Conundrum 13 – The Builders / Woodhenge

Book Extract…………………………………………………………………………………. (The Great Stonehenge Hoax)

I owe, I owe so off to work I go

The Problem

Stonehenge has also been a problem as there is no evidence of occupancy, and this causes problems as it is supposed to have been built by the first farmers of the Neolithic period (if the carbon dating is correct). The solution is that Durrington Walls and Woodhenge, so close to Stonehenge and houses, are reportedly found within the ‘henge’.  But there are problems with this ‘simplistic’ solution, the distance being the first, as you can’t see Stonehenge from Durrington Walls, and the second is, why build a time-consuming structure such as Woodhenge if you’re busy with building Stonehenge?

The Solution

If you go to the original North East path break in the Stonehenge ditch, you find the Heel Stone, which was moated during the Mesolithic Period. You will also find a direct alignment to Stonehenge’s nearest neighbours, Woodhenge and Durrington Walls.

The Avenue is wider than the break in the ditch around Stonehenge and has always been a mystery to archaeologists.  This mystery is compounded by the Heel Stone’s position to the right of the Avenue rather than in the centre. The Avenue was built after the Mesolithic ditch was created; therefore, these individual moated stones start to make some sense as alignment points.

The Heel Stone was positioned before the Avenue’s construction; the moated stone points to Stonehenge’s sister site Woodhenge and not, as is currently believed, to the midsummer sunrise.

In 2016 Durrington Walls hit the headlines with “Remarkable new archaeological discoveries are beginning to suggest that Stonehenge was built at a time of particularly intense religious and political rivalry.

Just two miles north-east of the World Heritage site, at an important archaeological complex known as Durrington Walls, archaeologists have just discovered what appears to have been a vast 500-metre diameter circle of giant timber posts. The find is of international significance.

Originally archaeologists, using geophysics rather than excavation, had thought that they had found buried standing stones, so the discovery has totally changed their understanding of the site – the largest ancient monument of its type in Britain.

However, the most significant revelation is the discovery that the newly identified timber circle complex was probably never fully completed – and that, just a few months or years after construction had started, there was a dramatic change in religious – and therefore almost certainly also political – direction. Work on the circle was stopped abruptly by around 2460BC – despite the fact that it was nearing completion. The 200-300 giant 6-7 metre long, 60-70 centimetre diameter timber posts were lifted vertically out of their 1.5 metre deep post holes – and were probably used to construct or expand other parts of the complex.

What’s more, within a few months or years, the post holes themselves were then deliberately filled with blocks of chalk and were covered up for most of the circuit by a bank made of similar chalk rubble. Two of the post holes have just been fully excavated – and, at the bottom of one, the prehistoric people who decommissioned and buried the site, formerly occupied by the giant timber circle, had placed one of their tools (a spade made of a cow’s shoulder blade) at the bottom of the post hole before it was filled in. It certainly hints at the ritual nature of how the change of religious direction was implemented.

It was as if the religious “revolutionaries” were trying, quite literally, to bury the past. The question archaeologists will now seek to answer is whether it was the revolutionaries’ own past they were seeking to bury – or whether it was another group or cultural tradition’s past that was being consigned to the dustbin of prehistory”.

Durrington Walls showing the post hoes surrounding the ditches
Durrington Walls showing the post hoes surrounding the ditches

In 2015 Sky News reported:

“Scientists have found a larger version of Stonehenge just one mile from the site of the famous Wiltshire stone monument.  The Durrington Walls ‘superhenge’ is larger than Stonehenge and may include as many as 90 large stones. Built about 4,500 years ago, the stones lined an arena that was probably used for religious ceremonies or solstice rituals.

Using ground-penetrating radar on Salisbury Plain, scientists found the stones lying on their sides and buried under three feet of earth. Some of the stones are nearly 15ft and were originally placed along the southeastern edge of the circular enclosure that measured nearly a mile wide – making it the largest earthwork of its kind in the country.

The stones may not always have been part of the henge, possibly being toppled over before being incorporated into it – not an act of vandalism but an attempt to save whatever was thought to have been important about the stone, experts think”.

In 2015 the ground survey found “90 large stones, lying on their sides and measuring nearly 15ft” under the ground” – then, in 2016, we have “200 – 300 giant posts 6-7 metres long” – So was there another ground radar survey between the two claims or where the ‘experts’ caught guessing?

Sadly, the misinterpretation of the evidence doesn’t end the nonsense and gives us a clue to this deception – “However, the most significant revelation is the discovery that the newly identified timber circle complex was probably never fully completed“.

You could say that about the entire site – if you believe what the archaeologists tell you.  Durrington Walls is a classic ‘half-moon’ shape, which is evident as the bank is missing towards the River Avon in the East, and there is no bank to the South where they found these anomalies.  Now the bank is no small matter, unlike Stonehenge, as it is 30m – 40m wide and 3m high in the North-western sector of the site.

Archaeologists have yet to suggest why the banks are missing – if it were a ‘henge’, it would have had banks and ditches surrounding its entirety.

The first thing that strikes you when you look at Durrington Walls is that it seems incomplete; it looks like a half-circle from aerial photographs, and the ground, you get a sense of it only being half-finished.  But most illustrations include the eastern section because magnetometer surveys of 2006 show more ditches under the surface, although you might question their purpose, as it is not apparent.

The site’s east side was clearly built much later than the original west side. As a result, the eastern bank is smaller and does not match the specifications of the original ditch and moat, which was roughly 5.5 m deep, 7 m wide at its bottom, and 18 m wide at the top.

2004 magnetometer survey by Payne and martin – indicating water minerals from the Avon.
2004 magnetometer survey by Payne and martin – indicating water minerals from the Avon.

The bank was 30 m wide in some areas. The bank and ditch indicated by the magnetometer surveys are less than half that depth; the bank is only about a third of the size of that on the northern side.  The current theory and plan of Durrington Walls do not stand up to investigation, for it is clear that the Eastern side of the camp was added later when the prehistoric groundwater had started to recede. This would include the Southern circle found in the 1960s.

It would help if you looked at the site’s terrain, position, and layout to answer that question. The first thing that hits you is that the site is not flat – in fact, it’s a huge bowl. Archaeologists say that it is a settlement, but anyone who goes camping will tell you not to pitch your tent on a slope, and for an excellent reason: you will wake up one morning covered in water, as when it rains, the water runs downhill.

Durrington Walls built in a bowl
Durrington Walls built in a bowl

Archaeologists will insist that, because they have found a few postholes that they believe are the foundations of a couple of roundhouses, the site must unquestionably be a settlement because its position and shape dumbfound them.

 If we now add the higher Mesolithic groundwater tables as presented in our hypothesis, as we had shown at the Stonehenge site when the river Avon was 30m more elevated in the Early Mesolithic period.  This site (less than three river miles down the road from Stonehenge) becomes a perfect natural harbour, with shallow sides for pulling boats ashore and a 4-metre deep ravine in the centre of the sanctuary. Moreover, a northern and western bank would have provided shelter from gales.

Woodhenge (which lies to the South of Durrington Walls) has two entrances: one directed towards Durrington Walls’ harbour and, more importantly, a mysterious second entrance that trails to our Mesolithic shoreline.  This clearly indicates that groundwater was present at Woodhenge during Mesolithic times. It would explain the strange shape of the camp and the magnetometer survey (Parker-Pearson, 2006) showing the continuation ditches to the east were dug after the groundwater had fallen in Neolithic times. 

Durrington Walls in the Mesolithic with the water at the same height as we saw in Stonehenge Phase I boat mooring in old car park (98m)
Durrington Walls in the Mesolithic with the water at the same height as we saw in Stonehenge Phase I boat mooring in old car park (98m)

Even more impressive is how the landscape reflected the receding shoreline during the Neolithic when the waters receded (as we saw at Stonehenge and The Avenue). The present-day minor road runs along the course of the Neolithic shoreline circa 4000 BCE………………………

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