Stonehenge is one of the most amazing monuments to have been erected in England. It has a very mysterious but interesting history spanning from the Neolithic times to modern times. Many conspiracy theories and wild ideas exist about the possible history and origins of the monument, but the known history is as follows.
Stonehenge is believed to have been erected over five thousand years ago, making it one of the oldest ancient monuments on Earth that is still in existence. The first portion to have been erected was a henge monument, and from the beginning, the location served as a burial ground. Later on in the late Stone Age, around 2500 B.C., the original circle of stones – the remnants of which that we see today – was erected. Between these two phases however, construction and rearrangement never fully stopped. The monument was modified multiple times, and since its final arrangement, minimal restoration has taken place. Since the 1970s, the monument is being preserved, free of human contact except for any restoration.
During the building of the first monument, animal bones were used to dig into the ground and carve the circular ditch that existed around the monument. In the second phase, timber was used in the building of the monument. Signs of this phase are no longer visible above the ground. During the next major phase of activity, thirty large sarsen stones were brought to the location for use in the monument. They may have come from a quarry, around 25 miles (40 km) north of Stonehenge. In the late Bronze Age, the bluestones, which can still be seen, were erected and then re-erected. The last known construction occurred around 1600 B.C., and the last usage of the monument is believed to have been during the Iron Age.
There is no sure way to know how the massive stones were moved so far or how some were placed on top of others. Some believe the use of round logs aided in the movement of the stones. Many experts agree that various pulley systems were used to erect the monuments and put some stones on top of others. However the monument was built, those who did it were very intelligent.
The sun plays a role in the Stonehenge monument. During the summer and winter solstices, the sun aligns with the great trilithon, the encompassing horseshoe arrangement of the five central trilithons, the heel stone, and the embanked avenue. This leads to the speculation that the monument was used to measure time and mark the seasons. There is also speculation that it was a place for religious worship.
Here is a question that often arises about the monument: Why was it built in that particular location? The simple answer is this: The whole area had been very important to Neolithic people long before the monument was built or even planned. Scattered throughout the landscape near the monument are remnants of earlier and later monuments and barrows (burial mounds). The area was used for feasts, rituals, and exchanges. The famous Heel Stone, which is likely a naturally placed stone, along with the other geological features of the area may have also been the determinant behind Stonehenge’s location.
Many people have developed conspiracy theories about the erection of Stonehenge. Some believe that it was impossible for the people of that time to have moved the rocks. Aliens are one option that people consider because of the “crop circle” like appearance. Another option is that the monument was not actually built so many years ago, but in the 1900’s. There is a considerable amount of evidence to say that the Neolithic people.
Erin’s opinion on the origins of Stonehenge:
I don’t believe that Stonehenge was built by aliens or with divine aid of any kind. I do believe that enough evidence has been found to suggest that it was in fact the Neolithic people who erected it on their own. Though extremely difficult to imagine how it was even possible for that time, I think that these people were capable, especially over the span of time that it took to complete the monument.
Katie’s opinion on the origins of Stonehenge: I personally think that the Neolithic people would not have been able to complete Stonehenge on their own. I wouldn’t go as far to say “aliens” but I think something more had to at work here.
Erin’s opinion on the monument:
It was breathtaking. I don’t understand how some would be underwhelmed. I’ve been intrigued by Stonehenge for a long while, and I enjoyed getting to see it and learn about its history, uses, and about the people who lived around the area and utilized the monument. It was a fantastic experience, and it is one place that I hope I can eventually return to.
Katie’s opinion on the monument: I really enjoyed visiting Stonehenge. It was one of the stops I was most excited for. I would like to be able to study far more into this too fully get a grasp of it all.