Coming hard on the heels of the recent suggestion that Stonehenge was a place of healing, comes a new archaeological report which explicitly dismisses the idea, and instead says the famous megalithic site was a cremation cemetery. In fact, the archaeologists involved in the latest dig seem rather bothered by the whole ‘Stonehenge as Neolithic Lourdes’ theory:
The report said: “Contrary to claims made in the recent BBC Timewatch film, which promoted a theory of Stonehenge as a healing centre built after the practice of cremation burial had ceased, standing stones and burial may have been prominent aspects of Stonehenge’s meaning and purpose for a millenium.”
Mike Pitts, one of the authors of the study and editor of British Archaelogy, said that the study overturned previous theory over Stonehenge.
“This means there were earlier connections with Wales, where the standing stones came from, than previously thought and that Stonehenge was always about death and ancestors and burial and not healing,” he said.
For their part, the healing center proponents palmed off the attack on their theory. Geoffrey Wainwright, one of the archaelogists involved, dismissed the new refutation, saying “We do not claim Stonehenge was a single use monument…we think it was a multifunctional monument and part of its purpose was for healing.” Ding, ding, there’s the bell for the end of round 1!
And let’s not forget about this up and coming challenger too…