Stonehenge Essay

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Although nobody knows what Stonehenge was intended for or how it was created, there are many contradiction beliefs about who designed it, how Stonehenge was built and the purpose of the ancient group of standing stones on Salisbury Plain. Stonehenge seems to have been in continuous human use from about 3100BC to 1100BC. The name Stonehenge was recorded in literature from the 12th century and is thought to relate to the idea of stones hanging in the air. One popular belief is that Stonehenge was built for the purpose of astronomy. It may have been used as an astronomer’s tool or to judge the movement in the heaves. The first builders may have been farmers needing to know when the seasons were about to change. In the middle of the 20th century, a new theory was born – one that suggests that Stonehenge was used as an astronomical calendar. Stonehenge is thought of as a “primitive astronomical computer”. Fred Hoyle believed it was possible to determine eclipses by moving 3 markers around the Aubrey holes in such a way that when all 3 arrived at the same hole an eclipse was about to occur. Hoyle believes the Aubrey holes are the only part of Stonehenge that holds astronomical value. Another theory of Stonehenge’s purpose is that of religion. Hoyle says, “I was convinced that the inner part, which was built around 1500BC, was really mostly a matter of simple religious construction.” There was clearly some element of sun worship. At a later phase in its development, Stonehenge may have been used as some sort of temple. Although this theory isn’t as popular now, the religious aspect attributed to Stonehenge has influenced how it has come to be understood today. More controversy concerning Stonehenge is that of its construction. The largest stones, known as Sarsens, are found naturally as huge boulders in an area 20 miles to the north. The smaller Blue Stones have

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