So where am I now in this project?I have lost my way between the out of order, crumbling concrete posts of Woodhenge and The Sanctuary.
Time to move on surely!
Burials at Woodhenge and The Sanctuary...
Before I knew anything in any detail about the timber henges
I thought that they were linked (tenuously) with female burials.
Research into the histories of the finds causes questions to spring up like hydra's teeth!
There is a remote possibility that the body at The Sanctuary was already mummified remains when buried
There is a possibility that the man in the ditch at Woondhenge was sacrificed.
There is absolutely no way to assess how the child buried at the center of Woodhenge died, or 'her' sex.
There are many male burials close to The Sanctuary, at the feet of the Avenue stones.
Stonehenge (close to Woodhenge) is possibly one of the oldest and biggest cemeteries I've ever visited...
Basically I feel 'knee-deep'in the dead!
Yes..I love DooM
Male burials (as if they are 'foundation' burials, or killed to remain as protectors of a site) are perhaps a little more common than female.
At first I was thinking of the Persephone myth from the Walter Berkert Homo-Necans point of view.
That femaleness comes to represent danger and temptation (ideas of purity and abstinence as essential prerequisites for the hunt) and becomes inextricably linked with killing and death.
The link is forged in the horror of causing death to animals and also the pleasure in the hunt.
Also in the idea than man is not female...
Man is brave, powerful, clever...so different to a woman!
Once the hunting party has become greater numbers of people, towns and cities.
War is hunting writ large.
The linkage between male killing and female vulnerability and trickery remains.
Helen of Troy and Iphigenia.
The abduction of a girl is cause for war and the sacrifice of another, is justified in the name of war.
Does any of this fit in with British prehistory?
Do all cultures create the same taboos from the experience of hunting?
I have no idea.
A myth arises because it is the obvious way to see things.
It expresses "deep structure" or "root paradigms" of a culture"
It is a story you heard somewhere once upon a time?
Yes, but unless it 'rang true' it would be forgotten...
The Greeks heard of Troy and Persephone from 'Homer'.
And Homer seems to be a compendium of ancient stories trimmed and fitted to suit the Greeks.
New city states..
The Persephone myth has two origins.
1/ Psychological- why a myth takes root.
The mind seeks symbols to give form to feelings.
The Persephone myth expresses the sense that death is an abduction.
Persephone represents a way to communicate with the implacable, difficult reality of death.
And the hope of a better afterlife..
Stepping into an animistic frame of mind and imagining a queen of the underworld gives form to a feeling that the earth contains both the living and the dead (animate rather than decomposing), and the terrifying transformation from human to corpse, to ghost..
Animistic thought animates (imbues everything with consciousness).
Imagining a queen of the dead creates an interface between oneself and the alien domain of the dead.
Or in psychological terms, the unknown and unpleasant can be manipulated through symbols
In animistic terms
Persephone allows intercession with the process beyond death.
The border world between life and death becomes meaningful
A magic, uncanny place.
The fear of dying is transformed into trust; that the space between life and death-the bardo if you want to have a name for it- is an opportunity for 'enlightenment', or a place of knowledge and the place in which mystic initiation is granted.
The original stories have locations and precursors.
2/ Cultural origins.
The narrative tells of a girl stolen away. The Greek myth has two Mesopotamian sources or concepts: Ninhursag (Queen of the wild things!) and Ereshkigal.
Homeric myth clothes these figures in new names and includes Ereshkigal's latter personification: Circe.
Circe and Odysseus echo an Akkadian story of Ereshkigal and Nergal
One day I'll make a list of the similarities...
I have got cought up in the pattens of The Santuary
The place itself, too.
But my dislike of The Iron Age is getting in the way of thinking in a different time-frame..
Danebury and grain pits is all I'm saying!
[[But hang on I'm forgetting all about the carvings in those long barrows in France.
Because this is not supposed to be a Goddess hunt!
John Arthur Goodchild in Light of the West describing at least one Cotswold long barrow as the form of a sleeping (Beauty!) goddess...]]