Stonehenge at Winter Solstice. Photo: Getty.

Stonehenge: More like Dickhenge? One archaeologist posits such a theory.

The Telegraph points to new analysis by Professor Terence Meaden, who looked at stone circles across Britain, including Stonehenge, “filming their changing silhouettes during sunrise on ritually significant dates of the year.” He argues that the purpose of these sites was, essentially, to create giant shadow dicks for ritual purposes. “My basic discovery is that many stone circles were built at a time of a fertility religion, and that stones were positioned such that at sunrise on auspicious dates of the year phallic shadows would be cast from a male-symbolic stone to a waiting female-symbolic stone,” said Meaden. Regarding Stonehenge specifically:

“At Stonehenge on days of clear sunrise the shadow of the externally sited phallic Heel Stone penetrates the great monument in the week of the summer solstice and finally arrives at the recumbent Altar Stone, which is symbolically female. Devised in the late Neolithic this could be a dramatic visual representation of the cosmic consummation of the gods between a sky father and the earth mother goddess.”

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This is not the prevailing interpretation of the site, which has in recent years has yielded interesting new finds thanks to advancing technology. The whole area is rich with archeological points of interest, and it’s really an incredibly complex network of sites from many centuries. In a 2015 New York Times article, one expert posited that Stonehenge served as a land of the dead, a place where the ancients honored their ancestors, while another suggested it became a place of healing, like Lourdes.

Meaden’s colleagues are not necessarily convinced, however. Said Professor Mike Paker-Pearson of University College London, a leading authority on the site: “Why would phalli have lintels on top? It’s just bonkers.” Why, indeed?