Stonehenge is one of the most well-known landmarks not only in the United Kingdom, but around the world. It is a site that is known worldwide.
Stonehenge is a site with a unique formation of stones. As a World Heritage Site, Stonehenge is an incredible site, with its unexplained history adding to its allure.
Just how did Stonehenge come to be, why was it built, and how was it built? These are all questions that have resulted in various theories being put forward, which we analyse here.
Stonehenge is located in the county of Wiltshire, England. Set across the sprawling Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge is a popular tourist site.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument that is believed to have been constructed approximately 5000 years ago! It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
Stonehenge involves a formation of stones. Each stone is around 13 feet high and seven foot wide. They weigh around 25 tons, with further stones lying on top of the stones.
Archaeologists have been unable to pinpoint exactly when it was created, though the most common belief is that it was formed between 2500 BC and 3000 BC.
The advanced construction techniques have led many to be confused. How people so many thousands of years ago managed to build such a landmark is simply unknown. After all, just one of these stones are 25 tons alone!
The most widely believed theory is that the stones were rolled along a road made of logs. It would have required many people, and significant effort.
There are so many unanswered questions around Stonehenge. The main one being why was it built? Many theories have been put forward to explain this.
1. Healing Site
A very common theory is that Stonehenge was created as a form of healing site. This theory often doubles up with the belief that the site may have also been a pilgrimage site.
The suggestion is that sick people would complete a pilgrimage to Stonehenge in the hope that they would be cured of their illness.
Why the creators would have chosen this site though is unknown, unless it had miraculously healed someone before. It is also unknown how many people made the pilgrimage.
2. Burial ground
One of the most widely accepted theories is that Stonehenge was created as a burial ground, as a way of honouring some important people.
As for who these important people could have been – is unknown. But given the incredible stone formation, it would seemingly be very important people!
Another question that this theory would raise is why it didn’t seemingly continue to be used as a burial ground. But this is certainly a plausible theory.
3. Second-hand Monument?
This is an interesting theory which has recently been proposed. A team of investigators found that the Preseli Hills, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, had originally had an existing (though smaller) stone formation of similar appearance.
Therefore, the suggestion is that Stonehenge may have actually been a second-hand monument that had copied some of the elements seen at Preseli Hills.
It is possible that some people had seen Preseli Hills and wanted to imitate it, which is what led to the creation of Stonehenge. This theory was proposed by Professor Michael Pearson.
One of the less interesting, but plausible theories revolves around music! The size and shape of the rocks at Stonehenge provide excellent acoustics – suggesting that music could’ve been behind the structure.
Sound could be enhanced at the site, while also creating audio illusions. This suggests that the site could’ve been used for celebrations or rituals – and constructed to provide a site for them to take place.
While music thousands of years ago wasn’t advanced, it still could have been capable of entertaining many, with Stonehenge potentially providing a useful location.
5. The extreme theories
There are a range of other, potentially more bizarre, theories that we have grouped in together. These go from the interesting to the totally outrageous.
One such suggestions revolves around a giant! As mere human mortals would struggle to assemble stones that weighed so heavily, the Nephilim – a race of giants, could’ve been the ones to do so.
Extraterrestrial involvement has also been touted. Author Erich von Daniken suggested Stonehenge could’ve only been built thanks to the help of deity-like Aliens, who provided humans with knowledge on how they could make such a structure.
As expected, these two theories have their detractors. But in the absence of any real proof, there is always a possibility that this is accurate!
Stonehenge is an incredible monument, and its creation will continue to perplex many. The landmark predates Jesus Christ himself, and is a demonstration that thousands of years ago, humans were capable of incredible things.
The fact that we don’t know why it was built only adds to the intrigue and mystique surrounding the site. The truth is, we’ll probably never know quite what happened! But one thing is for certain – we’ll never tire debating its origins!