The mystery of Stonehenge

Located in the south west county of Wiltshire, Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments. Believed to have been constructed between 3,000 B.C. and 2,000 B.C., Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing rocks and is located at the centre of a dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, which include several hundred burial grounds. In addition to its unique beauty and historical significance, the site is a matter of hot dispute amongst modern day archaeologists who have long speculated about Stonehenge’s construction and purpose.

Theories about Stonehenge

As of yet, there has been no evidence regarding how Stonehenge was constructed. Such is the size of the structure, and the sheer weight of the rocks used to build it, many have argued that there is a “supernatural” aspect to the site. However, in recent years, more conventional methods, using Neolithic technologies have been proven to be effective at manoeuvring stones of equal size and weight. What is perhaps more intriguing is: what was the intended purpose of Stonehenge? The two most popular theories in this regard include usage as an astronomical observation area, or as a religious site. However, others have suggested that the site was intended as a place of healing, while others suggest that the whole area was a domain for the dead.

Stonehenge in Modern Culture

Other than historical significance and visual beauty of the site, Stonehenge has attracted visitors from around the world for a number of different reasons throughout the years. In the 1970s and 1980s, Stonehenge was home to the “Stonehenge festival”, which quickly grew to be a major event for members of the so-called “counter-cultures” of this period. Famous bands from around the globe came to play at the event until it was eventually stopped in 1984. In addition to this, the site is also commonly visited, often during full moon nights, by members of religious cults who believe the area to have significant spiritual meanings. Whatever the site’s intended purpose is, however, Stonehenge is possibly the most historically intriguing site in the whole of Britain and is a must visit for anybody with an interest in history, archaeology or culture.

Image: Guy Richards – Fotolia

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