Your best guide to the mysterious Stonehenge

Stonehenge

Stonehenge, photo by rupjones/flickr

Surely everyone heard about Stonehenge, the famous prehistoric circular setting of standing stones set within earthworks, which is located in the county of Wiltshire, United Kingdom. More precisely Stonehenge is about 2 miles west of Amesbury and 8 miles north of Salisbury. It was constructed in three phases and its age is estimated to 5000 years. We don’t know the reason it was built for, but there are speculations on it that range from human sacrifice to astronomy. The monument is owned by the Crown and is administrated by English Heritage. If you want to visit Stonehenge, it’s good to know that it is on the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and there is a charge to visit the stones.

 

The construction of Stonehenge

 

Probably no place on Earth has generated so much speculation as the standing stones of Stonehenge, its purpose still remaining one of the greatest mysteries of the world. The beginning of its construction is estimated at anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC by the semi-nomadic people that populated the Salisbury Plain. At that time it was a circular bank and ditch with 56 holes forming a ring around its perimeter. It had a large entrance to the north east and a smaller one to the south. About 200 years later 80 blocks of bluestone were transported from almost 200 miles away. These stones were erected forming two concentric circles. It seems that at some point it was dismantled and the final phase of the construction began: the bluestones were moved within the circle and the huge stones were installed. It remains a mystery how such huge stones (some of them weigh as much as 26 tones) could have been moved and erected by primitive people.

 

Stonehenge

Stonehenge, photo by visitingeu/flickr

The Mystery of Stonehenge

 

Many researchers have argued that the monument was a site of religious rites. In 2008 archeologists found evidence which indicates that the monument could possibly have served as a burial ground. Some people make a connection between Stonehenge and the druids, calling the monument a druid temple. Gerald Hawkins and Fred Hoyle state that Stonehenge was used as an observatory and also to predict astronomical events, such as eclipses. Although it is not excluded that the reason behind the monument’s construction was the intention of Neolithic people to worship their gods, the Sun and the Moon. Any of these assumption could be the truth, but one thing is sure: it taunts us with its mystery and a walk among Stonehenge’s huge stones provokes strange feelings.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge, photo by rupjones/flickr

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