I suppose if you turn your head at the right angle, squint a bit and use your imagination…

stonehenge.jpgTORONTO, Canada (Reuters) — Stonehenge is a massive female fertility symbol, according to Canadian researchers who think they have finally solved the mystery of the ancient monument in southern England. In the arrangement of the stones, the researchers say they have spotted the original design: female genitalia.

The theory is laid out in a paper entitled “Stonehenge: a view from medicine” in the July issue of Britain’s Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

“To the builders of the henge, the most critical events in life were birth and death,” Anthony Perks, a retired professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of British Columbia, wrote in the paper.

He noted there was no evidence of tombs built by the original builders.

“Of birth, we could expect little evidence. However, evidence may be there but so large as to be overlooked.”

Viewed from above, Perks suggests Stonehenge’s inner bluestone circle represents the labia minora and the giant outer sarsen stone circle is the labia majora. The altar stone is the clitoris and the open center is the birth canal.

“Could the outer avenue of Stonehenge…represent the way by which new life entered?” the article wondered, adding that when comparing “the layout of the henge with the anatomy of the human vulva. There is a distinct similarity.”

Perks, who is traveling in England, could not be reached for comment.

The mysterious ancient monument on Salisbury Plain is recognized around the world for its circle of standing stones.

Perks said the ancient sacrificed child found at nearby Woodhenge bolsters his theory and said an excavation at Stonehenge could produce a similar find.

“In ancient societies, ideas of a dominant creator, a Mother or Earth Goddess, were widespread,” Perks wrote.

“If ideas of Earth Mother originated with, or were shared by, the people of the henge, Stonehenge could represent, symbolically, the opening by which Earth Mother gave birth to the plants and animals on which the ancient people so depended.

“The henge would honor her for giving them both life and livelihood.”

Scholars say Stonehenge, a World Heritage site, was built between 3000 and 1600 BC. For a time, it was used for ceremonial burials of local chieftains. Theories for why it was built range from a temple, an astronomy site, and a variety of spiritual and temporal purposes.

David Batchelor, an archeologist with English Heritage, which manages the prehistoric site, was hardly convinced by the latest speculation.

“I would be skeptical of that…but the Stonehenge people are entitled to draw whatever conclusions they wish. Some are more probable than others,” he said.

“The only thing we can know with certainty is that we will never know why they built it. All we are left with is what has survived 5,000 years of time.”