This will be a short post. I have a migraine after walking along the Pantano Wash in the wind that was carrying large amounts of pollen and dust. The wind makes me want to sing Sons of the Pioneers songs. Then I was supposed to write this post all about the patriarchy and angles vs circles in architecture.
I’ve been on cloud nine since I figured out that the Hessian deserter who started my patrilineal story in the US was Friedrick Hille with an “e”. But it is still a male’s name that claimed a woman as chattel by changing the woman’s name to theirs to show ownership. I bet the early henges (like hedges but made with dirt) in the Orkneys were from a society that were awed by the power of women. Birth was still understood as a powerful, liminal, and very dangerous. Yes, circles in a culture show extreme (in EU time-speak) age and a simpler organizing principle in social structure than an agricultural one. Maybe horticultural, and definitely gatherer and hunter level. Probably transitional society in Northernmost Scotland.
I was going to wax poetic about how earthen henges are so terribly feminine and how material culture speaks volumes and even suggests likely societal organization found in nomads and pastoralists.
CIRCLES AND STONES
There are lots of reasons to make buildings round. Historically and prehistorically round homes preceded angles and straight walls. The linear builds of Rome obviously came from a culture with more formalized architecture.
Henges are earthen ditches and mounded circles of banked up earth that later builds also have standing stones akin to Stonehenge but not as finely crafted that show demarcation of sacred places.
There is no causal linkages, only statistically significant correlations between these rounded ceremonial structures and a culture that seems to show less hierarchy and no evidence for specializations in patriarchy. We used to joke about the phallocentric linearity of later culture.
I wish I could write more but this migraine won’t allow me to say much more. What we build reflects how we view and organize ourselves. Architecture and social structure are related.