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Stanton Drew

28 29 unexPlAined the enigma of the megaliths It is interesting to bear in mind just how little we understand about quite what our Neolithic ancestors were really up to, and it can be equally interesting to study societys reactions to new pieces of the jigsaw when they appear. The function of coves is but one example. Another, taken at random might be cursuses. These enormous structures, of which 150 are known in the UK see Stukeleys plates of the Stonehenge Cursus shown below, can date back to 4,000 BC, making them among the oldest monumental building works in the world. From six miles long the Dorset Cursus to less than half a mile, they could have been Neolithic racecourses, fairgrounds, ritual processional pathways, or, as has been suggested, flying saucer landing runways. The jury is still out. And why did the builders of stone circles go to such incredible lengths to incorporate complex geometry and astronomy into their sites, often extending miles into the distance, with complicated geometrical axes indicating sites far away And what are the mysterious energies which people say they feel at these places. Are they real, or imagined Did our ancestors have subtle perceptions now lost to all but a few The truth is we do not know. H. M. J. Underhill
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