Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Skeleton Could Hold Secret To Stonehenge
Salisbury Journal ^ | 2-5-2008

Posted on 03/05/2008 7:02:05 PM PST by blam

Skeleton could hold secret to Stonehenge

The skeleton discovered at Stonehenge in 1978, which has been on display in Salisbury Museum.

A SKELETON, which has been on prominent display in Salisbury Museum for nearly a decade, could hold the secret to Stonehenge's mysterious past and show the site to be an arena of gladiatorial combat, an archaeological expert has claimed.

The skeleton, that of a man who had been killed by arrows in 2,300 BC, was discovered in the ditch surrounding the stones during excavation work, carried out by Professor Richard Atkinson and J.G Evans in 1978.

After being analysed, the skeleton was donated to Salisbury museum, where it has been on display as a key part of the museum's Stonehenge exhibit under the title of "the body from the ditch".

However, Stonehenge expert and former archaeologist with Wessex Archaeology, Dennis Price, believes the skeleton's inauspicious title belies the fact the remains offer tangible proof the site was once used as an ancient arena hosting violent combat sports.

He said: "There is firm evidence of a long-standing tradition of sentinels at Stonehenge going back to when it was originally built in 2,600 BC - and possibly before.

"The function of these individuals was to symbolically guard the temple, but I think they could only be replaced by someone who physically defeated them in a ritual combat.

"I think that remains of one of these Stonehenge Sentinels is on display at Salisbury Museum, where he's currently known as 'the body from the ditch'."

As evidence for this claim, Mr Price points to the fact many of the burial plots found at the site contain a variety of ancient weaponry.

He added: "Many of the barrows surrounding Stonehenge contained weapons such as daggers and maces, and these were extremely violent times.

"Many of the human remains found in the Stonehenge landscape suffered crippling wounds, especially the Amesbury Archer and the Boscombe Bowmen, or other builders of Stonehenge."

Mr Price also points to evidence from a site similar to Stonehenge, located in Italy, as further evidence for his argument gladiatorial combat once took place in south Wiltshire.

He said: "There was a well-recorded murderous ritual at the temple of Diana, at Nemi, in Italy, in Roman times, where a man could become a priest of Diana's temple only by fighting and killing the resident priest.

"There is a striking resemblance between what we know of Stonehenge and Nemi - both sites regularly witnessed the violent death of individual humans, both were linked with archery and with gods or goddesses who were archers, and both have an obvious religious significance."

Director of Salisbury and south Wiltshire Museum, Adrian Green, added: "What I love about Stonehenge is the endless number of stories surrounding the evidence that has been found there.

"Dennis Price's idea that there was a sentinel or guardian of Stonehenge, who could only be replaced through combat to the death, conjures up a harsh image of life more than 4,000 years ago, but it also has a certain romantic quality to it."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: archeology; godsgravesglyphs; salisbury; skeleton; stonehenge

1 posted on 03/05/2008 7:02:05 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 03/05/2008 7:02:37 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

How, did he have his MP3 player on record?


3 posted on 03/05/2008 7:04:57 PM PST by org.whodat (What's the difference between a Democrat and a republican????)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

In before the Spinal Tap references.


4 posted on 03/05/2008 7:05:31 PM PST by dfwgator (11+7+15=3 Heismans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: org.whodat

Its my uncle Jake.


5 posted on 03/05/2008 7:08:18 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: blam
"...sites regularly witnessed the violent death of individual humans..."

The same could be said of Philadelphia and New Orleans. Maybe Stonehenge was the location of a failed welfare state.

6 posted on 03/05/2008 7:12:55 PM PST by ConservaTexan (February 6, 1911)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

“could hold the secret to Stonehenge’s mysterious past and show the site to be an arena of gladiatorial combat”

That’s cool. Forgive the testosterone, but I always thought the “druids prayer circle thing” was lame. (Not that prayer is lame, but praying to trees/stones is...)


7 posted on 03/05/2008 7:16:40 PM PST by rjp2005 (Lord have mercy on us)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
"Dennis Price's idea that there was a sentinel or guardian of Stonehenge, who could only be replaced through combat to the death, conjures up a harsh image of life more than 4,000 years ago, but it also has a certain romantic quality to it."

Must be a guy thing to want to kill a person so you can stand guard over some rocks.

8 posted on 03/05/2008 7:18:30 PM PST by Spunky (You are free to make choices, but not free from the consequences)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rjp2005
"That’s cool. Forgive the testosterone, but I always thought the “druids prayer circle thing” was lame" I don't know much about the druids, and maybe they even did some sacrificing, but the same kind of guys that who worships trees doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who is into rocks. Especially since it takes big strong guys to move THOSE rocks at Stonehenge. Druids:the First Tree Huggers?
9 posted on 03/05/2008 8:02:39 PM PST by Beowulf9
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: blam

Stonehenge: Where Atlantis Died
(1972)
A novel by

Harry Harrison and Leon E Stover
by
Harry Harrison

This rousing adventure story set in the Europe of 1473 B. C.
Above all sets out to entertain.
But it also has a rather more serious purpose -
to expound another theory about the reasons for
the building of the fascinating stone circles.


10 posted on 03/05/2008 8:11:32 PM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (McCain, and or Huckabee will send a self-abused stomped elephant to the DRNC.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Arkancide?


11 posted on 03/05/2008 8:22:03 PM PST by Old Sarge (CTHULHU '08 - I won't settle for a lesser evil any longer!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

12 posted on 03/05/2008 8:37:37 PM PST by shineon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: blam
This is curious; however Roman gladiatorial contests started two thousand years after this guy died. Gladiator fights are expensive (there must be a need) and assume large audience, both of which Rome had. There is no reason to believe that back in 2,300 BC Stonehenge area hosted more than a handful of people, and so it could not afford gladiators, and would have noone to see the fights. I'm unsure if they could afford food back then either.

The professor reads way too much from a dead body. The man could be simply killed in a skirmish and buried near a sacred site (in a graveyard.)

His theory of ritual combat also holds no water. You can't do ritual combat by sneaking behind an unsuspecting man and sending an arrow into his back; it's plain murder, not a ritual. Besides, death from multiple arrows would suggest a combat situation, against multiple archers. Further invalidating the prof's original theory, no sane gladiator will ever go against an archer, let alone several; he'd be a pin cushion before he reaches them.

but it also has a certain romantic quality to it

Yes, that's the reason for all those theories. A fairly tale is always more pleasing than a real, sad story of that time.

13 posted on 03/05/2008 8:48:59 PM PST by Greysard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
It seems remarkably unlikely. The headline, I mean.
14 posted on 03/05/2008 9:14:21 PM PST by JasonC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

You can have the key when you pry it from his cold, skeletal fingers...


15 posted on 03/05/2008 9:33:18 PM PST by tracer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

You can have the key when you pry it from his cold, skeletal fingers...


16 posted on 03/05/2008 9:33:46 PM PST by tracer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


17 posted on 03/05/2008 10:41:46 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/______________________Profile updated Saturday, March 1, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
He could've been in the wrong place at the wrong time when the temple guards had target practice.
18 posted on 03/06/2008 10:22:23 AM PST by Ciexyz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: blam
Sacrificed for blasphemy?
19 posted on 03/06/2008 10:23:03 AM PST by Ciexyz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Greysard
Besides, death from multiple arrows would suggest a combat situation, against multiple archers.

Maybe it was a really brutal version of "Red Rover".

20 posted on 03/06/2008 10:25:27 AM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Ciexyz

Maybe his bow went off while he was cleaning it?


21 posted on 03/06/2008 10:26:42 AM PST by MARTIAL MONK (I'm waiting for the POP!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Ciexyz

Obviously he was killed due to homophobia — the neighboring tribes realized why those “stones” were being “erected”...


22 posted on 03/06/2008 10:30:00 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/______________________Profile updated Saturday, March 1, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
Obviously he was killed due to homophobia — the neighboring tribes realized why those “stones” were being “erected”... Ewwe, yuk! lol.
23 posted on 03/06/2008 7:05:58 PM PST by rdl6989
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: rdl6989

He died wearing an “Archaeo- ass- try on me” t-shirt.


24 posted on 03/06/2008 11:02:06 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/______________________Profile updated Saturday, March 1, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: blam

HUH? I'm not dead. No I'm not, I KILL YOU

25 posted on 03/06/2008 11:12:51 PM PST by MaxMax (I need a life after politics)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson