Lascaux cave art

Lascaux cave art

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Five Trilithons of Stonehenge as Symbolic of Indo-European Regal Status

The great monument of Stonehenge is the product of the Indo-European Battle Ax Wessex Culture, or at least the final phase is. It is significant that the focal point of the henge consists of 5 trilithons which it is speculated by Professor Leon E. Stover (Stonehenge. Where Atlantis Died, 1972, 1983) are representative of the 5 kingdoms of this culture which are located according to Patrick Crampton (Stonehenge of the Kings, 1967) at Dorchester in Dorset, Oakley Down, also in Dorset, Stonehenge, Avebury and Lambourn on the Berkshire Downs.

Although Professor Stover wrote two more books on the subject: Stonehenge: the Indo-European Heritage (1978) which was retitled in Britain as Stonehenge and the Origins of Western Culture (1978) and Stonehenge City. A Reconstruction (2003) it is clear to me that most of his ideas are to be found in Cramptoon's lesser known book (republished in 1992) who in turn gained inspiration from the theories of Professor R.J.C. Atkinson (Stonehenge, 1956) who is credited with discovering the dagger engraving on Sarsen 53 which is also coverered with upturned Bronze Age axe carvings. Both Crampton and Stover, taking their lead from Atkinson championed the idea of Mycaenian involvement in the building of Phase III of Stonehenge because of the shape of the dagger. This theory is no longer in favour. However where all three academics were correct is their theory of an Indo-European origin for Phase III and probably Phase II of Stonehenge. Recent discoveries of yet more axe markings on the sarsens confirmed the connection and brought into play the possibility that these markings were in honour of the Indo-European thunder God whose original weapon was an axe not a hammer. As I have demonstrated on these blogs the hammer developed from the axe, which was originally stone not metal as the etymology of hammer establishes.

Crampton devotes a whole chapter in his book to Indo-European Myth (Chapter 3) and draws upon Homer's epics, Irish sagas and the Rig Veda as these all picture the Indo-European world that was contemporary with the Wessex Culture of 1500 BCE which derived from the Indo-European Battle Ax culture. The Beaker Culture which was responsible for Phase II of Stonehenge in all liklihood according to Stover, was a western European expression of the same Battle Ax culture.

Stover points out in his books that one of the trilithons is slightly higher than the other four which may be an indication of a superior status:

"Five trilithons, five cemetries. One trilithon, at the heel of the four horseshoe-shaped layout, is bigger and taller than the other four; and the Stonehenge cemetry is bigger than the others. Great archways, which once led to burial rooms within the chambered tombs of different kinship units, now lead outward to chiefly families united by tribal alliances and by a common cemetry on the quasi-dynastic burial grounds of the dominant partner. Regional burial groups, with distinctive grave goods from each locality, show this clearly." (Stover, 1982)

The fact that the five trilthons are grouped together to form a horseshoe shape may be significant due to the importance of the horse and thus the horseshoe to the Indo-Europeans:

"While one may only speculate on the parliamentary function of Stonehenge, it is less difficult to guess at the symbolic meaning of the spatial layout of the trilithons themselves. The five of them are arrayed, to the modern eye, in the shape of a horseshoe. This is a significant perception. The horseshoe, in popular superstition, is a good luck charm to be nailed up over the barn door, and as such it is the heritage of Indo-European pastoral society." (Stover, 1982)

Stover goes onto discuss how the horseshoe resembles the upcurved horns of a bull, which was a sacred animal in Indo-European society and a symbol of wealth and power. The chieftains in these societies were bullchiefs who gained power, wealth and prestige in cattle raiding, a feature of both Homer's epics and the Irish sagas.

Stover speculates that the trilithon is symbolic of the Indo-European caste system and the tripartite partitioning of the Gods into the three functions of priest, warrior and peasant-producer. He also compares the five cities of the Wessex culture, symbolised by the five trilithons as mirrored in ancient Ireland which was divided into five kingdoms, one of which was the overking:

"To put the matter in the language of ancient Ireland, as ever a vital comparison, one 'overking' at Stonehenge must have held hegemony over four 'underkings'. In Irish mythology, five has both a sacred and a political meaning. The number is related to the fivefold division of Ireland, its four quarters and its axis mundi, turning where the central authority sits." (Stover, 1982)

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