Stonehenge: What Was Its Real Purpose?

1805 Words8 Pages
Although not one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Stonehenge has continued to perplex scientists and historians for centuries. There have been many theories discussed over the years however outlandish they may seem, ranging from alien placement to the more practical theories which will be discussed further. Unfortunately, during the time the great stone circle was constructed, was also a time in which there was no written record. As a result, many stories and theories have been developed without any written proof. While astronomers believe Stonehenge to be an astronomical calendar, other debate the megalith could be of religious context, a burial site, or simply a symbol of unity. In order to understand why one of the world’s most puzzling megaliths was erected, one must first examine the structure itself. Stonehenge is considered a Neolithic or “New Stone” megalith located in the South of England near Wiltshire. There are several components that make up Stonehenge that were meticulously constructed over a period of approximately 2,000 years (Fiesto 8). The ditch and bank, the Aubrey Holes, almost make up this first stage. Around 3,100 B.C.E. the earthwork began by building up the bank and forming the ditch to form the perimeters of the circle. This date has been confirmed by radiocarbon dating of animal bones and antlers found during excavation of the site. Although the ditch and bank form was typical of other monuments of the like during this time, Stonehenge differs in the fact that the bank is on the inside of the ditch instead of the outside (Johnson 94). The ditch was very steep and flat on the bottom however due to weather and erosion has slumped. Approximately 3,000-3,500 tons of the chalky ground was removed from this 345 meter long ditch (97). The bank originally stood at an estimated two meters high. Now, in some locations the ditch has all but
Open Document