Anthropomorphism in Standing Stones;.
This standing stone at familiar Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England, is a favorite because it is approachable, outside the main perimeter; and expressive. Great look.
Standing stones: Western Religion and those looking for its roots too often ignore the standing stones in the rest of Europe, unrelated to Judaea. See, for example, Biblical Archeology Review, March-April 2006, Mysterious Standing Stones, by Doron Ben-Ami, at 38ff. In the Near East, standing stones appeared by 10,000 BCE; they came later in the colder climates. The Hebrew word for a standing stone was "Massebah" - see it many times in the Bible. A standing stone has positive and negative connotations.
The article focuses on a collection of them at the site of an ancient Canaanite city, Hazor. Age: Middle Bronze, 1800-1550 BCE. Size: some 25 acres. Huge for the day. Ritual use? unknown.
But in all the article's words are none mentioning the fact that standing stones are common in Europe as well. Memorial, as to individual stones?
These were common in Scandinavia, see Glavendrup, Denmark at http://www.denmarkroadways.blogspot.com/#!http://denmarkroadways.blogspot.com/2011/07/glavendrup-tryggevaelde-rune-stones.html; and Anundshog in Sweden, at http://swedenroadways.blogspot.com/2011/02/anundshog-viking-burial-mound-at.html#!/2011/02/anundshog-viking-burial-mound-at.html.
Witness to treaty or vow? Commemorate special event? Cultic object? See them also at the Hebrides, Orkney, Ireland. Europe Road Ways
It is also a favorite, because it is honest.
It shows its reaction to the site wrecked by over-mowing, chain-link fencing, roadways. These measures may well be needed because Stonhenge is right on the motorway from London and people can get there in a blink. There is a pedestrian tunnel beneath the road for all the tourists. So there are lots of people. And among people, enough will be irresponsible, so the site suffers.
This is a stone in a zoo, its spirit gone.
Then see the standing stones, not an old construct, but built in the 1930's by Nazis who wanted to show support for a tradition of the local population: honoring 4500 Saxon prisoners who were executed one by one, whack, whack went the swords down the lines, until all were dead in one day, or was it a night?
See http://germanyroadways.blogspot.com/2011/02/sachsenhain-saxons-grove-charlemagnes.html. Some even appear, in settling, to be huddling together. We like anthropomorphism and think the idea should be given more respect. Inanimate in structure is not inanimate in aura, is that so?