Archaeology

Stonehenge: Monmouth May Have Got it Right

An ancient myth about Stonehenge, first recorded 900 years ago, tells of the wizard Merlin leading men to Ireland to capture a magical stone circle called the Giants’ Dance and rebuilding it in England as a memorial to the dead.

Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account had been dismissed, partly because he was wrong on other historical facts, although the bluestones of the monument came from a region of Wales that was considered Irish territory in his day.

Now a vast stone circle created by our Neolithic ancestors has been discovered in Wales with features suggesting that the 12th-century legend may not be complete fantasy.

Its diameter of 110 metres is identical to the ditch that encloses Stonehenge and it is aligned on the midsummer solstice sunrise, just like the Wiltshire monument.

A series of buried stone-holes that follow the circle’s outline has been unearthed, with shapes that can be linked to Stonehenge’s bluestone pillars. One of them bears an imprint in its base that matches the unusual cross-section of a Stonehenge bluestone “like a key in a lock”, the archaeologists discovered.

 

See Also:

England’s Stonehenge was erected in Wales first

Dramatic discovery links Stonehenge to its original site – in Wales

Stonehenge: Did the stone circle originally stand in Wales?

 

ETA: The documentary is now available via the BBC online, until February of 2022. Stonehenge: The Lost Circle Revealed. In the U.S. try YouTube.


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2 Comments

  • Alastair Swinnerton

    I watched the programme last night, fascinating stuff. It does make you wonder though, whether they will start to reassess Geoffrey of Monmouth’s works in light of this discovery, to see if anything else he wrote may not be so mythical as has been thought for so long. After all, it happened with Josephus once the Israelis started finding things where he said they were after 1948. He’s now considered one of the foremost first century historians, whereas before he was largely dismissed as a Roman apologist.

    • Lisa Spangenberg

      I haven’t seen the documentary, yet, but will later today since it’s been posted to the Internet. I can’t fault anyone for dismissing Monmouth; he was inventive and his citations suggest invention.