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The mystery of Stonehenge

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Stonehenge is probably the most famous prehistoric monument in the world. Thousands of visitors come to the south of England every year to visit the stone circle at Amesbury. Numerous theories have been developed over time and some secrets have been revealed, yet Stonehenge remains a mystery amid a unique landscape.

Who built Stonehenge and for what reason?

Over the centuries, poets and scientists have repeatedly dealt with the imposing stone circle. This has led to various theories and legends about the construction and use of Stonehenge.

Historical Site · Wiltshire

Stonehenge

Wiltshire
The famous stone circle near Amesbury in southern England is thousands of years old and is probably ...
by Wiebke Hillen,   Outdooractive Editors

Geoffrey Monmouth suggested that Stonehenge was associated with the Arthurian legend and the sorcerer Merlin. Druids were then often associated with the Stone Circle, as were the Celts. John Aubrey considered them as the builders, however, they did not appear in the region until centuries after Stonehenge was established.

The formation of the stone circle is usually roughly divided into three phases which extend from about 3100 to 2000 B.C. The construction is regarded as an exceptional achievement of the builders, who were at a high technical level for that time. Stone Age computer, oracle, ritual temple, place of ancestor worship – Stonehenge was ascribed many purposes. Not all of them could be documented. Today, mostly the thesis is supported that the stone circle is a prehistoric temple, aligned to the movements of the sun.

One of many!

Stonehenge is not the only prehistoric feature in the region in the south of England. In the millennia B.C. there was a lot erected and built, which points to an active ritual landscape. The entire complex around the famous stone circle is said to be at least 11,000 years old. The monument is part of an impressive landscape of early Neolithic, late Neolithic and early Bronze Age monuments.

Stonehenge, the most striking monument, was erected on an open clearing within a densely wooded region. Around and especially in the subsoil, many traces of our ancestors were found. Among other things, there were traces of villages, graves, and further pile circles, so-called wood henges. People were buried there, rituals were held, and meetings took place. People came from large parts of the country and the facility was constantly expanded, enlarged and changed.

The whole area is thus a vast ritual landscape, which grew and developed over the centuries. The purpose may have gradually changed. The Stonehenge complex alone was extended and used over 2500 years, the ritual landscape around it many centuries before. Longer than Christianity is old today – in all this time the understanding can change fundamentally.

Stonehenge

And what does that mean for us?

In recent times, Stonehenge has always been the meeting place for neopagan gatherings at the summer solstice. The so-called neopagans celebrate their convictions there, although it has been proven a long time ago that Stonehenge is not connected to the druids – their predecessors.

But also other visitors come to see the famous stone circle and immerse themselves in history. Although only the ruins of the former building remained, it is an imposing sight that certainly inspires feelings and can bring one or the other idea to the minds of the visitors. Through further research, there are always new findings of the ritual landscape around Stonehenge. This would probably never have been discovered without the conspicuous stone circle.

The mystery around Stonehenge remains. Perhaps the monument is simply too old that all its mysteries can be solved. Conceivably that is the explanation of the effect it has on visitors: not knowing, speculating and thinking about the people of that time, their way of life, motivations and beliefs.


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Outdooractive Editors 
outdooractive.com User
Author
Wiebke Hillen 
Updated: March 23, 2020

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5.0
(2)
Kristina Barkley
April 16, 2020 · Community
This is just unbelievable! You can’t even pick up words. Gotta go there
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