Sun God Down: What Happened to the Bell Beaker Solar God?

Ancient Europe has something of a missing Sun God problem. Certain prehistoric cultures probably bequeathed a powerful Solar God-Concept to later generations, starting in the Age of Bronze. But why does so much of Iron-Age (read: historical) Europe seem to be missing the Solar Gods you’d expect to see?

In my book The House of the Giantess I make a proposal that the Bell Beaker culture of prehistoric Europe was centered on a supreme divinity who had three characteristic features: he was an archer, he was associated with entheogenic or visionary experiences mostly derived from ingesting Henbane (perhaps mixed with other things) in a sacred drink, and he had solar qualities. To say that he had solar qualities is not the same as claiming he was a “Sun God”, though he may have been. To say he was a solar divinity is to suggest that he was associated with the wider spectrum of features we lump together as “solar”: light, radiance, warmth, heat and life-force, healing, fertility, vision and sight, and the sky-world above the earth.

In my book, I describe the building of the later phases of the great monument Stonehenge and give my theory that Stonehenge’s greatest re-design and remodeling was done to create (among other things) a temple to this solar-cultural divinity who began as a Bell Beaker God, but became a British God when the Neolithic Britons were “Beakerized” through contact with the Beaker folk. This happened at the cusp of the Bronze Age in Britain.

I also give a timeline of what happened after that remodeling of Stonehenge, a timeline that tracks the rise and development of the Beaker culture in Britain all the way into the Iron Age. I talk about the end of Beaker culture in Britain and how it gave rise to successor Bronze Age cultures (The Wessex cultures) and how even they finally bent and transformed after the Bronze Age collapse, and as the Age of Iron came to Britain’s shores.

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