Time for a new Stonehenge?
News has emerged that the new Stonehenge visitor centre will contain a 360 cinema so that visitors to the site can experience what it feels like to stand inside the stone circle.
How about this for an idea – rather than reconstruct the experience digitally, why not just build a new one there instead?
**Update – people have contacted me and expressed concerns about the accuracy of a physical reconstruction – well the good news is that in 2011 Stonehenge was laser scanned and surveyed to within a micrometre of its life – the data from this project would be ideal reference material for such a project.
Pros and cons
Pros of a digital version.
You’ll be inside out of the rain. You can have midsummer/winter sunsets/sunrises any time you like.
You’ll be inside. Some of you will have travelled halfway around the world to catch a glimpse of a group of artfully arranged rocks on a wide chalk plain. Rubbing shoulders with a bunch of people in a darkened room in a building 1.5 miles from your desired destination may not add to your feelings of accomplishment.
Regardless of how much money is spent on the movie, it’s going to look dated in 5 years time.
Pros of a stone version.
You’ll be outside. You won’t have sunrise/sunset on tap, but you will be able to wander around and get a sense of the scale of the monument.
The opportunities for experimental archaeology will be almost as HUGE as the publicity it would generate.
If it is built to scale it will be 3 times the size of the 360 degree cinema.
Even if the initial build price is higher than the cinema (and I have my doubts), the maintenance will be zero.
It won’t look dated in 5 years time. Come to think of it, depending on the materials used, it won’t look dated in 5,000 years time.
Answers on a postcard please. Or, better still, use the comments section below.