Evolution of Round Druid Temples

From open air henges to round urban temples made of stone. Round Temples always represented powers of the Druid life-class. Square temple involved powers of the Druid motion class and Indo-European deities.

Woodhenge Near Teil, Netherlands

(February 13, 2024) Henges originated as solar observatories' when the Druid priests could tell farmers when to start planting various crops. From that start they became ever more elaborate ritual and community centers. Like Stonehenge, this one was active during the 800 years before the Indo-Europeans arrived in the area around 2200 BCE. After the Indo-Europeans arrived burials started appearing around the now disused site and this practice lasted until the Great Bronze Age ending drought of 1200 BCE. This shows some level of cultural continuity of memory until the Great Drought caused new migrations and a remixing of people.

Reconstructed Wood Henge Near Teil, Netherlands

(February 13, 2024) Wood henges generally don't survive although survival is more likely if they as associated with mounds and earthen circles as is the case here.


Geggle, Laura (June 23, 2023) 4,500-year-old 'Stonehenge' sanctuary discovered in the Netherlands. Live Science

Bead From Mesopotamia Found at Teil Woodhenge

(February 13, 2024) The discovery of this bead shows long distance trade between Akkadian speaking Mesopotamia and Akkadian speaking Europe.


Geggle, Laura (June 23, 2023) 4,500-year-old 'Stonehenge' sanctuary discovered in the Netherlands. Live Science

Map Showing Location of Teil Near the Meuse and Rhine Rivers

This woodhenge was located at a center of ancient trade.

English Transcript of Video

(February 13, 2024) In Tiel, archaeologists have discovered a 4000-year-old open-air sanctuary with burial mounds. It was no less than three  football fields large with several hills. In the hills people were buried. The largest Hill was also a solar calendar 20 m in diameter. There were 60 men, women and children buried around it in a ditch with open passages to the hill.  

Archaeologists discovered that these passages formed a solar calendar. The sun shines through them on the shortest and longest day  of the year. People used the calendar to determine important events like feast and harvest days. 

Archaeologists also discovered that the sunbeams passed through the openings towards other important places in the landscape. These probably had a ritual significance such as indicating directions to a large farm or to another burial field.

Archaeologists also found something special. They found the oldest glass bead in the Netherlands. This bead comes all the way from Mesopotamia, a distance of almost 5,000 km and that was 4000 years ago. Who was the person who made this special bead and why was it sacred for 4000 years ago. That's one more of the riddles surrounding the sanctuary of Tiel.

High Place Ritual Circle in Israel (1100 BCE)

High Place" on the top of a hill in northern Israe
Remains of a "High Place" on the top of a hill in northern Israel. From Biblical Historical Context Blog
Ritual circle in iron age northern Israel
Drawing of the ritual circle. The alter faces south towards the sun. (From Mazar 1982)

Mirror Found At High Place

(July 9, 2022) Photo the the carefully wrapped bronze mirror with its broken off handle at the bottom. This object was placed carefully by a wall suggesting it was a part of the ceremony closing the circle (From Mazar 1982). 

Israelite High Place Ritual Circle for Life Powers

(July 9, 2022) These small ritual circles seem to have been common serving clusters of small villages but now very few remain. Wood was scarce so stones were used. The Hebrew Scriptures describe high places (bamot) and sacred stones (masaboth) as being located "upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree" (Deut 12:2-3; 1 Kgs 14:23; 2 Kgs 16:4, 17:10-11; Isa 65:7; Jer 2:20, 17:2; Ezek 6:13, 20:28; Hos 4:13). 

This well preserved one was found accidentally in Northern Israel. The site is surrounded by villages established during the Iron Age 1 period (1180 to 1000 BCE).

The only ritual objects found were a folded bronze mirror, a bronze bull, and a flint sickle indicating the rituals involved the sun (Hu), rain (Ba'al) and grain harvesting. These were found beside the outer wall. A mirror would have been used in some sort of sun ritual for reflecting its rays. That it was folded and hidden suggests it was deliberately destroyed when the ritual circle was closed prior to abandonment.

Inside the enclosure were found a few cooking pots indicating meals were  prepared within it. Flint tools were also found. Of the 96 flints recovered, 24 are tools, 12 are cores, and 60 fall into various categories. These tools included three perforators, 5 scrapers, 1 sickle, 9 notches and denticulates, 2 multipurpose tools (a nosed scraper and a notched borer), 2 miscellaneous retouched pieces, 1 truncated piece, and 1 small scraper resembling a thumbnail scraper. These other tools indicate leathers were assembled into objects.

The high number of flake cores implies that these tools (except the sickle) were produced on the site. As is common in Bronze and Iron Age sites, no blade cores were recovered, implying that the sickle, manufactured on a blade segment, was imported.


Biblical Historical Context Blog: https://biblicalhistoricalcontext.com/trips/a-visit-to-the-bull-site/
Mazar, A (1982) The Bull Site - An Iron Age 1 Open Cult Place.  Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. No. 247 (Summer, 1982), pp. 27-42. https://doi.org/10.2307/1356477https://www.jstor.org/stable/1356477
Mazar, A. (Oct 1983) Bronze Bull Found in Israelite “High Place” from the Time of the Judges. Biblical Archaeology Review 9:5, Online at: https://www.baslibrary.org/biblical-archaeology-review/9/5/1
Bull Found at High Place in northern Israel

Bull Found at High Place (1100 BCE)

(July 9, 2022) This bronze bull was found near the western wall of the site. This bull differs from the bull from nearby Hazor  which had extensions on the hooves to attach to attach it to something. This bull has well defined genitalia demonstrating potency and power and deep eye sockets which may once have held semi-precious stones. The figurine is 17.5 cm. long and 12.4 cm high. It was produced using the "lost wax" technique with the  opening mark for the smelted bronze visible at the top of the neck.

It is now on display in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. (photo from Biblical Archaeology Society). 

High Place Video

The video begins and ends looking at the standing stone. From Biblical Historical Context Blog.

Bronze Bull Found at Hazor Israel

Bull Found at Hazor Israel (1300 BCE)

(July 9, 2022) Bronze bull from Royal Sanctuary in area A dating to 1400-1200 BCE. This room was located south of the southern temple, the Royal. The sanctuary  was built with thick mudbrick walls, wooden floors, an ornate pillared entryway and basalt orthostats. Its simple, symmetrical plan closely follows patterns found in other Canaanite temples. (image from Sharon Zuckerman at https://www.baslibrary.org/images/bsba320203521ljpg

Reconstructed Circular Temple (Tholos) at Sanctuary of Asclepios at Epidaurus, Greece

(February 13, 2024) This was built in the 300's BCE probably as a replacement for an earlier one. This was the most popular healing sanctuary in Greece. Patients would sleep in this temple and report any dreams. Notice the ramp for those having difficulty in walking. Asclepios was the healing power of the sun god Apollo (Druid Hu). After lordification which enforced the personification of deities, he became the son of Apollo.


Laura Geggel (July 21, 2020)  Ancient Greeks may have built 'disability ramps' on some temples at: https://www.livescience.com/ancient-greek-temples-disability-ramps.html

Top View Circular Temple (Tholos) at Sanctuary of Asclepios at Epidaurus, Greece

(February 13, 2024) Notice its inner path behind the inner columns. We do not know where the patients were placed inside.


Olmsted personal photo (2019) taken at museum at Sanctuary of Epidaurus, Greece

Round Temple of Vesta/Hercules in Rome

(February 13, 2024) While this usually called the temple of Vesta and sometimes the temple of Hercules, no evidence actually exists as to  what deity it represented. It survived because it was turned into a chapel for a time. Its columns like all temple columns represented the trees of more ancient times.


Photo by Mark Cartwright (2013) at: https://www.worldhistory.org/image/2046/temple-of-vesta-rome/