Stonehenge in Kharkiv, Ukraine Now Gone!

“Scythian Heritage” or Ukrainian Stonehenge, photo by @annimosomnia on Instagram

Sad news: one of the Stonehenge sculptures we had been planning to put on our large permanent list was dismantled in January. The sculpture, in Kharkiv, Ukraine and entitled Scythian Heritage, included a Stonehenge-like sculpture of concrete blocks, some marked with symbols, and a few stylised human figures in imitation of ancient Scythian statues. On the 4th of January the Kharkiv city government without notifying the sculptor, Eugene Kulik, had the sculpture dismantled. The artist was not even told where the pieces were taken. :’-(

You can see a short video walk-through taken about a week before its sudden disappearance at this link from @rtplaysocial on Instagram.

We’re always sorry to see a Stonehenge go! And it may be a while before anyone in Ukraine is thinking about building Stonehenges again. Best wishes to everyone there.

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Magyar Stonehenge, Sculptures on Zalahaláp Mountain!

One of the trilithons in the Awakening Volcano Sculpture Park

A new addition to our list of 100 Large Permanent Replicas (which is soon to be removed to a better url)! In the western end of Hungary, not far from Lake Balaton, is a basalt mining area that includes Zalahaláp Mountain (whose correct name may possibly be Haláp Mountain—Hungarian is not one of our languages). So much stone was removed during the 20th century mining years, which included World War I and World War II, that the former volcano which once rose to 358 meters now measures only 291 meters and is flat on top except for a rock cliff on one side. The mountain experienced some basalt mining during Roman times too.

An educational trail highlighting the history and natural features of the place now takes hikers to the flat space and on up to the highest point. A popular feature of the trail is the Awakening Volcano Sculpture Park, a set of sculptures made from the basalt of the mountain and commemorating the mines and the people who worked in them. And of course we wouldn’t be talking about it if there weren’t a trilithon or two involved!

We first started seeing the trilithons on Instagram a while ago when we did our daily Stonehenge searches, as they are often tagged #Stonehenge, but it took a while for us to learn the story behind them. One of the pleasing aspects of what we do is that every Stonehenge has an interesting story and a creative person or people behind it. In this case the sculptors are Rhea Marmentini and Zoltán Balanyi. The sculpture park and educational trail were just finished in 2019.

What prompted the sculptors to include trilithons among their mountain top sculptures? We would love to know. They certainly seem to create an Instagrammable view with the backdrop of the broad green landscape reaching to other mountains in the far distance. These are known as the Witness Mountains and of them we read in translation:

The most beautiful natural values of the Balaton Uplands are the so-called „tanúhegyek” (Witness Mountains) which were given this name because they are witnesses to the pre-historic times. 

Several million years ago, the mountains didn’t create a chain but stood alone out of the Pannon-sea. 20 million years ago, when the majority of the area of the country was covered by salty water, a significant volcanic activity took place here, due to which the shapes and forms of today were created.

So today we learned about Lake Balaton, also known as the Hungarian Sea, which is the largest lake in Central Europe and about the Witness Mountains as well as basalt mining in Hungary. Here at Clonehenge we love that our pursuits take us to new, interesting, and beautiful places and force us to learn new things about the world. We have many more Stonehenges to add to the blog. Who knows what we’ll learn next!

Thank you for stopping in and until next time, friends, happy henging!



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Kemi, Finland: the Stonehenge of Keijo Nevaranta

Keijo Nevaranta: Stone Age 1998 from his Facebook page

Because of Kari Kola’s brilliant Snowhenge we’ve been thinking a lot more about Finland lately. (We can’t really say this is Finland’s day in the sun. We believe that day is in June. Haha. Sorry.) Sadly the wonderful Snowhenge can’t be added to our List of Large Permanent Replicas since before long it will melt, but that doesn’t mean Finland doesn’t make our list at all! Near the border between Finland and Sweden on the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia in a park in the city of Kemi stands a granite sculpture modeled after Stonehenge, entitled Stone Age. It was designed by artist and poet Keijo Nevaranta and donated to the city in 1998.

Built roughly on a 1/2 scale of Stonehenge itself, it is oriented to the same directions as the original so that it marks “the sunrise of the summer solstice, the sunrise of the winter solstice, [and] the northernmost and southernmost of the moon” according to Mr. Nevaranta’s blog. He states, “Like Stonehenge, the original idea of ​​”Stone Age” has been to move something from the spiritual tradition of mankind over time to the end of the second millennium and the following centuries, from the dawn of mankind to perhaps the twilight of mankind.” (A bit ominous but, it must be said, not inappropriate.)

We were curious about how firmly the stones are set into the ground, and we find the artist says, “When I designed the work and applied for a building permit from the City of Kemi, the city representatives were promised a 2,000-year warranty on the work. Yes, it will remain upright in this place for at least as long as Stonehenge, which is at the base of nature. This is better established.” Turns out it has concrete bases for the stones.

From what we have read, the artist devoted 18 months to the design and creation of the work. It was paid for by Ahti Mäntylä, owner of a granite mine who wanted a monument to the Finnish mining industry and to the Elijärvi mine, Finland’s largest mine, not far north of Kemi.

There is Frisbie golf at the Kemi Stonehenge! Photo from Mikko M. on Four Square

Stone Age stands in a park in Kemi. At one time the park, Ruutinpuisto, was threatened by development, but that threat seems to have passed for now, as some photos of the sculpture are pretty recent.

As for the monument from our point of view, it looks good but a bit in the mode of the Rolla, Missouri Stonehenge, small, without bluestones, and with very straight and even shapes for the stones. The artist says the reason for the straight lines is to create a visual conversation with the city buildings nearby. The inner trilithon horseshoe does face the three-lintel stretch, always a sign that someone’s paying attention. We’re convinced Mr. Nevaranta was paying close attention to Stonehenge as he conceived and created the work.

We were delighted to find this Stonehenge replica in far away Lapland! We first saw it on Twitter in June, in a video posted by @kaukamieli which can be seen here. The caption says, “”Mooooommmm! Let’s go see Stonehenge!” “We have Stonehenge at home.” Stonehenge at home:” He is obviously unimpressed. 😂
https://twitter.com/kaukamieli/status/1410212893451243520?s=20

We will add Mr. Nevaranta’s excellent sculpture to our list of large permanent replicas and hope that no one talks the city council into letting them develop the park and destroy it. We would love to find our way to Finland one day and see it in person! There is one more Stonehenge-ish structure in Finland beside this and the ephemeral Snowhenge. We’ll have to tell you about that one some time!

Have a great weekend, friends, and until next time, happy henging!

Sausagehenge: Starting the Friday Foodhenge on This Blog!

Vegan Sausagehenge!

In order to bring this blog alive we’re going to start posting a Friday foodhenge here as we do on all of our social media accounts. We’ll start with this vegan sausagehenge which is exactly as absurd as we need it to be as we launch this new feature! Posted by @student_veganlife on Instagram.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends, and don’t forget to henge! 😄

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Kari Kola’s Snowhenge: Until it Melts!

Snowhenge

A full-sized Stonehenge sculpted from snow—one of those things we didn’t know we needed until we saw it! [See a short but wonderful video of the sculpture here] Look at the shapes of the trilithons and the arrangement of the “stones” of this Snowhenge in Finland. Time and thought have been taken to make it seem like the real one. I would love to experience what it’s like to walk among them!

This remarkable installation arose from the brilliant mind of Finnish light artist Kari Kola. On his Facebook page he writes:

I wanted to create something iconic to these harsh times and i was thinking the strongest places i’ve been… then everything was clear! Let’s build Stonehenge on 1:1 scale from snow! Project is called Snowhenge! It’s been a privilege to work with ice-sculpting masters Mr. Anssi Kuosa and Mr. Lkhagvadorj “George” Dorjsuren with this project. Also this wouldn’t be possible without creative construction consultant Mr. Brendan Savage from Ireland to realize the exact scale and positions. Also it’s a privilege to be supported from Stonehenge, thank you Jessica Trethovan and Jennifer Davies! This is located in my gardens at my hometown Joensuu before it melts.”

An article about the snowhenge in Finnish STT info says “The multiple Finnish master of ice sculpture Anssi Kuosa has been responsible for the sculpture together with the world champion of Mongolian ice sculpture Lkhagvadorj “George” Dorjsure. Kola asked Brendan Savage, an Irish creative construction technology consultant with more than 30 years of experience in large structures and scale, to join the project.

Kola’s snowhenge is also lit by the artist.

The article goes on to say, “Stonehenge has never before been built on a 1: 1 scale from snow. The stone circle is 32m in diameter and the largest stones are about 6m high. Construction of the project started on 27.12. and the project has been under construction by about 10 people. The complex is expected to be on view until mid-March in the Botanical Garden in Joensuu, owned by Kola.

That is, until it melts. Is it just us or does anyone else hope there is a lengthy timelapse of it melting when this is all over? Watching Stonehenge Melt seems like a good title for a video, or for something at least.

Part of Kola’s motivation for making the Stonehenge is to encourage the creative arts. On his Facebook post about the Stonehenge replica he also writes: “I think it’s very important to remember history and importance of culture and arts. In these crazy times with the pandemic its been very sad to see many governments to have very low support for the arts and artist. I hope that the project will inspire other artists to keep creating beautiful projects all over the planet.

What a wonderful project,! It’s the kind of thing that shows something we’ve reflected on from time to time. Doing Clonehenge allows us to see the best and most creative sides of people at a time when it’s easy to forget that humanity has a good side. Think of all the thought, planning, work, and certainly money that has gone into making this beautiful sculpture that has no practical use. It was built knowing that before long it will melt away. Instead of men at work, although they have certainly worked, it is in a sense men at play. For us this makes the list, with Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge, of our favourite Stonehenge replicas of all time. Bravo to its creators and to the spirit of creativity and joy that it embodies!

People in this world with us are still brilliant, doing brilliant things! We can’t wait to see what you do. So until next time, friends, happy henging!

Late-breaking news: since posting this we found this wonderful 360° experience of Kola’s Snowhenge, which allows the user to view it as if from inside, even providing a choice of day or nighttime! https://360panorama.fi/360BotaniaTalvipuutarha/

How to Build Stonehenge! And Possibly Restore a Blog?

Mike Pitts’ new book, out in February

Well, here’s the story. For the last few years we have neglected this original Clonehenge blog, focusing instead on our presence on Twitter, Facebook, and eventually Instagram. Recently we’ve even dreamed of getting a cute animé 2-D avatar and becoming a Clonehenge V-tuber! Why not? We have to move with the times. 😉 Meanwhile we’ve let this WordPress blog fall into ruins, littered with broken links and humour that we (unlike everyone else) once thought funny but that is now super cringe. This past year we were even considering deleting the blog once we completed the mythical possibly never-to-be-completed Clonehenge World Map.

BUT things happen, plans change, often precipitated by unforeseen events. In this case the unforeseen event is called Mike Pitts*, or more properly a book written by him, set to be released in a few weeks, the book you see above entitled How to Build Stonehenge. Written by Pitts, well known archaeologist, journalist and Stonehenge scholar and enthusiast (he’s shown up on this blog in the past, I believe, bouncing on Jeremy Deller’s inflatable Stonehenge and saying he recognised every stone. Hmm, must check we didn’t say anything in that post we might wish we hadn’t!), the book talks about how Stonehenge was built including the accumulated scholarship of the past plus all of the latest research, with lots of interesting tidbits thrown in to create a uniquely comprehensive and fascinating look at how it came together along with other points of interest about the iconic monument. We think. Haven’t actually read it, since it isn’t out yet, but we will see soon enough.

Normally the announcement of such a book would simply be delightful, if potentially expensive, news. But on the 16th of December of last year the author tweeted out a few photos of his author’s copy including part of a page of the preface and Lo, there in the that image was the name Clonehenge! Our thanks to Tim Daw of the informative Stonehenge website www.sarsen.org for drawing our attention to it. The photo not only mentions the name Clonehenge but also the name of the one behind the curtain, who honestly would never even have guessed that the esteemed Mr. Pitts knew their name.

image of pages of the preface to How to Build Stonehenge: the reference is just over halfway down the right page

Notice however that this mention doesn’t name our Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. No, just this old WordPress blog which frankly we had stuck against the back wall of the garage behind some boxes, old sleds from when the children still lived here, and that former favourite no-longer-working lawnmower that’s just too good to throw away. I think some squirrels actually nested in this blog at some point and when we got it back out last month to have a look we had to dump nut shells, sticks, and grasses out of some of the posts from roughly 2013 to 2016. Yet when the book comes out and people become curious and look us up, this old abandoned wreck is what they’ll see.

So after lengthy panic (our area of expertise!) and a certain amount of contemplation, what we recommend for everyone who sees this is of course to buy Mike Pitts’ book How to Build Stonehenge, to be released 17 February in the U.K. and mid-March in the States, if you haven’t pre-ordered already, and not to look at any posts on this blog that are more than a year or two old. There aren’t any fleas but we can’t guarantee you won’t feel a little itchy after reading some of those old posts.

For our part we will start by writing brief new posts about Stonehenge replicas worldwide not yet added to our Large Permanent Replica list—there are well over 100 now and we need to catch up—and then eventually we’ll go back and improve old posts. There are well over 400 posts on this blog though, so it won’t happen overnight. Please bear with us. There’s only one of us and we have another blog on another subject with many more followers that also requires tending. If you run across any dust or nutshells in the meantime just toss them aside. Squirrels can be such a nuisance.

We thank you for being here, gentle readers, and until the next time, happy henging!

*Mike Pitts’ archaeology journalism blog can be found at Digging Deeper.

Clonehenge Shops



In gearing up for the Clonehenge World Map which is due to be finished by September or October, we commissioned a new logo and a new banner image to use on our social media accounts. In the banner above you can see, left to right, the Odessa, Texas Stonehenge, the Maryhill Washington State Stonehenge, Carhenge in Nebraska, and a small wooden Stonehenge. We think Lena Bane, the artist, did a wonderful job.

The new Clonehenge logo.


A side effect of this is that we can now offer Clonehenge merchandise bearing the new images! To do this we have opened 3 shops on Etsy, one for the U.S., one for the U.K., and one for Australia. All of them are print-on-demand, which means the items are printed after being ordered, in the country where they were ordered, and none have to be shipped internationally unless you are ordering from outside those 3 countries.

You can order from the UK shop here: Clonehenge UK

You can order from the Australian shop here: Clonehenge Australia

And you can order from the US shop here: Clonehenge US

So far we only offer mugs and t-shirts but we’re open to suggestions or requests for other items. (You may not be impressed that we figured out how to make three shops in three different countries but we’re rather chuffed.)

Here we see long time friend of Clonehenge Simon Burrow sporting a brand new Clonehenge t-shirt:

Simon Burrow on Piestewa Peak, Arizona

And here is friend Timon Greenwood with a Clonehenge banner mug!

Timon Greenwood

Purchases will of course help us to defray the costs of having the beautiful graphics created by Lena Bane, @lenabanegx on Twitter. But the best part of course will be how unattainably cool you will become just by owning one of these rare collectors’ items!

The Clonehenge mugs. I’m not sure both versions on all stores right now but that will happen.

So thank you in advance for any purchases you decide to make! By the way, we did another interview recently, this time on BBC Somerset in the U.K., and we think Stonehenge replicas and the ideas around them are just coming into their own. There are a lot of you with fun ideas out there. We can’t wait to see them. And if you buy our merchandise, please send or post pictures!

And until next time, friends, happy henging!

What’s Even More Mysterious than Stonehenge? Find Out in the Clonehenge Interview!

Philip Adams of ABC Radio, Australia.

Hear the wonderful Philip Adams interview Clonehenge on ABC Radio in Australia, here and find out what Clonehenge is all about. The interview was held on 17 May, 2021.

It was an honour to speak with him, and it also turned out to be tremendous fun.

Since it’s that time of year we wish a happy solstice to all, whether it’s winter or summer you’re celebrating. And of course, to all our friends everywhere, happy henging!

(Again, if you missed the link: here it is.)

Clonehenge in the Spotlight: do we indeed want to rock?

83659061_10158023588321834_4402754662843809792_o.jpg

Clonehenge still from the Facebook Super Bowl commercial

The tale we are about to tell you may sound unlikely or even fictional, but in this strange alternative universe to which we have somehow been transported it is 100% true.

In December, a few days before Christmas, I and a small cohort of the Clonehenge faithful (Simon Burrow and Paul Stoffels) were flown, all expenses paid, to L.A. and put up in a swanky Hollywood hotel for two nights. Another member of the Clonehenge: Stonehenge replicas Unleashed Facebook group , Siobhán Jess Sarrels, lived closer and was brought in by limo to meet us the next day where we were ushered into another limo and driven to the site where a set including a small Stonehenge replica had been prepared.

There we were led to a big trailer which was ours for our time there. We were visited by wardrobe and makeup people, met some of the people who had been instrumental in bringing us there, and went to the set. We ended up spending most of the day doing a shoot along with some very genial actors meant to appear to be Clonehenge group members. The main acting direction was to “look badass!” One does what one can.

What we did not know that day (it was at winter solstice, although we were led to believe that this was a coincidence) was that our shoot was to be part of a Super Bowl commercial (advert, ad, whatever word you prefer). On 02/02/2020 it aired. For a brief instant, the name Clonehenge: Stonehenge Replicas Unleashed!, some very good friends of Clonehenge, and the person typing these words—the redhead with the dark glasses*—appeared before a huge audience of American football fans. At last glance, the video of the ad on Youtube alone has had almost 22 million views. Whether they were all me watching it over and over again will remain undisclosed.

Apparently, at least judging by the soundtrack of the video, whether we at Clonehenge headquarters know it or not, we want to rock. This is new information and we are now attempting to assimilate it into our worldview. The effort is ongoing.

At any rate, the whole thing has been a glorious adventure. Not only have 200 new members joined our Facebook group, bringing us over the 500 member mark, but this along with a radio interview we did on Australian Broadcasting in Sydney on the same day the commercial aired brought this blog’s stats up to near record levels.

To be honest, we had always expected to labor over this topic in obscurity until the end of our days, so this all comes as a bit of a shock. We can only assume that having had the 15 minutes of fame granted to everyone by Andy Warhol, we will now be able to crawl back under the rock from which we briefly issued and continue searching out Stonehenges in all the places where we all, frankly, know they should not be. In that sense, come to think of it, perhaps we do want to rock.

We hope to resume our slow listing of large Stonehenge replicas worldwide in the next post. It is likely to be posted with the same grace and lightning-like speed to which readers have become accustomed.

Thank you for finding us or for sticking with us all these years. Until next time, gentle readers, happy henging!

*photoshopping suspected

Find us:
the (now famous?) Facebook group
the Twitter

Moai Coffee, Thailand: We Have SO Many Questions!

Moai Coffee, Ratchaburi, Thailand: a meeting of moai, cyclopean walls, coffee, and of course Stonehenge. Seriously, humanity, how did this happen?  This is one of those instances when the Stonehenge replica gods seem almost malevolently whimsical.

We understand we may have a few new visitors to this site soon, after an advertisement in which Clonehenge is mentioned is shown widely, and this replica may demonstrate the Clonehenge aesthetic to the curious as well as any: contextless prehistory offered as entertainment, with a healthy side of cringe. Here at Clonehenge, this is part of what we love!

Apparently this Stonehenge has been around since at least 2013 (at which time there were sheep grazing through it, but sadly it seems they have disappeared), but somehow we did not get wind of it until last year. Up front, we want to offer real respect to whoever decided to go so hard for the ‘”so bad it’s good” vibe they have going there. Moai Coffee is an instant classic.

The business itself is a coffee and snack-to-light-meal stop on a popular route in western Thailand. In order to amuse and attract people it seems someone decided to give it an Easter Island head, also known as moai, theme. It isn’t clear just how many moai they have, but there are many and each is unique. Some are just big heads of various sizes, some show the entire torso. You can even buy moai mugs as souvenirs. Humourously the rest rooms are differentiated by a moai with a prominent mustache for the mens’ and a moai with brilliant red lipstick for the ladies’! This place clearly was created with the Instagram selfie celeb in mind.

How Stonehenge crept in there is as yet unknown but there is some confusion among many people about whether Stonehenge and Easter Island heads are related. Stonehenge replicas as far flung as Texas, Japan, and Illinois feature moai as accompaniment for reasons that have never been clear to us. Search ‘Stonehenge’ on Etsy and usually you will see one or two moai listed under that tag. There is also a horrible cartoon that shows a moai on one side of the world and Stonehenge somehow exactly opposite on the other side, with a body between them so that Stonehenge looks like its toes. People send us this cartoon often. (Please stop!)

Listen, we know there is a Youtube video of someone walking around Moai Coffee pointing at the moai and describing them as “stone men from Stonehenge, England” but we will not post that link here. He has been corrected many times in the comments, and besides we refuse to let it continue to ruin our lives. (Is it true that we gripped our heads in both hands and yelled at the screen the first time we saw it? I’m afraid that is merely unconfirmed rumour.)

There are cyclopean walls at Moai Coffee much like those at Sacsayhuamán in Peru, and a few photos show an ancient Egyptian motif in one area or another. We’re all about the Stonehenge stuff here, but the conglomeration of random cool-looking ancient stuff is also a phenomenon worth examining. Not by us, of course. Please, someone go examine it and get back to us.

As for the quality of the replica itself, we judge it very good. The shapes of the stones are rough and close to accurate, which is rare. There is no attempt to make them uniform, a common error, but instead they capture the ancient rugged feel of the real thing. We don’t know whether it is aligned to the winter solstice, or if the lintels are curved but it does appear someone made sure that the inner trilithon horseshoe points toward the three-lintel stretch, one of our favourite tests for whether a builder actually looked at the current Stonehenge when they made it.

This clonehenge gets the official Clonehenge stamp of approval. 8/10, would visit! We will add this to our growing list of large permanent replicas. We have enough left that we have yet to post to take us over the coveted 100 number, so stay tuned. Don’t forget, you can get much more wholesome Clonehenge content on our Facebook group, which is the most active, our Twitter account, and our Facebook page.

We’ll be doing a post about the advert we appear in before long. Until then, friends, new and old, happy henging!