Echoes of the past: a new theory of ancient monuments

Some things just make me go ‘woah‘.  Just when I think I’ve heard it all, (and I’ve heard a lot of things which can only be categorised as random…) Something comes along which is a completely fresh look at familiar things.  This is one of them.  Alright, not the site itself, silly… the new way in which is can be interpreted thanks to the clever bods at New Scientist:

stonehenge

stonehenge

Did our ancient ancestors build to please the ears as well as the eyes? Trevor Cox pitches into the controversial claims of acoustic archaeologists

“The wind, playing upon the edifice, produced a booming tune, like the note of some gigantic one-stringed harp. No other sound came from it… Overhead something made the black sky blacker, which had the semblance of a vast architrave uniting the pillars horizontally. They entered carefully beneath and between; the surfaces echoed their soft rustle; but they seemed to be still out of doors…”

This atmospheric description of a “temple of the winds” comes from the dramatic climax of Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles. The setting is Stonehenge, arguably the most famous prehistoric monument of all. Its imposing ring of standing stones is visible for miles on Salisbury plain in southern England. On the day of the summer solstice its outlying “Heelstone” is exactly in line with rays of the rising sun. A more perfect example of the visual impact of an ancient monument would be hard to find…

The remainder of the New Scientist article can be found here

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s