Stonehenge

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 asan 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.. 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 itís 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
itís 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