Visit Website Did you know? Some have suggested that they were immigrants from the European continent, but many scientists think they were native Britons descended from the original builders. InGeorge Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, dug a large hole in the ground at the center of Stonehenge looking for buried treasure.
How, then, did prehistoric builders without sophisticated tools or engineering haul these boulders, which weigh up to 4 tons, over such a great distance? Many modern historians and archaeologists now agree that several distinct tribes of people contributed to Stonehenge, each undertaking a different phase of its construction.
There is strong archaeological evidence that Stonehenge was used as a burial site, at least for part of its long history, but most scholars believe it served other functions as well—either as a ceremonial site, a religious pilgrimage destination, a final resting place for royalty or a memorial erected to honor and perhaps spiritually connect with distant ancestors.
However, in the midth century, radiocarbon dating demonstrated that Stonehenge stood more than 1, years before the Celts inhabited the region, eliminating the ancient Druids from the running.
The first stage was achieved by Neolithic agrarians who were likely indigenous to the British Isles. Despite over a century of intense study, very little is known about the people buried at Stonehenge or how they came to be there.
Even today, people who identify as modern Druids continue to gather at Stonehenge for the summer solstice. While historians agree that it was a place of great importance for over 1, years, we may never know what drew early Britons to Salisbury Plain and inspired them to continue developing it.
They then transferred the boulders onto rafts and floated them first along the Welsh coast and then up the River Avon toward Salisbury Plain; alternatively, they may have towed each stone with a fleet of vessels. More recent hypotheses have them transporting the bluestones with supersized wicker baskets or a combination of ball bearings, long grooved planks and teams of oxen.
More recently, signs of illness and injury in the human remains unearthed at Stonehenge led a group of British archaeologists to speculate that it was considered a place of healing, perhaps because bluestones were thought to have curative powers.
The soldiers successfully defeated the Irish but failed to move the stones, so Merlin used his sorcery to spirit them across the sea and arrange them above the mass grave. In the s, the astronomer Gerald Hawkins suggested that the cluster of megalithic stones operated as an astronomical calendar, with different points corresponding to astrological phenomena such as solstices, equinoxes and eclipses.
Aug 5, Most archaeologists have remained cool toward the glacial theory, however, wondering how the forces of nature could possibly have delivered the exact number of stones needed to complete the circle. In the mid-fifth century, the story goes, hundreds of British nobles were slaughtered by the Saxons and buried on Salisbury Plain.
The smaller bluestones, on the other hand, have been traced all the way to the Preseli Hills in Wales, some miles away from Stonehenge. Challenging the classic image of industrious Neolithic builders pushing, carting, rolling or hauling the craggy bluestones from faraway Wales, some scientists have suggested that glaciers, not humans, did most of the heavy lifting.
In the 17th century, archaeologist John Aubrey made the claim that Stonehenge was the work of the Celtic high priests known as the Druids, a theory widely popularized by the antiquarian William Stukeley, who had unearthed primitive graves at the site.
Meanwhile, archaeological excavations and development of the surrounding area to facilitate tourism have turned up other significant sites nearby, including other henges.
During the third phase of construction, which took place around B. According to the 12th-century writer Geoffrey of Monmouth, whose tale of King Arthur and mythical account of English history were considered factual well into the Middle AgesStonehenge is the handiwork of the wizard Merlin.
Bones, tools and other artifacts found on the site seem to support this hypothesis. Lead study author Christophe Snoeck demonstrated that cremated bone faithfully retains its strontium isotope composition, opening the way to use this technique to investigate where these people had lived during the last decade or so of their lives.
Some 50 sarsen stones are now visible on the site, which may once have contained many more. The team analysed skull bones from 25 individuals to better understand the lives of those buried at the iconic monument.
As early as the s, geologists have been adding their voices to the debate over how Stonehenge came into being. While the Welsh connection was known for the stones, the study shows that people were also moving between west Wales and Wessex in the Late Neolithic, and that some of their remains were buried at Stonehenge The results emphasise the importance of inter-regional connections involving the movement of both materials and people in the construction and use of Stonehenge, providing rare insight into the large scale of contacts and exchanges in the Neolithic, as early as 5, years ago.
Later, it is believed, groups with advanced tools and a more communal way of life left their stamp on the site. Stonehenge has undergone several restorations over the years, and some of its boulders have been set in concrete to prevent collapse.
Although strontium isotope ratios alone cannot distinguish between places with similar values, this connection suggests west Wales as the most likely origin of at least some of these people. Radiocarbon dating suggests that work continued at Stonehenge until roughly B.
The researchers including those from the University of Oxford in the UK combined radiocarbon-dating with new developments in archaeological analysis. The globe is dotted with giant rocks known as glacial erratics that were carried over long distances by moving ice floes.For centuries, historians and archaeologists have puzzled over the many mysteries of Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument that took Neolithic builders an estimated 1, years to erect.
Mystery solved: The origins of people who built the Stonehenge - Scientists have unveiled details about the people who build the Stonehenge in the UK, by analysing the human remains found at the site. Despite over a century of intense study, very little is known about the people buried at Stonehenge or how they came to be there.
A study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests. From Fox News: The ancient mystery of who built Stonehenge has been solved, according to a breakthrough study.
A groundbreaking new analysis of the 25 cremated remains buried at the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire has revealed that 10 of them lived nowhere near the bluestones.
May 15, · Stonehenge: Curious about mystery - See 11, traveler reviews, 10, candid photos, and great deals for Amesbury, UK, at TripAdvisor. Amesbury. Amesbury Tourism Amesbury Hotels Amesbury Bed and Breakfast Report response as inappropriate.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Location: Amesbury SP4 7DE, Amesbury SP4 7DE. Plenty of mystery has always surrounded Stonehenge — and new discoveries about the origins of human remains found buried at the structure are now raising even more questions.
Druids, pagans and revellers gather at Stonehenge, hoping to see the sun rise, as they take part in autumn equinox celebrations at the ancient neolithic monument of Stonehenge near Amesbury on.Download