Monuments for life: Building Human Henge at Stonehenge and Avebury
Authors: Darvill, T.
Place of Publication: Oxford
Human Henge was built from two key ideas. First, that Stonehenge, and many other prehistoric and later sites like it, were originally places of healing. And second, that ancient sites can and should have a wide range of societally relevant uses in the modern world. Both ideas are explored here in some detail in order to highlight key themes that were woven together in the development of Human Henge’s cultural heritage therapy. This used the iconic sites of Stonehenge and Avebury and their surrounding landscapes as arenas within which participants could be creative while safely exploring places in unfamiliar ways. Through programmes of participant-led activities, local people living with mental health problems came together for fun and therapeutic adventures, assisted by experts, carers, support workers, and contributors from a range of different cultures. By journeying through the World Heritage Site, spending time at a selection of the monuments, thinking, talking, singing, dancing, and making music, it became possible for them to connect with the landscape, the skyscape, the archaeology, and, most importantly, to re-connect with themselves and with other participants.