Stonehenge is one of the most famous and mysterious places in the world. Stonehenge is a prehistoric structure that stands in the English county of Wiltshire just north of Salisbury. There has been much speculation as to just who built this structure, as well as how and why they were built.
Although popular theory for many years was that ancient Druids had built these massive structures and used them in rituals, new evidence seems to place the structures being built nearly 1500 years before the Druids arrived in that particular area. So Who built Stonehenge?
Stonehenge itself is not actually just one monument that most of us are familiar with. Stonehenge consists of three separate phases, the earliest dating back to around 3100 B.C. Stonehenge is composed of earthworks that surround a circular pattern of large standing stones. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC
The first monument consisted of a circular bank and ditch enclosure made of Late Cretaceous Seaford Chalk, measuring around 360 ft around with an entrance to the north east and a smaller one to the south. It stood in open grassland on a slightly sloping but
not especially remarkable spot.
There is basically nothing left that is visible from the second phase A large number of postholes lend evidence to a large wooden or timber structure being built on this site during the early 3rd millennium BC.
Around 2600 BC, the timber was upgraded to stone, and the image of Stonehenge as we know it was born. There is much debate about how humans could have transported and lifted these stones into place during this time. There is also debate over where exactly the stones came from. Although it seems evident that many people took great care to build these structures and made sure to build them there. Why there?
Legends of Stonehenge
Because of the enormous mystery surrounding Stonehenge and it’s builders, there is no surprise that there are many legends and stories surrounding it. One of which is the legend of the dancing giants. It was once believed that giants existed in the Salisbury plain. One story tells that some of these giants were dancing in a circle, when they were mysteriously turned into stones. This old legend is probably due to the fact that the large stones of Stonehenge, somewhat resemble giants holding hands. Some stories also claim that Merlin the Magician was the architect, while other legends credit the devil himself with the construction. The heelstone pictured to the left was said to have been hurled by the devil, striking a friar in his heel, hence the name, “heelstone”. This stone was once known as “the friars heel”. Stonehenge has also been said to be an ancient gateway to another world.
Many people have theorized as to the origins of Stonehenge. Many U.F.O. followers contend that the people during the time that Stonehenge was constructed simply did not have the tools or technology to construct such a monument, therefore they must have had help from a more advanced people. The alignment of the stones seem to lend credibilty to an astronomy based design when being built. Some believe it served as an ancient calender. Some say it was an ancient graveyard.
Regardless of what Stonehenge was actually built for and by who, I cant help but to wonder if the people who were around during it’s construction, had any idea of the size of the mystery and intrigue they would leave behind.