• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The purpose of Stanton Drew Stone Circles

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Stanton Drew Stone Circles The site I am studying is the Stanton Drew stone circles. These are located North East of the village see figures one and two. Stanton Drew is in the South West of Britain around 6 miles south of Bristol. The stones survived from a Neolithic period carbon dated to around 4,000 years ago. The site consists of three stone circles: The Grand Circle, The North East Circle and The South East Circle which is inaccessible as it is in a private garden. There are other features including The Cove and Hautville's Quoit see figure 2. The Great circle consists of 28 stones though it looks like there could have been at least 30 originally. These stones don't have a pattern to where they are placed as shown in diagram 3. The Diameter from North to South is around 115m and slightly less from East to west. The average distance between the stones (along a straight line) was 7.4m and the average height of the stones (the four remaining standing) was 2.47m. The Stones themselves seem to be from Dundry, 3 miles north as the same stone is found there, oolite or from local sources and made of Conglomerate. The stones are believed to represent male and female genitilier although as you can see from the photos they can hardly be recognised as 2 different types and it is doubtful the stones themselves were meant to represent this, however the site as a whole may represent fertility due to the nearness of the river and there being a connection with death, due to the bones found in the site there is a strong possibility that birth and life have a connection with the site. An Avenue extends from the Grand Circle heading downwards towards the River Chew, the avenue consists of 8 visible stones four in the north row and four in the south row. ...read more.

Middle

The stone itself is far to large for any human to throw making this theory unlikely. Source 4 The St Michael ley from St Michaels mount to Bury St Edmunds. The north-south ley through Arbor Low and Stonehenge and the isosceles triangle with Arbor Low at its apex. The lines are accurate to a few hundred yards but the significance of Mersea Island is not clear and the side of the triangle which should be equal are not quite so. Also there are quite a few stone circle sites in Britain and the ones that didn't line up could be disregarded in order to show that the ones that did were more prominent. Also the monuments are built of different periods and may not be associated with each other. Source 5 "According to the science of Feng Shui, which is based on a subtle conception of the order of nature far from our own today, there are currents - perhaps magnetic, Eitel hazards - within the earth's surface. Like electricity, these have positive and negative aspects, male and female, which the Chinese symbolized as the azure dragon and the white tiger. These dragon and tiger lines flow through the landscape and, in the angle close to where they cross and temporarily combine, 'there may be a luck bringing site,' if in the same place there is also 'a tranquil harmony of all the heavenly and terrestrial elements,' including the direction of water courses. Now, the happy site is almost always sheltered by hills, slightly elevated within them and connected to them by land through which the geodic currents flow." Feng Shui is not a science but a belief. It is believed by some that where the stones are placed has a spiritual significance but there is no proof. This source is valid but it is commenting on a belief rather than an actual theory as to their purpose. ...read more.

Conclusion

These ley lines also don't seem to serve a significant purpose unlike the alignments in the stone circles themselves apart from the belief of power given off where the lines converge at such places as Avebury. This evidence is mainly belief and is neither complex nor reliable. What is certain surrounding the stones is that they would have taken many man-hours to construct and so must have been something incredibly important to the people at the time. This leads us to believe that the stone circles had more than one use because that way their importance would have increased. The Geological physical survey (figure 5a and b) shows us that there are circles inside one another descending in circumference accordingly. Theses circles are believed to be made of wood and could have meant that the further you were allowed towards the centre the more important you could be and closer to there God so to speak as in other religions. Also the Geo physical survey shows us that there previously was a henge running around the great circle. This would make the site stand slightly above the surrounding area and make it look grander. On balance the evidence suggests that the sight was not built purely for religious reasons. The evidence suggests that the Stone Circles have multiple uses. Theses include evidence of sacrifices and rituals. The stone circles also seem to have practical uses from information on farming about when to harvest and other times of farming significance to fertility and information on when to try and have children in order to increase the likelihood of survival. Other unjustified uses of the stones would be to impress neighbouring tribes and general socialisation is quite likely. Overall it seems that the site was built partly for religious and partly for other reasons and so based on the evidence the answer is most likely no the site was not built for purely religious reasons but for many different varied reasons. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. beacon hill

    this shows that they have researched their information and are more likely to be right. Source 5 is very reliable because vicars are honest, he has an expertise in Bronze Age barrows, so he is likely to recognise a Bronze Age barrow and he is a local resident so he is likely to know the area well.

  2. What Was The Nature & Purpose of the Holocaust?

    In schools even the children were segregated and eventually expelled. Nazi cartoons and posters portrayed the Jew as a corrupt, greedy monster, and teachers were forced to teach children that the Jew was a danger to the nation. Another important event when considering this is Kristallnacht (Night of the Broken Glass).

  1. 'Law and Order in the American West'

    This vigilance committee eventually divided into two bands, those who remained loyal to Nathaniel N. Kinney and those who were against him for his violent, biased and lawless actions. Display of lawlessness, violence and personal bias: The public was given a first glimpse of their violence when a 100 members

  2. Using Livy, How Great a General was Hannibal?

    - he attached candles to oxen and, at night, drove them up a hill that Fabius was guarding. Fabius saw the lights, thought Hannibal was moving, and told his men to go and stop him. In actuality Hannibal was quietly escaping, using another route.

  1. From the evidence available, trace the development of the Jewellery Quarter in the ...

    The courts, in which the poor people lived, were very narrow, extremely dirty, not very well ventilated and badly drained, but this was usually only the case for the old courts. The courts varied in the number of houses they contained, with the numbers ranging from four to twenty, and

  2. What was the Purpose and Nature of the Final Solution?

    Nazi-German extermination camps can be distinguished from concentration camps which were mostly intended as places of incarceration and forced labour. In the early years of the Holocaust the Jews were primarily sent to concentration camps, but from 1942 onward they were mostly deported to the extermination camps.

  1. Behavioural Theories.

    A mixture of folk-life, primitive Texas culture, mother earth, and hippie, the shop's character is a direct reflection of her own. Jim Moore, Gael's partner, is just as important. Originally from San Antonio, he owned and operated his own hair salon in the city for eleven years.

  2. How and why has the use of the buildings that house the Quay Arts ...

    the island, for the River Medina was the most commonly used harbour of the island. Unfortunately this boom in trade wouldn't last forever, and in the late 1950's and early 60's, trade began to lessen considerably - in the Quay's decline.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work