Stonehenge: The Creation Of A Mystery

As one of the ancient “wonders of the world," Stonehenge continues to puzzle the historians, scientists, and archaeologists of today. This notorious monument’s creation can be attributed to an advanced Neolithic culture. Located in Wilshire, England, the monument is roughly 5,000 years old. Its mysterious impression brings in millions of tourists yearly, many of whom are simply amazed by the enormous size of Stonehenge’s largest stones, sarsens, which are roughly 9 meters tall and weigh 25 tons. However, these visitors sometimes fail to learn and understand the reason behind the construction of such a miraculous monument.

In the past century, scientists determined Stonehenge’s inner stones to be bluestones, which are not native to the area surrounding the monument. Instead, these stones originated from different sites in Wales. It is estimated that the distance for the transportation of these stones was anywhere between 20-140 miles. In order to transport stones of such an enormous size over 5,000 years ago, the Neolithic people would have had to skillfully create a method of transportation. Although this method of transportation remains unknown, scientists have provided many theories, including water transportation as well as glacier transportation at the end of the Ice Age. It is assumed that in order to create Stonehenge’s setting within the Salisbury Plains, the Neolithic people dug a ditch using picks made of deer antlers. They then used the soil from this ditch to form a bank on the inside, and they made an entrance between the gap in the ditch and the bank. The stones were hauled up with the help of an earth ramp (either a sledge or greased wooden tracks) and pulled into place with the use of greased ropes. The architects and builders of Stonehenge are assumed to have had a pretty advanced understanding of gravity for their time due to the fact that these massive stones were tipped into place with the use of stone counterweights. This amazing site, which takes the form of concentric circles, has continued to evolve over a period of 5,000 years.

The physical characteristics and the circumstances surrounding how Stonehenge was built are easier to determine in comparison to figuring out why this monument was created. Theories range from the simple use of this site as a temple to honor the gods (or the dead) to its creation and use by extraterrestrial life. Although Stonehenge’s specific purpose remains unknown, what is known is that the people who created this site would have been of a Neolithic culture. During this time, people transitioned from nomadic hunting and gathering to settling and creating stable food sources through agriculture. This society’s dependence on seasons (for agriculture) could be an accurate explanation for why the monument is aligned northeast and southwest, which suggests the significance of solstice and equinox points. If it was not used for the prediction of seasons, Stonehenge could have been used as a center for healing that attracted the sick and the dying. Even though the exact details of why and how Stonehenge was created are unknown, the predictions made by researchers provide a glimpse into an ancient and advanced civilization of the past.

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