mystery of stonehenge

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mystery of stonehenge

More than 4500 years have passed since the beginning of construction of Stonehenge. Each generation carefully tended to the monuments, increasing its size as technology enabled them to move and finish the large blocks improved. It is almost inconceivable for us; in this age were nothing lasts more than a few decades at best, to imagine a people maintaining a monument for almost 2 millennia. How was Stonehenge built? Describe the 3 phases of Stonehenge, dates, structure and form and the purpose of Stonehenge. Click on slide 19 in Module 11, chapter 14 .____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Estimates on the age of Stonehenge are approximately between four to five thousand years old. The sight is believed to have been an astrological calendar, a place of ritual and even cremation burial. There were at least three major, separate building periods between 2750 – 1500 BC. Initially, on the Salisbury Plain, around 3000 B.C. (Middle Neolithic period) the original constructors excavated a deep, circular ditch, placing the removed dirt on the interior lip to form an earthen mound greater than 6 feet high. Two persons utilized a rope, making a human compass to achieve the desired circumference of the circle. One person stood in the center of the circle, holding a rope, while the other tightly held the end of rope and paced the circumference. They dug deep enough to expose the underlying chalk layer typical of that region of England. This formed a “brilliant white circle about 330 feet in diameter,” encompassing the mound. The first construct is thought to have an earthwork enclosure followed by a timber monument. Later in time (circa 2500 B.C. - Late Neolithic), five sandstone trilithons (upright stones topped with lintels) were added and placed in a horseshoe or U arrangement. These stones were quarried then dragged on wooden logs formed into sled-like dollies, from northern England. The middle trilithon is twenty-four feet in height and its lintel is fifteen feet in length and three feet thick. The formation of sandstones is bordered by a “sarsen circle of upright sandstones weighing 50 tons each and standing 20 feet tall.” This circle of sandstones (106ft in diameter) is topped with a continuous lintel. Inside of this formation is a fringe of bluestones (worked blocks of a bluish dolerite). The blocks of bluestone were transported from 150 miles away—from the mountains of southern Wales. Later, around 2000 B.C. (Early Bronze Age) they were repositioned in the shapes of a circle and horseshoe, and a double ring of pits were dug ( served as both a solar and lunar calendar. Anyone standing in exact center Stonehenge at summer solstice would observe the sun rise above the heel of the alter-stone. This enabled people to be aware of the change of seasons: that there would be less daylight and the nights would become longer. Winter would soon be upon them. This calendar of stone also measured the cycles of the moon and speaks to us today of the cunning, intelligence and abilities of our distant ancestors.

The Mystery of Stonehenge

Druid Priestess

The Druids did not build Stonehenge.

The Preseli Bluestones

“Domain of the Ancestors"


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