There is so much history and there are so many theories behind Stonehenge that this blog could run for hundreds of pages, but of course I won’t do that here.
I was lucky enough to visit Stonehenge and it really is something to see. Located in the county of Wiltshire, England, the stone structure is one of the most famous sites in the world. With stones so large and the bottoms buried deep in the earth, it’s a wonder how pre-historic humans in 2000-3000 BC built this structure.
I couldn’t help but feel sad that this beautiful monument is sandwiched between two highways. Cars are swishing by and the stones stand in the middle of an open field. Hundreds of visitors fill the car park and then take the underground passage over to Stonehenge. There is a rope barrier (restricted access only implemented since 1978) which keeps visitors a good distance away from the stones. I wouldn’t want to get so close that I could touch the stones because to me they seem like a sacred object of humanity. Having studied anthropology I know that humans tend to destroy historic sites just by walking on the land, leaving garbage behind and touching things that should be left in peace.
Before you go through the passage under the highway, you are given an audio guide. There are numbered markers that go around the perimeter of Stonehenge and you learn about the history and see other landmarks in the surrounding area when you are in the right spot.
There are a few specifically placed stones around Stonehenge. For example, the Heel Stone, also known as the Friar’s Stone or Sun Stone, lies outside the main entrance of the monument leaning inwards and when standing in Stonehenge and facing northeast towards the Heel Stone, the sun can be seen rising above the stone during summer solstice.
Huge burial mounds can be seen in the distance and there are other pre-historic structures in the region, such as Woodhenge. Excavations at Stonehenge over the years have lead to more information, including the retrieval of axes, daggers, charred wood, animal bones, and pottery. What I find fascinating in the naturally occurring avenue leading to the entrance of Stonehenge. It could be that the avenue was already showing through the ground in pre-history and perhaps this is why Stonehenge was built where it was.
Some very interesting facts about the structure are the details. In the outer circle, the upright stones has two “bumps” carved to fit into the two “holes” carved into the top stones. They look like a giant’s lego pieces. Furthermore, the top stones were carved into a curve so that they formed a circle. There are also carvings on the stones of many axes, a knife and dagger. There is evidence that Stonehenge was pre-planned. It started with excavations of the ditch for the upright stones and then the building followed in stages.
Many theories have been proposed for the purpose of the Stonehenge. People question as to whether it was it to study astronomy or for a religious purpose?
I encourage you to go visit it while you can because it seems that the original monument will soon be left to only a few standing stones. Perhaps they will restore it again one day, but it will never be the same as it once was: mysteriously constructed by our ancestors.
Have you visited a historic site? What impression(s) did it leave on you?