Stonehenge: Unearthing A Mystery Essay, Research Paper
Stonehenge possibly, in many peoples & # 8217 ; heads, the most cryptic topographic point in the universe. This set of homocentric rings and horseshoe forms on the empty Salisbury Plain, is, at the age of 4,000 old ages, one of the oldest, and surely best preserved, megalithic ( that means big, frequently ancient, rock ) structures on Earth. It is a antic building with many of the larger rocks involved weighing 25 dozenss and quarried from a location 18 stat mis off. The rings and quoitss of Sarsen ( a type of sandstone ) besides carry monolithic headers linking them so that when they were all in topographic point there was a ring of rock in the sky every bit good as on the land.
We know about nil about who built Stonehenge and why. A popular theory advanced in the nineteenth century was that the Druids, a people that existed in Britain before the Roman conquering, had built it as a temple. Modern archeological techniques, though, have dated Stonehenge and we now know that it was completed at least a 1,000 old ages before the Druids came to power. If Druids used Stonehenge for their ceremonials they got the site secondhand. Despite this, modern Druids have laid claim to Stonehenge and an one-year ceremonial takes topographic point at Stonehenge during Summer solstice, one of the ring & # 8217 ; s astronomical alliances.
There is grounds at that place was activity on the Stonehenge site as far back as 11,000 old ages ago. It wasn & # 8217 ; t until about 3100 BC, though, that a round bank, following the current Stonehenge layout, appeared. At the same clip pine stations were put into topographic point. Around 2100 BC rocks started being erected. First bluestones from Wales, so the larger Sarsens rocks. During this period some rocks were erected, so subsequently dismantled.
Why did the builders create, dismantle and reconstruct this stray site? It & # 8217 ; s difficult to state. They seemingly didn & # 8217 ; Ts have a written linguistic communication and left no records. We can state one thing about Stonehenge based on archeological digs at the location. There is about no & # 8220 ; trash. & # 8221 ; A figure of pieces of flint, antler choices or axes have been found, but really few points that one would anticipate to see discarded at a human habitation ( Trash cavities turn out to be some of the best beginnings of stuff for archeologists to analyze ) . This leads some archeologists to reason that Stonehenge was & # 8220 ; sacred land, & # 8221 ; like a church. As one scientist put it Stonehenge was a & # 8220 ; clearly particular topographic point were you didn & # 8217 ; t drop litter. & # 8221 ;
Stonehenge at about 1500 BC consisted of a round ditch, with a raised bank on the interior. Within the bank was a circle of 30 Sarsen rocks with headers making a raised circle. Today merely 17 of those rocks still stand and few of the Li
ntels are still in place. Within the ring were five “trilithons” ( two monolithic unsloped rocks back uping a header ) arranged in a horseshoe. On the unfastened side of the horseshoe, outside the ditch, was the heel rock, some 120 pess from the ring. Once a twelvemonth, on summer solstice ( the longest twenty-four hours of the twelvemonth ) , the Sun will lift in alliance with the heel rock as seen from the centre of the ring.
In add-on to the Sarsen rocks at that place was a less luxuriant set of bluish rocks. Some set in a ring outside the trilithons, and the others in a horseshoe within the thrilithon horseshoe. There are besides four & # 8220 ; station rocks & # 8221 ; set in a rectangle outside the ring. The station rocks may hold been used to foretell the motion of the Moon.
Possibly what is strangest about the Stonehenge ring of rocks is that it is far from being alone. Though Stonehenge is the most integral and luxuriant, there are known to be over a 1000 remains of rock rings through out the British Isles and Northern France. Some of them were little, like Keel Cross in County Cork which is merely 9 pess in diameter. The largest, Avebury, covers over 28 estates and encircles what is now a whole small town. Some of the rocks at Avebury weighed 60 dozenss.
How did the shapers move these monolithic stones many stat mis? Probably by dragging them on wooden sleighs. Before the first 1 could be moved, though, a route had to be cleared from, what was so, a thick wood. Not an easy occupation in itself. Particularly for a people who likely spent most of their clip and energy merely contending for endurance. The building of both Avebury and Stonehenge must hold been the work of many coevalss.
Archaeologist Clive Waddington has suggested that the earliest henges, simple ditches with environing hills, my have been stock enclosures for cowss. Remainss of fencing and gates found at the Coupland Henge, which is more than 800 old ages older than Stonehenge, back up his thought. Waddington thinks when cowss were moved into the enclosure during certain seasons, rites were performed. As clip went on the circles functional facet faded off and they became strictly spiritual constructions.
Most of the rings were smaller than Avebury and simpler than Stonehenge. While some of them had astronomical alliances built into their design, many did non. This suggests that their usage as observatories may hold been a secondary map. Possibly, for some, Waddington & # 8217 ; s cow pens were the primary map, though, we may ne’er be able to state for certain. As Professor Richard Atkinson, of University College, Cardiff, a research worker at Stonehenge, one time said, & # 8220 ; You have to settle for the fact that there are big countries of the past we can non happen out about & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ;