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Stone handaxe
THIS small handaxe is one of the most beautiful in the British Museum. It is made from quartz with attractive amethyst banding, a difficult material from which to make tools because it is extremely hard. The toolmaker would have had to hit with considerable force and accuracy to remove flakes. Such a high degree of difficulty makes the thin, symmetrical shape of this piece a masterpiece of the toolmakers’ art.
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The Druids
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Stonehenge is not a Druid Temple, despite the popular myth. However, the Druids may have had the answer to the purpose of the stone circle. They were the Shamen of the people, the historians, the wise men, the genealogists, and their tradition was an oral one. The Druids were a caste rather than a priesthood, and initiates spent twenty years in forest sanctuaries and caverns learning the ancient lore, which is thought to have been in verse.

The Druids were known for their wisdom; they officiated at religious and magic rituals. They had a religious awe of fire and water, a reverence for the number 3, and used ritual weaponry and sacrifice. They also had knowledge of astronomy, of calendars and of nineteen-year metonic cycle.

Maybe they were aware of the purpose of Stonehenge. Nothing was written down, but the oral tradition was passed on down the generations. However, when the Roman Occupation of Great Britain began in 43 AD, the Druids were politically a nuisance to the legions – they were a focus of British resistance and so they were hunted to extinction, and with them died the only chance of knowing for sure the secret of Stonehenge.


The Druids



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