|Specialist site for one of this science blogger's longer-term research interests. See also Shroud of Turin.|
(Update: Friday May 6: see my latest posting with its proposal that the term "excarnation" be replaced on internet forums and media outlets generally with "skeletonization".)
4. The preferred means of excarnation was "sky burial" – exposing the bodies to scavenger birds.
|Gulls are not fussy eaters (seen here at rubbish dump)|
|A man-made henge (artist's impression). Gulls would feel at home, perched on that "cliff top". The standing stones were a later de luxe feature.|
Update: Tue May 3
Have just placed this comment on the splendid Ancient-Origins site, regarding its recent coverage of the 'mysterious' Korean dolmens. (How silly of me to have overlooked dolmens thus far, given they can be seen as key intermediaries between single standing stones and Stonehenge's lintelled trilithons - think transition from bird perch to bird table!):
Reply to: Looking for the Origins of the Mysterious Dolmens of Korea
Comment Author: Colin BerryOops. This handy feature on Korean dolmens seems to have led to what optimistically might be called the Rosetta Stone of stone circles!
Simply googling (dolmen sky burial) led to a 2011 article in Popular Archaeology detailing the work of Dr.Rami Arav on a series of concentric circles assembled from loose basalt stones in the Golan Heights with a single dolmen at the centre.
Spot the parallels with the henges of England with excavated ditches supplying chalk banks on which birds can perch. Spot the links between standing stones bridged by cross piece lintels (dolmens or geometrically equivalent but megalithic Stonehenge trilithons) making a bigger and better perch for birds (“bird table” in effect). Then compare what Arav has to say regarding excarnation (via sky burial”) and what I have said in my most recent posting:
Yup, I think it’s no exaggeration to state that Arav’s stone circles with central dolmen are the Rosetta Stone which point to excarnation being international common practice in the pre-Bronze Age – from England, to the Middle East to Korea!
Excuse me while I pick up all the scales that have recently fallen from an ageing pair of eyes! When’s English Heritage going to stop introducing Stonehenge in its tourist guide as a “temple”, channelling thought and speculation into scientifically-unproductive channels? Always look first for a utilitarian role first where Neolithic re-arranging of heavy stone is concerned – especially when megalithic...
One of the 10 comments to date accuses the writer of "gruesome, baseless speculation" presumably a reference to the brief (very brief!) mention of sky burial.
One suspects there's a lot more of that kind of sentiment out there. It's understandable I guess, but is a sad reflection all the same on the lack of scientific objectivity that exists out there...