Before excavation and restoration (think “concrete wall”) began in the 1960s, the famous Irish Neolithic temple of New Grange (older than the Pyramids!) looked quite different. The Irish Archaeology site offers sketches and photos from the 18th century forward.
Excavation within the Henge will focus on the surface of what is thought to be one of the oldest houses in Britain, a Neolithic building revealed during earlier excavations. The people who used this building will have seen Stonehenge in full swing, perhaps even helped to haul the huge stones upright.
Dr Jim Leary, from the University of Reading’s Department of Archaeology and Director of the Archaeology Field School, said: “This excavation is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of Stonehenge and its surrounds. The Vale of Pewsey is a relatively untouched archaeological treasure-chest under the shadow of one of the wonders of the world.
But, perhaps unike those two, it had a sauna. Maybe.
Archaeologist Jim Leary told his audience at Devizes town hall on Saturday that the chalk foundations contained a sunken hearth that would have given out intense heat. “It brings to mind the sweat lodges found in North America,” he said. “It could have been used as part of a purification ceremony.”
Dude. You are in Europe and you have to reach for a North American image? Hello, what does “indigenous” mean to you? Sauna? Banya?
Here is the trailer for an Irish television “documentary,” (in Irish with English subtitles), “Gods from the Sky,” which argues that celestial events changed ancient Irish religion.
And if that sounds a bit familiar, perhaps you are remembering Immanuel Velikovsky’s (1895–1979) somewhat similar thesis that the planet Venus entered our solar system twice: “Periodic close contacts with a ‘cometary Venus‘ (which had been ejected from Jupiter) had caused the Exodus events (c. 1500 BCE) and Joshua‘s subsequent “sun standing still” (Joshua 10:12 and 13) incident.”
Other planets caused catastrophes on Earth as well, he claimed.