|23 October 1999
Ancient face carved on Stonehenge
Has the face of the creator of Stonehenge been staring at us unrecognised for over 4000 years? Terence Meaden, a British archaeologist with a fascination for the ancient megalithic monuments of Britain, claims to have recognized a face carved into the side of one of the mighty stones at Stonehenge.
It is the first face ever seen on the Neolithic monument and one of the oldest works of art ever found in Britain. "I just happened to be there at the right time of day because only when the light is right you can see it properly. During the summer months it is only obvious for about a hour each day around 14:00" says Meaden. It is amazing that it has never been recognized before, but Dr Meaden believes that it was missed because previous researchers concentrated on the fronts of the standing stones and not their sides. The particular viewing conditions to see it at its best will have also played a part in it not being seen. "But once you see it it's obvious," he says. The carved face seems to carry a serious expression, almost a frown, as it looks across the Salisbury plain.
Stonehenge was built about 2450 BCE but why does Dr Meaden believe the carving was made at the time and was not done much later? "Why would anyone do that?" he asks. "The type of stone, sarsen, is one of the hardest stones known to man. It would have taken hundreds of hours working on a platform to do it. Why bother?"
Meaden's photographs are being evaluated by other archaeologists. He also claims that other faces can clearly be seen on the Avebury stones not far from Stonehenge.
But who is the face of Stonehenge? "We will never know," says Meaden. "He could be the patron of the monument or even its architect. Perhaps the designer of Stonehenge has been looking at us for four thousand years and we didn't see him."
Source: BBC News (15 october 99)
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