New Research May Have Solved the Stonehenge Mystery

Researcher’s think they may have finally unearthed the truth behind Stonehenge, and it has nothing to do with extra-terrestrials.

After 10 years of archaeological investigations surrounding the history of England’s most important prehistoric structure, researcher’s now theorize that Stonehenge was built as a monument to unify the people of Britain.  Archaeological teams from surrounding universities all collaborated to work under the Stonehenge Riverside Project (SRP), which became the largest archaeological program to ever study the famous circle.  The researchers not only looked at Stonehenge and it’s adjacent landscape for clues, but also the surrounding political and religious climate surrounding the time period when it was built.   Preceding its erection, there had been a long period of conflict between eastern and western Britain. During the period Stonehenge was built, however, there became a more unified, island-wide culture: acknowledged by a sharing of housing styles, pottery, and materials that were originally kept regionally distinctive.

The stones that make up the construct are from southern England and western Wales, and they are thought to symbolize the ancestors of the different groups.  An article published in late 2011 was actually able to identify the source of some of the stones—once again supporting that humans, not extra-terrestrials, mined them.

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A cause for many previous theories for Stonehenge’s existence is its location; it is positioned so that a specific avenue is aligned with the summer and winter solstices.  The researchers are now thinking that the location was chosen for the monument because this spot already had some significance to the Stone Age Britons.  A number of natural landforms that form an axis between midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset is thought to have given this place special significance.  The sun’s path being marked by natural landmarks must have been noteworthy to the prehistoric Briton because there are eight monuments in the Stonehenge area that have some sort of alignment with the sun and solstices, more than anywhere else in the world.

Another henge was discovered during the decade of research, although it is not clearly visible.  Now dubbed “Bluehenge” it is only a pit of holes where blue stones used to be.  Speculation is that these stones may have been dragged to form the now existing Stonehenge, though more research is needed

Archaeological investigations of this iconic prehistoric structure started back in the 17th century, when antiquarian John Aubrey theorized that it was s religious monument created by the Celts (this theory was later proven wrong when it was discovered that Stonehenge itself is dated further back than the Celts).  This theory and investigation were the first to come as Stonehenge has aspired to be one of the world’s most iconic archeological sites, and has sprouted many theories, both scientific and conspiracy.

According to folklore, Stonehenge was actually built by Merlin, the great magical wizard during King Arthur’s reign.  Supposedly he magically transported the stones from Ireland, where giants had accumulated them.    Other legends believe that it is the ruins of an ancient Roman temple, represents a giant vulva to serve as a temple for some ancient fertility god, or—my personal favorite—that an alien spacecraft carried the stones there.

In 1995, astronomer Gerald Hawkins provided a more reasonable theory: that the builders of Stonehenge aligned it to be some sort of astronomical calendar.  Others were unsure that the prehistoric Britons had such comprehensive and precise thought, so the new theory that this site just fell on the path of the sun’s journey around earth marked by natural landforms holds more water.  Recently there have been two main theories regarding Stonehenge, a battle between science and religion—much how it always is.  Some believed that it was a holy site, others though of it as some sort of observatory.  What was known was that it did serve as a burial ground; remains have been found dating back close to the 3,000 B.C.

5,000 years after its erection the mysterious megalith still sparks discussion and controversy—as well as awe and wonderment.  Although now researchers believe now that they have finally solved the mystery; who will ever really knows why this monument was constructed, or how?  The mystery is lost with time, as I think it should be.  Let more science be done: let more theories come into existence, that’s the fun of what Stonehenge is; it sparks the imagination and boggles the mind.

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