Stonehenge is a famous landmark and declared as UNESCO World Heritage site. It is situated on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England. It is a fascinating and mysterious Stone Age structure. For centuries, researchers, historians, and archaeologists are interested in why, when, and how it was built.
Lot of tourists visit Stonehenge to explore its prehistoric origins, get a peek of the enormous stone assemblies, as well plunge into the rich history and folklores. Tourists can browse Stonehenge Visit .Co. to book their tour. Organized tours to Stonehenge offer discounts on online bookings frequently so don’t miss it!
Let’s explore the heritage of Stonehenge, why it was built, construction timeframe, and the folktales on how ancient builders constructed it.
Why was Stonehenge built?
Why was Stonehenge built has been a hot topic for debate for years. However, there is no definitive answer but several theories are shared across the internet.
- One prevalent theory suggests that Stonehenge was an astronomical observatory. It allowed the Stone Age people to track celestial events such as solstices and equinoxes. The structure helped them determine seasons for agricultural and it possibly held a lot of religious or ceremonial significance.
- Another theory suggests that Stonehenge was a burial site because cremated human remains were discovered in the vicinity. The monument’s unique design and its association with death and burial rituals support this perception.
It is perceived that the construction happened in several phases and took more than a thousand years.
- The initial phase, known as the Henge phase, began around 3,000 BCE and involved the digging of a circular ditch and the creation of an earthen bank. Large sarsen stones, weighing up to 30 tons, were also transported from the Marlborough Downs, located approximately 20 miles away.
- The second phase, often referred to as the Bluestone phase, occurred around 2,500 BCE. During this period, smaller bluestones, originating from the Preseli Hills in Wales, were transported over 150 miles to the site. The stones were meticulously shaped and arranged to form the inner circle and horseshoe formation.
- The final phase took place around 2,300 BCE, during which larger sarsen stones were erected in the iconic horseshoe and lintel configuration, creating the recognizable trilithons.
The transportation and erection of these colossal stones remains a remarkable feat, even by modern standards. The builders likely employed a combination of techniques to accomplish this extraordinary task.
One possibility is that they used a system of rollers, sledges, and levers to transport the stones across land and rivers. They may have also exploited natural phenomena such as ice or water to aid in transportation.
Stone hammers, wooden wedges, and possibly even ropes and pulleys were used to shape and position the huge stones. The Beaker culture’s ingenuity and knowledge of engineering allowed them to align and interlock the stones with impressive precision.
Stonehenge continues to captivate our imaginations, inspiring awe and curiosity about the people who built it and their motivations. As ongoing research and advancements in archaeology shed new light on this ancient wonder, Stonehenge will undoubtedly remain an enduring symbol of human ingenuity and cultural heritage.