Sunday, May 04, 2008

Stonehenge May Have Been a Temple, say archaeologists

One of the advantages, or perhaps drawbacks, of being older than dirt is that I remember the newsflashes and stop presses of today from the first time they came around. Actually, I take that back. Some of them have probably been going around as New News since before I was born.

I had to literally stop reading New Scientist, which I'd read since I was a kid, when I swear to God it started having articles along the lines of "Stop Press DNA Might Be Genetic Material Says Controversial Scientist" and/or "Scientists Divided Over Ramifications of Carbon Based Life-forms Recently Discovered on Earth".

Of course I didn't take any notes, I just tossed them aside with a so-what, so I can't vouch for those being the actual headlines. They were equally earth-shattering, anyway.

I thought I'd keep notes the next time one of these Shock-Horror stories came up, and there's one today.

The headline is Stonehenge excavation may alter history which got my goat straight away, since of course an excavation can't alter history. Unless the thing they excavated was a time machine and they went back in time and caused the Allies to win WWII or something. But even if they did, when they got back, everybody would have grown up with it, so they wouldn't be impressed when they said they'd altered history. It would be the same old history to everybody else. I fully expect New Scientist to discover this blog post and write an article next month saying, "Time paradoxes may occur if time travel becomes reality, says controversial scientist".

Anyway, after the misleading title, the article says, and I quote,

A new excavation of Stonehenge may alter historians' concept of the British landmark site's purpose, researchers say. By studying a set of unusual stones linked to the historical site, a team of archaeologists are attempting to prove Stonehenge was not an ancient burial site, but actually a temple of healing, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

That's pretty earth-shattering, right? Stonehenge might be a temple, not a burial site. Stop the press!

But...wait, hasn't it always been understood to be a temple and not a burial site? Luckily the same article is standing by to clear up the inevitable fog of confusion. It says,

"I think the one thing everybody would agree on is that Stonehenge is a temple, which is easy to lose sight of in the kind of to-ing and fro-ing of ideas."

So, there you have it. Today's big controversy is that archaeologists are proving Stonehenge was a temple, completely overturning the previous theory that it was a temple.

It's no wonder people find the whirl of progress overwhelming these days. I can't keep up myself.


Anonymous said...

You sound more like Russell Brand every posting!!!!!!! If you haven't seen his set on the last Secret Policeman's ball you won't know what I am on about. Watch it.


Peromyscus said...

Alas, I do not know who he is.


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