When was Stonehenge built? Who built it? How was it built? Why was it built? Answers cannot be promised to all of these, but we can get better at asking the questions and work towards solutions. We can look at how people have responded to Stonehenge. Most of all we can begin to think about what Stonehenge means to us.
What do I learn?
- To understand present archaeological thinking about Stonehenge.
- To evaluate responses to Stonehenge in art, literature, music, architecture and culture.
- To consider your own response to Stonehenge, expressed through two peer-evaluated mini-essays.
Chapter 1: The Stonehenge Landscape
Stonehenge as a landscape of prehistoric sites. A historical context: the Mesolithic, the Neolithic and the building of the Stonehenge.
Chapter 2: Who built Stonehenge?
Theories: when, by whom, how and why.
Chapter 3: Stonehenge Problems
Context - the Stonehenge landscape: problems with transportation and erection. Part destruction - why and how?
Chapter 4: Responses to Stonehenge
An array of responses: Geoffrey of Monmouth (1138); the antiquarian tradition, the temple and astronomic alignments traditions; various amateur theories; the archaeological traditions.
Stonehenge, Woodhenge: monuments in a landscape
Chapter 5: Cultural Contexts
Stonehenge in fiction, poetry, music, art and popular culture.
Chapter 6: Stonehenge Today
Stonehenge as a cultural icon, emblem of Britain, World Heritage site and sacred space.
Blick Mead as the cradle of Stonehenge.
Chapter 7: Reassessing Stonehenge
Written activity as an assessment
Chapter 8: Responses to Stonehenge
Examination of students' responses through their essays. Integration of blog, Wiki, Twitter and eBook as a way of continuing the discussion after the course.