In 325 BC or thereabouts, an intrepid Greek explorer named Pytheas of Massilia became the first known foreign person to visit Britain and to record his experiences in writing. Among the many wonders he described on this island were a spherical temple (Stonehenge?) and a city - both sacred to Apollo.

Generations of archaeologists and historians have argued over the location, precise or otherwise, of this mysterious spherical temple. Many people (such as Dennis Price, in the article below) suppose it is Stonehenge, but others have argued for Callanish (stone circle in northern Britain) and elsewhere in Britain....

Lost city found at Stonehenge
By Chris Hooper

Roman Emperor Vespasian ruled what is now South West England for a few years from 43 AD, the year the Romans invaded Britannia and made it a part of the Roman Emperor. Britainnia's Governor from 43AD to 47AD was Aulus Plautius, Britannia's first Governor, during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Vespasian was his second-in-command when he invaded. Vespasian would probably have been to Stonehenge whilst in the South West, and a giant prehistoric earthwork a mile from the famous monument is named after him.

Could Stonehenge be the site of the lost city of Apollo?

A RENOWNED archaeologist, who shot to national prominence last year with his amazing discovery of Stonehenge's lost alter stone by a roadside in Berwick St James, now claims to have found the famed lost city of Apollo in the land around Stonehenge.

Dennis Price, who is an expert on the history of Stonehenge and who used to work with Wessex Archaeology, believes the lost city of Apollo is located at King's Barrow Ridge, overlooking Stonehenge.

The lost city is believed by many to be mythical but, after working with language experts at Exeter University, Mr Price is convinced the city exists and that it is right here on the outskirts of Salisbury.

The team painstakingly deciphered the works of an ancient Greek mariner named Pytheas of Massilia.

Mr Price explained that Pytheas was known to have visited Britain in around 325 BC and in his chronicles he wrote of the lost city of Apollo and a site similar to Stonehenge.

He said: "There is a passage that apparently refers to Stonehenge which has long fascinated people, but there is also a repeated reference made to a city sacred to Apollo which has gone completely unremarked upon."

It was this which first intrigued Mr Price and led him to look a little harder at Pytheas' text. And this deeper investigation allowed him to find the exact location of the city.

He said: "Just a mile or so to the east of Stonehenge is a gigantic prehistoric earthwork called Vespasian's Camp, named in later years by William Camden, after the same Vespasian who subjugated the south west of England during the Roman invasion of Britain in 43AD.

"It is invariably described as an Iron Age hill fort, yet excavations there have shown the existence of far earlier Neolithic pits, while there still exist the remains of early Bronze Age funeral barrows, showing the site was in use while nearby Stonehenge was being constructed.

"Vespasian's Camp lies at the bottom of a slope occupied further up by what is known as the King's Barrow Ridge, overlooking Stonehenge, while this is further divided into the New King Barrow and Old King Barrow.

"Vespasian's Camp cannot be seen from Stonehenge, but it lies to the east of the ruins, in the direction of the rising sun. As Apollo had largely become thought of as a Sun god by the time Pytheas was writing, it is an obvious connection.

"Given the huge scale of the earthworks at Vespasian's Camp, it is not unthinkable that Pytheas may have thought of Troy, another city sacred to or beloved of Apollo, as some later versions of the stories of this place speak of Apollo building the walls there along with Poseidon.

"We cannot know precisely how Pytheas came to equate the sanctuary, the temple and the city with Apollo, but it is not unthinkable that some future excavation at Stonehenge might provide evidence of this."

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Last edited by Blackleaf; Aug 24th, 2007 at 01:11 PM..