Play as the prelude to peace

In World War One, the Germans and the English stopped killing each other at Christmas and played a game of soccer.  They they resumed the war.   Ping-pong diplomacy helped open up the relationship between Communist China and the US.  The combination of South Korean and North Korean female ice hockey players forming one team to play in the recent Winter Olympics helped make the breakthrough which led to the new kind of relationship between the two Koreas, and with the US.  As we ponder the path from war to peace, and the path to avoid war in the first place, let us ponder the role of play.  It is not to be underestimated.

The design is evolving

In this design, stones are added to give it the full Peacehenge flavor.  Again this is a concept along the path to the final version.    JT

peacehenge best 4_22_2018 copy

Oasis of peace

A small community called Wahat al-Salam, Neve Shalom, was founded in the late 1970s by four families, Jews and Arabs, on a hill-top between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It was a pioneering experiment in peaceful co-existence in the long Middle East conflict. Four decades on, it is now home to more than 60 families. Two of its long-standing residents, Nava Sonnenschein and Daoud Boulus, talk about life in this oasis of peace.  To see a film clip about this click here:

Peacehenge – architectural rendering

Architect David Mark Lane is working with me and retired architect, Thore Edgren, on rendering versions of Peacehenge, as we develop the overall aesthetic.

Peacehenge - DML screen grab_04_15_2018

Here is the latest version we have been working on, rendered by David Mark Lane.  The stones and sculptures have not been added into this version; they will be added back in the next version.    JT


Peacehenge gets non-profit status

We just received, by mail, notification from Sacramento that Peacehenge, Inc, is a registered non-profit in the state of California.  The effective date for Peacehenge becoming a non-profit is March 12, 2018.  Now it’s on to obtaining federal tax-exempt status!  Step by step, scoop by scoop, stone by stone, form by form, Peacehenge is built!

The US military gets an increase of $80 billion

In the latest budget just approved by the US Congress, the Pentagon gets an extra $80 billion.  This is the biggest annual increase since Reagan was in the White House.  One problem they have is that they have to spend this in the current fiscal year, or they lose it.  That is what might be called a serious problem.  A related question is how much is the Department of Peace getting?  Hold on, let me just check something……oh yes, I overlooked something.  There is no Department of Peace.  And there is no allocation in the new US budget for Peace-building.  The latest released figures on annual spending, show that defense contractors Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman and General Dynamics paid $53 million to lobbyists.  It’s an impressive system we have devised.


Peacehenge focuses on several cultural dimensions; peace being the major theme.

When I met recently with Neil Cooper, the head of the Peace Studies Department at the University of Bradford in England, I asked him what is the best book on the subject of peace, and he said Oliver Richmond’s book called Peace: A very short introduction.

Then there is the centrality of Stonehenge providing its monumental artistic inspiration.  When I visited the place in February, I asked the historical expert there on the site what’s the best book to read on Stonehenge.  He said Mike Parker Pearson’s book, Stonehenge, Making sense of a prehistoric mystery.

I highly recommend both books.   JT

The role of aliens

There is a strong tradition of thought that aliens helped people build monuments like Stonehenge and Machu Picchu.   However, meticulous archeology suggests that Neolithic and pre-industrial societies had both the simple technology and the people-power to create these edifices without assistance from beings from outer space.


If the aliens who are out there right now can read our websites, texts and emails, they surely know that they could be of help in building Peacehenge.  However, I don’t think we really need them.   I include this blog post so you, the reader, can see my position on this, and also to let any aliens know, who might be reading this, if they want to volunteer, to email or text me.  Otherwise we will make this a purely human endeavor.   JT

The building of Stonehenge – part of a ceremonial celebration. Peacehenge will borrow this!

Today, Susan Greaney, from English Heritage, which manages the Stonehenge site, said they now believe that Neolithic people who built Stonehenge did not want to make “things as easy and quick as possible”.  Building the monument was as important as “its final intended use,” she added.  Many of the builders most likely participated in a kind of celebratory pilgrimage to help construct the monument.  This line of reasoning follows the discovery of a feasting site at the nearby Durrington Walls settlement (standing stones at the Durrington Walls site are pictured below) which appears to have attracted people from all over the country to help build Stonehenge.

durrington walls

Historians think holding ceremonial feasts close to the Stonehenge site to celebrate the build “was potentially a powerful tool in demonstrating the strength of the community.”  This theory gets some support from a photo taken during a monolithic stone-moving ceremony on the island of Nias, Indonesia, in 1915. It shows people in ceremonial dress “revelling in the seemingly arduous task of moving enormous monoliths by hand.”  Festivities and celebrations most likely accompanied these events.

Indonesia 1915 monolith raising

Ms Greaney adds: “As soon as you abandon modern preconceptions which assume Neolithic people would have sought the most efficient way of building Stonehenge, questions like why the bluestones were brought from so far away – 155 miles from the Preseli Hills in Wales – don’t seem quite so perplexing.”

In order to test the celebration theory, English Heritage began moving a replica stone today, using teams of volunteers in an “experiential archeology” project(One thing they don’t mention is how they will build in feasting and dancing!)

The bluestones were probably transported via water networks and hauled over land, using large numbers of people for the long and difficult journey.

The first monument at Stonehenge was, in part, a circular earthwork enclosure with a ring of 56 timber posts, built just over 5,000 years ago.  At the base of the timber posts were cremated human remains, indicating it was, in one sense, a cemetery.  This less than durable structure was replaced 4,500 years ago with the very durable large Sarsen stones and smaller bluestones – many of which we still see today at Stonehenge.

Most archeologists believe the Sarsens – comprising sandstone – were brought from the Marlborough Downs, 20 miles away. The Sarsens weigh on average 25 tons, with the largest stone, the Heel Stone, weighing about 30 tons.  The Heel Stone famously casts a shadow on a central part of the monument at dawn on the summer solstice (assuming in sometimes cloudy England, there is sunlight at this critical point!)   

When we build Peacehenge, we will have some design elements that will be “quotes” from the original Stonehenge, meaning trilathons – two large vertical stones, topped by a lintel stone.   For at least one of the trilathons, we will use probable Neolithic techniques and technology to move the stones and erect them at the Peacehenge site.  And, yes, we will have a feast and dancing to encourage participation!  JT