Stonehenge is an enigmatic prehistoric monument located on a chalky plain north of the modern day city of Salisbury, England. It was started 5,000 years ago and modified by ancient Britons over a period of 1,000 years. Its purpose continues to be a mystery.
The biggest of its stones, known as sarsens, are up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall and weigh 25 tons (22.6 metric tons) on average. It is widely believed that they were brought from Marlborough Downs, a distance of 20 miles (32 kilometers) to the north. Smaller stones, referred to as “bluestones” (they have a bluish tinge when wet or freshly broken), weigh up to 4 tons and most of them appear to have come from the Preseli Hills in western Wales, a distance of 156 miles (250 km). It’s unknown how people in antiquity moved them that far; water transport was probably used for part of the journey. Recently, scientists have raised the possibility that during the last ice age glaciers carried these bluestones closer to the Stonehenge area and the monument’s makers didn’t have to move them all the way from Wales.
Although construction of Stonehenge began about 5,000 years ago, the area appears to have been of symbolic importance for a much longer period of time.
As early as 10,500 years ago three large pine posts, which were totem poles of sorts, were erected at the site. Then around 5,500 years ago …
- Stonehenge: a new dawn (guardian.co.uk)
- Stonehenge Built As Symbol of Unity (news.discovery.com)
- Stonehenge was actually built to mark unification of Britain – Zee News (zeenews.india.com)
- Stonehenge a monument to unity, new theory claims (cbsnews.com)