Stonehenge

?Stonehenge is one of the worlds best known monuments of the ancient times. Stonehenge stood for over five thousand years, and still we do not know the full use of this mysterious arrangement of stones. Stonehenge remains as an ancient monument that still propose mysteries to it origin and purpose.At first, scientists had no clue as to who built Stonehenge. The Romans, Egyptians, and the Phoenicians were all suggested to have been a possible creator of Stonehenge. Later study proved that none of these cultured built Stonehenge.

The truth of Stonehenge is that three different cultures contributed to this megalithic monument. The first group began construction around 3100 B.C.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

. Neolithic herdsmen began the first step in the construction of Stonehenge. The first part of this monument began as a modest circular ditch. Within this circle 56 holes were dug. These hole, later named Aubrey Holes after their discoverer, presented mysteries to scientists for years.

These strange holes served two purposes. The first, and more important reason, is that these holes acted as a lunar calender. The moon has a cycle for its eclipses.

Once a lunar eclipse occurs, another will not happen for nineteen years. After those nineteen years, the moon will, once again, eclipse. The next, and final, eclipse of this cycle occurs eighteen years after the previous eclipse.

These years add up to be fifty-six. Scientists believe that a stone was placed in one hole in the circle. Each year, the stone would be moved to the next hole. This way the ancient people could keep track of the moon.The other reason has a morbid side to it. In some of the Aubrey holes, remains of humans were discovered. These remains were first cremated, then put into the holes.

This suggests that Stonehenge could have acted as a burial site, and possibly a temple in which human sacrifices were made. None of these theories have been proven, but these reasons are the only feasible explanation to these holes.The second period is that which the most data can be found on.

The second period began at about 2100B.C.. The Beaker people, a group which worshiped the sun, added to the monument its first large stones.

The first thing done is that any of the stones that were already there were removed. Next, thirty large stones were brought to the site. The stones, each weighing well over five tons, were to act as the pillars of the new monument. These stones were called the Sarsen Stones, stemming from what they are made of. These stones, however, are only two-thirds above ground. The other third is buried to keep the huge pillar from toppling over.

The Beaker people created two concentric circles, the inner circle measuring seventy four meters in diameter, and the outer circle eighty six meters. The outer circle was later named the Sarsen Circle. The inner circle was never completed, and no one has any evidence as to why. It appears that they just stopped, without cleaning up or removing any of the old stones. Some speculate that the project was to large that it seemed insurmountable the Beaker people.

The third period began at about 1550 B.C.. The Wesset culture was going to add their touch to the growing monument. The Wesset culture decided to dismantle the work of the Beaker people, but decided on a similar design. They decided to construct a circle around the same point the Beaker people used for their circle. On top of each pillar, however, a large rectangular stone was placed, with each side resting on neighboring pillars. This created a continuous circle all around the monument.

Instead of a smaller circle within the larger circle, the Wesset culture placed a simple horse-shoe. The horse-shoe, just as the large circle, was capped with large rectangular stones.Given the distance they had to travel, this presented quite a transportation problem.(Lacy, www.

britannia.com/travel/magical/magic12.htm). The problem of getting the stones to the building site was large enough to stop most people from even attempting such a project. There were to ways used to deliver the massive stones to the building site. The first was by land. Giant carts were constructed to carry the smaller stones.

The stones were loaded on the cart and pulled eighty-five miles to Stonehenge. This method would not work for the larger stones as a large enough cart could not be made. For these stones, a wooden raft was made, and they were sent down a nearby river. From the banks of the river it was a short distance to Stonehenge.Placing the stones took some thinking.

First, a five foot deep pit was dug. One side of the pit was slanted to act as a sliding board for the stone when it was ready. A ramp was then built leading up to the pit. Large ropes were fastened to the stone and then heaved up the ramp and into the pit. Ropes, in conjunction with manpower, were used to upright the stones into their current position.The most perplexing mystery lies in the caps of the Sarsen Stones. How could one lift a twenty ton stone ten feet into the air? Two methods have been suggested as the answer to this question.

The first approach uses a similar method as to the rasing of the Sarsen Stones. A ramp would have been built. Then the huge stone would have been pulled up the ramp and onto the pillar. This is not the most efficient way because much more manpower would be needed as the ramp would have a much greater angle than that of the ramp used for the Sarsen Stones. The more practical reason is that a scaffold was built. The stone was placed on this scaffold. One end of the rock was lifted, and a timber placed underneath.

The timber would prevent the stone from falling. The other end was lifted, and a timber inserted under it. This process was repeated until the stone has reached to proper height. The stone was then move two feet to its final resting place.The Wesset culture had gone as far as to eliminate the optical illusions created by the largestones.

As an object gets taller, the top seems to get narrower. To eliminate this problem the shape of the pillar were distorted. The tops of the pillars were wider and thicker than at the bottom. So now when viewed from below, the stone appeared to be the symmetrical. Another problem the Wesset culture found was the look of the surface of the stone. The surface looked like it caved in a little.

To fix this illusion, the sculptors made the surfaces convex. To make it easier to chisel, fire and water were applied to the stone to make the stones expand and contract. This made the stone brittle, and much easier to shape. As a final touch, axe heads and daggers were chiseled into the side of the Sarsen Stones.

A lunar calender, a temple, a burial ground; all of these .were proposed as uses for Stonehenge. Stonehenge has one more use beyond what was previously mentioned. Stonehenge could accurately predict the seasons. This was a useful bit of knowledge during the New Stone Age as no calenders were in use. The ancient people needed a way to know when to plant and harvest their crops, and Stonehenge was what they used.

If one were to stand in the center of Stonehenge on June twenty-fourth and look out the opening of the horse-shoe, one would see the sun rising over a stone in the distance. This stone was named the heelstone. On December 21, the winter solstice, one could stand at the same point, turn one hundred eighty degrees, and watch the sun rise between the opening of the stones making the bottom of the horse-shoe. Other such relationships within Stonehenge indicate important days in the year.Gerald Hawkins was a scientist that was intrigued with Stonehenge. He knew about the relation between Stonehenge and the seasonal solstices, but he wondered if any other relationships existed within Stonehenge.

Hawkins took over two hundred measurements between rocks, openings, and any other distinguishing markings within Stonehenge. Of his measurements, twenty-four had some relevance to the position of the sun, moon, or stars. Hawkins also was the man to explain the bizarre Aubrey Holes as a lunar calender.Through all of this research, mysterious still remain about Stonehenge. The large stone in the middle of the structure is one of these mysteries.

This stone is called the Altar Stone. Scientists have no idea as to the original location of the stone. Scientists dont even know what the stones uses were. All scientists have figured ut about this stone is that somewhere in history it was moved. This just proves that no matter how much you research something, there will always be an element of mystery that will never go away.Evan Hadingham once remarked,An air of mystery broods over Stonehenge. Learned men from all fields of science, as well as spiritualists, clairvoyants and cranks, Have studied the remains to try uncover the secrets of the past.

Wasit a temple of the sun? A royal palace? A magic shrine?? An observatory for studying the heavens? Was it even a gigantic computer built centuries before the Greeks mastered mathematics?One day, perhaps, the answers to all the questions will be known. Or will these colossal stones guard their secret for eternity? (83).For the past one hundred years we have been studying Stonehenge. There have been countless digs for relics of the past. Over these past one hundred years much had been learned about Stonehenge.

For all the research, we must realize that all of these reasons are not solutions, but merely speculations. We may dig, study, and scrutinize every part of Stonehenge, but we will never know all of the secrets of the ancient megalith known as Stonehenge.Supernatural Issues Essays

Stonehenge

Stonehenge Man has always been interested in mystery. Stonehenge is one of the most mysterious places that man has been interested in. Construction began on Stonehenge at about 2200 B.

C. (Abels 9). The origin and uses of Stonehenge are still a great mystery. Stonehenge is a ruin of a stone building.Stonehenge is the oldest pre-historic structure in western Europe. The name “Stonehenge” is Saxon in origin and means hanging stones.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Stonehenge is visible from around one to two miles (Chippindale 12). It has a plain structure and at first glance Stonehenge appears to be a large pile of rocks. But when looked at more closely, it is a structure of great mystery. (Abels 5).Stonehenge contains close to one hundred and sixty-five stones. All of the stones are arranged in a plain and simple manner. Stonehenge is not very large. It is only about thirty five paces or eighty feet wide.

Stonehenge is three hundred and thirty feet above sea level and is eighty miles west of London. Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire in south central England.The closest town to Stonehenge is Amesbury. It is in the center of Salisbury Plains (Chippindale 10).

The pillars at Stonehenge are extraordinary. All of the stones appear gray in color, but their natural colors vary from mostly orange to brown or blue. Many lichens grow all over the stones.

About one half of the original stone pillars are missing today.All of the joints that join the stone pillars together are dry stone joints. There was no wet sand or clay used to join the pillars together (Chippindale 12). At Stonehenge there are five different types of stone circles. The five types are: outer sarsen circle, outer bluestone circles, inner sarsen trilithons, inner blue horseshoe, and the altar stone. The outer sarsen circle is one hundred feet in diameter.

Each stone is about thirteen and a half feet tall and seven feet wide. The space between each of the stones is approximately four feet apart (Chippindale 12). The outer bluestone circle is close to seventy-five feet in diameter. Most of the stones height are six and a half feet or taller. The stones width are between three and four feet.

The stones color is blue.Only six of the original sixty stones still remain standing straight. The others either lean or lie on their side. The inner sarsen trilithons lie just inside of the bluestone circle. Some call the inner sarsen trilithon the sarsen horseshoe. The trilithon is arranged symmetrically in a horseshoe shape and is about forty-five feet across.Their overall height is about twenty-four feet high. Three of the original trilithons still stand in tact today.

All of the original stones that make up the trilithons are still at Stonehenge today (Chippindale 14). Just inside the inner sarsen trilithon is the inner bluestone horseshoe. The stones start out at around six feet and increase in size moving south-west until they reach a maximum of eight feet.Six of the original nineteen stones that made the horseshoe are still in place (Chippindale 15). Towards the apex of the inner bluestone horseshoe is a single large slab of gray-green sandstone.

This stone is called the altar stone. It is approximately sixteen feet long and lies on its side. It is broken into two pieces. The stone was believed to have once stood upright.The stone has been given nicknames like “Slaughter”, “Heel”, and “Station” (Chippindale 16).

The uses for Stonehenge has always been a vast mystery. No one knows for sure what Stonehenge uses were. A few possible uses for Stonehenge are as a temple, a burial site, and as a sundial. Some scientists believe that Stonehenge was once used as a temple. The scientists came to this conclusion due to the circular shape and the towering stones.Many people consider Stonehenge a holy place.

Over the last three hundred years druids have come to worship at Stonehenge. The druids consider Stonehenge their Religious Temple (Roop 38). From early digs at Stonehenge we know that Stonehenge was at least at one time used for burial ceremonies because of the human remains that were found at Stonehenge (Roop 30). Some scientists believe that Stonehenge was used as some sort of sundial to tell the time , or as a calendar to tell the date.Scientists came to this conclusion due to the way the sun hits the stones. At different times during the day the sun casts different shadows on the stone that lies in the center of Stonehenge, the altar stone (Roop 90). There are several assumptions about who built Stonehenge. The overwhelming impression of the builders of Stonehenge is their immaculate perverseness.

All of the stones at Stonehenge came from different places. The bluestones were brought from Wales, the sarsens from Auebury, and the massive structure of stones was built in the center of chalkland (Chippindale 273).A few possible builders of Stonehenge are the druids, different groups of people, and the devil. Numerous scientists believe that Stonehenge was built by the druids. The druids were Celts and they arrived in Europe around 500 B.

C. The druids were made up of mostly judges and priests. The druids held mystic ceremonies at Stonehenge (Abels 16).

Another theory to who built Stonehenge is that it was started by one group of people and continued to be worked on by different groups of people.The theory states that Stonehenge was started by one group of people and finished by several other groups over time. We know from ancient history that the druids were not the original builders of Stonehenge. They may have completed Stonehenge but they did not work alone (Roop 62).

One legend of how the circle at Stonehenge was formed is that the devil built it. There is no scientific evidence to back up the legend of the devil building Stonehenge. It is not a scientific theory (Roop 32).The Stonehenge that we see today is a part of three separate building phases. The three phases were Stonehenge I, Stonehenge II, and Stonehenge III. Stonehenge I was built in the Stone Age about 2200 B.C.

There was a large circular space nearly one hundred yards across and was enclosed by a dirt bank. At that time Stonehenge was a simple open-aired temple (Abels 9).Stonehenge II was built between the time periods of 1700 and 1600 B.C. A large number of bluestones were brought in from Wales which is one hundred and forty miles away from Stonehenge. Then they began forming two different circles inside the original circle (Abels 12). Stonehenge III was built in 1600 B.

C. during the Bronze Age. At this time the sarsen stones were brought in from Marlborough Downs, about twenty miles away from Stonehenge.During this period the stones arrangement became very complex (Abels 13). The first thing that was started on in the construction of Stonehenge was the digging of the ditch. The ditch was dug with deer antlers. They made a large pile of the antler dust which was close to six feet tall (Atkinson 6). Radiocarbon dates for antler picks that were abandoned show a date of around 3100 B.

C. for early Stonehenge I activity.Late in Stonehenge I, many cremations took place and many people were buried in Aubrey holes, in the bank, and in the ditch fill. The radiocarbon dates on the bodies found date back to about 2300 B.C.

(Chippindale 267). After the ditch was finished they began working on the bank. The bank stands on the immediate inner edge of the ditch.The diameter of the ditch was about three hundred and twenty feet. Only a small portion of the bank still remains today.

The present day bank is two feet tall and it was originally about six feet tall (Atkinson 25). The final phase of Stonehenge, Stonehenge III, was completed at about 2100 B.C. (Wiltshire).

There are a few theories of how stones at Stonehenge were moved. Two possible ways that the stones at Stonehenge got there, are that the stones were rolled on logs and also, the stones were moved on rafts. Some scientists believe that the gigantic stones were rolled on logs. The appearance of the logs might resemble a sled that we could possibly see today.

Other scientists assume that the stones were moved by rafts or boats down the river (Roop 78).In conclusion, the source and uses of Stonehenge are still an immense mystery. Some of the theories stated by the referenced authors contain logical explanations about the construction, uses, and builders of Stonehenge for example, Abels’ theory of the druids building Stonehenge. Other theories mentioned appear to be based purely on myth without a logical basis such as Roop’s theory of the devil.

The inception and uses of Stonehenge remain an enormous enigma to this day.

x

Hi!
I'm Adrienne!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out