The origins of Stonehenge in Wiltshire England remain shrouded in mystery. Discovered in the 18th Century, this prehistoric monument has fascinated history and folklore enthusiasts for ages. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 and sees over 1 million visitors each year. But how did this majestic site come to be? Let’s dive into it and try to unravel this age-long mystery.
Stonehenge has captured the imagination of renowned astronomers the world over. The monument is aligned in the direction of the summer solstice sunrise and the winter solstice sunset. American astronomer, Gerald Hawkins posited that Stonehenge might have been used to predict eclipses.
Stonehenge was built in stages. The monument as we know it today is a result of 1500 years of construction. In fact, it started off as just a circular bank and ditch enclosure. The monument’s famous stones were arranged and erected in stages much later.
Scientific discoveries in 2014 demonstrate that Stonehenge might be only a small part of a larger puzzle. Surveys of Salisbury Plain, where Stonehenge lies, unearthed several timber posts and Neolithic shrines. The discoveries indicate that the area was a sacred site long before Stonehenge.
The monument was built with two kinds of stones – sarsens and bluestones. Sarsen is a kind of large sandstone found in abundance around the site. Bluestones are not native to the region but are believed to have been transported from south-west Wales 140 miles away.
Who built Stonehenge and why are still burning questions that remain unanswered. Most people believe it was a place of worship for the Druids or Celtic Pagans. Researchers have also begun studies that will use DNA to determine the origins of the builders. One thing’s for sure – it is just a matter of time before plenty of more answers about this incredible landmark are answered, shedding new light on its rich, mysterious history.