Combining 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.
Harry Sivertsen has written a paper about the metrology of Stonehenge with the ingenious title of ‘The Metrology of Stonehenge’. In it, he pulls together data from Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Welsh churches and, of course, Stonehenge(cm).
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 is 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.
In March 2015, the UK’s MailOnline published an article(ch) concerning some sites with unexplained concentric circles in China’s Gobi Desert. The article notes some superficial similarities with Stonehenge. Paolo Marini . also claimed that the concentric circles of Atlantis are reflected in the layout of Stonehenge! In 2011, Shoji Yoshinori suggested that Stonehenge was a 1/24thscale model of Atlantis(cg). He includes a fascinating image in the pdf.
For those interested, a recently reconstructed German counterpart of Woodhenge has 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. Some of 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 out 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  which expanded on the Welsh connection.
>“A century has passed since British geologist Herbert Henry Thomas published his seminal 1923 study on Stonehenge, in which he traced the origin of the “bluestones” that make up the monument’s inner circle to the Preseli Hills in western Wales. Among these bluestones — so called because they acquire a bluish tinge when wet or freshly broken and to distinguish them from the “sarsen” stones that make up the outer circle — Thomas included a 16-foot-long (4.9 meters) flat-lying, gray-green slab of stone known as the Altar Stone.
It now appears that Thomas’ assessment was flawed, Richard Bevins and his colleagues have found in a new study, published in the October (2023) issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. While Thomas “quite rightly” pinpointed the source of some stones to outcrops in western Wales, the Altar Stone likely came from a completely different location, possibly an unknown quarry in northern Britain, Bevins said.”(cv)<
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 that 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.
According to Trevor Cox, professor of acoustic engineering at England’s Salford University, the Neolithic temple (of Stonehenge) had unique properties capable of significantly altering and amplifying speech and musical sounds(cf). His theories were also explored in a June 2023 article on the BBC website(cp).
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 ‘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 using 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 to the damaged site(af).
In the Strait of Sicily, a ‘Stonehenge’ has been identified on the small island of Lampedusa, by Diego Ratti and described on a generously illustrated website(e). However, the application of the term to almost any megalithic monument, particularly by the media, has debased its value.
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 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.
Jürgen Spanuth claimed that “Among the racecourses of the Bronze Age still in existence today must be counted the stone circle of Stonehenge which must have been erected by men of the Atlantean culture many centuries before the Atlantis report was written. The racecourse at Stonehenge, in its original, immense dimensions, cannot be an imitation of a Greek stadium.” [017.126]
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 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).
Some years ago a University of Manchester team led by Professor Julian Thomas explained that “The Stonehenge Cursus is a 100-metre wide mile-long area which runs about 500 metres north of Stonehenge.” which we have now “dated at about 3,500 years BC – 500 years older than the circle itself.”(ca)
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). Further comment was published in November 2021(cd).
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)
In May 1922 NG published its first picture of Stonehenge, now a century later it returned to this remarkable monument for its cover story in a 2022 edition(cj). It highlights how the use of new technologies has greatly enhanced our knowledge of the site and the people who built it. Jim Leary, a lecturer in field archaeology at the University of York admits that “a lot of the things we were taught as undergraduates in the 1990s we know now simply aren’t true.” This beautifully illustrated article is a useful update on developments at this huge UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the February 2023 edition of the Antiquity journal it published a paper by Giulio Magli and Juan Antonio Belmonte that effectively debunked many of the various theories relating to Stonehenge put forward over the past seventy years. “All in all, the alleged “Neolithic” solar-precise Stonehenge calendar is shown to be a purely modern construct whose archaeoastronomical and calendrical bases are flawed.”(cn)
+ Available online: https://archive.org/details/stonehengedecode00gera/mode/2up
(a) Daily Express, Fri. June 19, 2015
(b) See Archive 2140
(e) See: Archive 2211 (text only)
(m) BBC Focus Magazine, July 2014, p.51
(x) See Archive 2657
(ai) See Archive 2832
(cj) National Geographic, August 2022