Hawkins' Antecedent Theory On Stonehenge: A Study In British Historiography
The subject of this thesis, an ancient monument called Stonehenge, is very possibly one of the most controversial topics of English pre-history. Knowing all too well that personal bias is impossible to either avoid or delete, I vowed at a very early date to do one thing if at all humanly possible. Since it is not difficult to loose oneself by going off on a tangent or to overly criticize an all too familiar subject, I pledged that I would attempt, at the very least, to retain "perspective," This thesis will span a good amount of both highly interesting and controversial material. The first chapter will furnish the reader with all the necessary background information on the various construction periods plus a few of the latest developments that have radically altered or are in the process of altering the entire outlook on this structure. I would point out at this time that the reader may desire to eliminate some of this preliminary information in the hopes of immediately arriving at the heart of this paper. However, I cannot emphasize enough that to reach any understanding what- soever of this subject, one must have, of necessity, sufficient background information before any theory can be justly evaluated in light of both its insights and shortcomings. Chapter two will supply the reader with brief summaries of the various theories espoused on Stonehenge from 1620 to 1965. A particular note of interest is the development of general patterns (i.e., religious influence) with interspersed periods of rather strange proposals. At any rate, these theories may provide the reader with invaluable insights to the various ways scholars of the l?th through the 20th centuries have looked at this monument. As is evidenced by the title of this thesis, I selected one particular theoretician’s contribution to the ever increasing list of works written on Stonehenge. I found Professor Hawkins' theory not only interesting, but highly controversial as well. I wish to point out to the reader at this time that Professor Hawkins makes many implications in his theory which he does not fully realize. I have selected the third chapter to present a thorough discussion of several key points I feel Hawkins should have discussed or, at the very least, have mentioned during the course of his presentation. I am fully aware, however, that there are presently many areas in this field lacking sufficient supporting information which would allow one, at the minimum, the right of speculation. My concluding chapter will indicate new evidence which could alter the existing theories quite radically. These new bits of information will direct the researcher to new areas which may reveal some startling insights to both the origin and purpose of this structure. After all, this is what man has been hoping to discover since the first theory was published.