Who Built Stonehenge?

Posted in: Archaeology, History

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Stonehenge, located on the Salisbury Plain in Southern England, has long been associated with Druids, a group of wise men present in England more than 2000 years ago. Still today at Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, Druid celebrations are held at Stonehenge. But were they the actual designers?

Excavations underneath the stones have revealed artifacts, like antler horns, carbon dated at 4000 years ago. Bodies found buried nearby are of the same age. This rules out the Druids, as well as the Romans who followed them. This even pre-dates immigrant settlers from Europe. That leaves a primative people known as Ancient Britons, who lived at the start of the bronze age. Great precision was used in assembling the 15,000 tons of rock into circles. Did they have the know-how?

Examining the stones, the large ones come from just 20 miles away and could have been dragged there by the Ancient Britons. But what of the smaller Bluestones? Investigation shows that they are found 200 miles away in S.W. Wales. Did they have the ability to carry these stones over water for that distance? The recent discovery of an ancient boat made from a log carrying quarried stones, points to the answer. Several of these boats lashed together and covered with a platform could transport the Bluestones. Investigators using manpower and simple wooden scaffolding have shown they had the technology at the time to erect Stonehenge.

The big remaining question is why did they build it? People who study architecture say it was probably a place of worship. Towering over the people as it did, it inspired a sense of something larger than themselves.
The closing segment investigated a mass grave of skeletons found in the area. Using tests on the enamel of the teeth, scientists are able to determine where these people grew up. It was in Wales, the location of the Bluestones.

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