Summer solstice at Stonehenge will be streamed live

Every year around June 21, masses of people gather at Stonehenge to bask in the beautiful summer solstice sunrise above the iconic stones and hang with hundreds of modern day druids and pagans making the scene. However, due to the COVID-19 mandates prohibiting mass gatherings, Stonehenge will be "closed for a while," according to the charity English Heritage that manages the site. Instead, they'll stream the solstice live from the prehistoric monument. (Above is a recording of last year's solstice.)

"We hope that our live stream offers an alternative opportunity for people near and far to connect with this spiritual place at such a special time of year and we look forward to welcoming everyone back next year," said Stonehenge director Nichola Tasker.

"We know how strong the draw to come is for some people, but I would take this opportunity to say please do not travel to Stonehenge this summer solstice, but watch it online instead.”

(Salisbury Journal)

Read the rest

This is the first known family photo taken at Stonehenge

According to a new exhibition titled "Your Stonehenge -- 150 years of personal photos," this image of was taken at the Wiltshire, England's magical megalithic structure in 1875 and depicts the family of Isabel, Maud and Robert Routh. Personally, I wouldn't be so sure those aren't Zippies on their way to a rave in 1994.

"People have been visiting Stonehenge for centuries, for all sorts of reasons, and taking photos of themselves and their loved ones in front of the stones since the very earliest days of photography," Susan Greaney, a historian at English Heritage, the organization that manages Stonehenge, told CNN. Read the rest

Stonehenge: we may now know who they were and what they were doing

Stonehenge! Where the demons dwell! Where the banshees live, and they do live well. Stonehenge! Where a man's a man, and the children dance to the Pipes of Pan.

Science has uncovered more about who built the 'Henge and who is interred there.

Via CNN:

Much of the previous research around the monument in Wiltshire, England, has centered around how or why Stonehenge was built -- not the people buried there or who built it.

But studying the human remains at Stonehenge is no easy task. In addition to dating back to 3,000 BC, the remains were also cremated. During the early phase of Stonehenge's history, it largely served as a cemetery.

Fortunately, lead study author Christophe Snoeck, post-doctoral researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, combined his passions for archeology and chemical engineering to pioneer developments in archaeological analysis.

The results revealed that 40% of the people buried at Stonehenge likely came from west Wales, the suggested origin of the site's smaller bluestones, and they most likely helped transport the stones and build Stonehenge. Signals from the bone analysis suggested that within the last ten years of their lives, these people were not living at Stonehenge nor originally from the area around Stonehenge, known as the Wessex region.

"Our results are the first one to provide direct evidence on the origin of those buried at Stonehenge, shedding light on the importance of the site in the Neolithic landscape," Snoeck said in an email.

Read the rest

Weekend Tunes: Spinal Tap - Stonehenge

Stonehenge has been stuck in my head like an ice pick during every summer solstice for as far back as I can remember. I'm a day late with it, but now my pain/joy is yours. Read the rest

Award-winning, clever photo of Stonehenge

Elena Marimon Munoz won the British Life Photography Award for this fantastic shot of Stonehenge, titled "Past Present."

"By the time the sun started to rise above the stones, hundreds, if not thousands of people, had gathered inside the stone circle, phones and cameras up in the air ready to record the magical moment," Marimon Munoz said. "In the picture, I wanted to capture the mixture of ancient history and modern technology, fused together - past and present."

(BBC News via Daily Grail) Read the rest

Winter solstice, 2011

The longest night of the year, at Stonehenge. Photo: Kieran Doherty, Reuters Read the rest