Monday, July 26, 2010

Hidden Stonehenge Landscape

 Stonehenge Hidden Landscape, an archaeological project supported by the National Trust and English Heritage, has  used radar technology to reveal what appears to be a wooden version of Stonehenge, dating back to the same period, and less than a kilometer from the Stonehenge site.  The project leader, Vince Gaffney, a professor of archaeology at the University of Birmingham, says “This finding is remarkable.  It will completely change they way we think about the landscape around Stonehenge.” He added, “We have a massive virtual landscape (to explore). This is probably the first major ceremonial monument that has been found in the past 50 years or more.” (On an ironic note, the British government had just cancelled ten million pounds of funding for landscape improvements around Stonehenge.)

Over the centuries a host of  theories have attempted to explain Stonehenge.  Was it a celestial observatory, a pagan cathedral, a focal point of geomantic power, a place of ritual sacrifice? My historical fantasy The Sarsen Witch, grew out of my own fascination with Stonehenge and the other megalithic British monuments. First published in 1989, it was reissued by Juno books in 2008. You can read a review by Kelly Lasiter (along with some reviews of my other historical fantasies) at Fantasy Literature .