Archaeology News:The Dead of Stonehenge

New research into burials at Stonehenge:

In the past many archaeologists had thought that burials at Stonehenge continued for only about a century, the researchers said.

“Stonehenge was a place of burial from its beginning to its zenith in the mid third millennium B.C. The cremation burial dating to phase is likely just one of many from this later period of the monument’s use and demonstrates that it was still very much a domain of the dead,” Parker Pearson said in a statement.

The researchers also excavated homes nearby at Durrington Walls, which they said appeared to be seasonal homes related to Stonehenge.

“It’s a quite extraordinary settlement, we’ve never seen anything like it before,” Parker Pearson said. The village appeared to be a land of the living and Stonehenge a land of the ancestors, he said.

There were at least 300 and perhaps as many as 1,000 homes in the village, he said. The small homes were occupied in midwinter and midsummer.

full story:

Padre Pio and Me

I just throw out this little story because it’s interesting but may or may not be particularly meaningful.

Time: summer of 2004, about 6 PM

Place: Praiano, Italy, on the Amalfi Coast

My husband Tony and I were vacationing in paradise. We’d rented an idyllic little house in a real neighborhood in Praiano – views of the Mediterranean, Positano, and in a prime position to experience everyday life high above the tourist route. We’d decided to go to the festival of the San Luca, at the church that was perched even higher than our house.

Now, on the corner of our street, there was a statue of 20th century holy man, Padre Pio. When we reached his statue, we knew to turn right.

We’d decided to walk up to the piazza of the church to witness the procession, after which there was a festival with music, food and fireworks. It was a beautiful evening, and we set out for the 1/2 mile walk to the piazza. As we reached Pio’s statue, my left foot slid beneath me, and I skidded along the pavement for a few feet with my right foot twisted under me. Tony helped me up, and above the strap of my sandal, the instep of myfoot was torn and bleeding. Ow, ow, ow…..

Determined not to miss the festa, we continued on, Tony walking and me hobbling. We arrived a bit early and found seats on the wall near the church, eventually attending the service, the procession, and the celebration afterwards. My foot continued to ooze, and we joked a bit about a message from Padre Pio, who, of course is believed to have had stigmata on hands and feet.

I still have the scar. And the memory.

Travel Stories: City of Falling Angels

by John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


Judging from the reviews I’ve read here and there, I’m one of a only a few readers who didn’t notice much difference between Midnight/Good/Evil and City of Falling Angels. Both are light, gossipy little romps through famous, exotic cities, built around a pretext of getting to the bottom of a notorious crime. Both books lack focus, and don’t really solve their crimes. Outs me in mind a bit of Dominick Dunne. But the value of Berendt’s writing lies in the profiles and vignettes that swirl around in somewhat formless fashion. Berendt is a decent researcher who tries to stick to the facts, which are often colorful enough to need no embellishment. He is also a capable writer. Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. Reading City of Falling Angels is like visiting little corners of Venice piecemeal, an activity that can never be boring.

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. ” Tom Clancy