The most famous prehistoric megalith (standing-stone monument) in Europe, located 13 kilometers (8 miles) north of Salisbury in Wiltshire, England.
This ancient stone arrangement contains over 150 rocks, some weighting about 41 metric tons, the equivalent to the weight of six elephants. People have traveled from far and wide to see the monument for thousands of years, but still the mystery remains. Who built it and how they did it?
According to ancient myths, dancing giants were caught in sunbeams and petrified to stone, forming Stonehenge. Later the monument was nicknamed the 'Giant's Ring'. Stonehenge was as well woven into the earliest Arthurian legends, and the stones were also believed to have mystical and magical powers.
Excavations and radiocarbon dating have revealed that Stonehenge had an exceptionally long history of use as a ceremonial or religious center or both.
Stonehenge was constructed in three major phases over the period from around 3500 BC to 1100 BC. It originally began as a circular ditch including a bank with a ring of 56 burial pits named 'Aubrey holes' for their seventeenth-century discoverer, John Aubrey.
Around 2100 BC a double circle of bluestone menhirs (large, rough-hewn standing stones), thought to have come from the Preseli Mountains of southwestern Wales was erected within the earlier ring. In the final stage of construction, from around 2000 BC, a circle of about 30 upright stones (made from local sandstone called 'sarsen') were set up, their tops linked by lintelstones to form a continuous circle about 30 meters (100 feet across). At a later date, around 1550 BC, the bluestones were finally rearranged in the circle and horseshoe whose remains survive today.
Stonehenge is unique because of its long period of use and the precision of its plan and its architectural details. The traditional thesis that Stonehenge was a druid temple is untenable, because the Druids did not appear in Britain until a few hundred years before the Christian era.
In recent years many attempts have been made to interpret Stonehenge as a prehistoric astronomical observatory, or some form of solar temple, but the site is now so ruined, and so much restored, that any attempt to ascertain its original alignments must rely principally on guesswork. All that can be said with confidence is that from around 2000 BC onward the structure's axis of symmetry pointed roughly in the direction of the sunrise at the summer solstice.
Modern science has begun to shed some light on Stonehenge's mysteries, but most of its secrets remain as elusive and intriguing as ever. Stonehenge is, and always will be, not only the ultimate symbol of prehistoric achievement but one of the past's most enduring mysteries.
See King Arthur's Place in Prehistory: The Great Age of Stonehenge, Magnificent Numbers of the Great Pyramid and Stonehenge, Mystery of Stonehenge, Stonehenge: A New Interpretation of Prehistoric Man and the Cosmos, Stonehenge: The Secret of the Solstice, Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid: Window on the Universe, Stonehenge Complete, Stonehenge Revealed, The Making of Stonehenge, and The Secret of Stonehenge.
See also Atlantis, Avebury Circle, Catacombs, Cross of Hendaye, Glastonbury, Great Zimbabwe, Ice Age, Labyrinth, Lemuria, Ley Lines, Lyonesse, Mu, Ophir, Pedra da Gávea, Petra, Pyramids, Shangri-La, Sphinx, Tarpeian Rock, Teocalli, Troy, Hadrian's Wall in the Days of the Romans, Hadrian's Wall: History and Guide, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, Unbroken Curses, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, The Chakra Store, The Tarot Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: Article is scheduled to be reviewed.
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