One of the most well-renowned prehistoric monuments in the world is located in Wiltshire, England – Stonehenge. Stonehenge is believed to be over four thousand years old. The monument consists of a circle of free-standing stones, each around 4 metres high and weighing around 25 tonnes. Stonehenge has become a cultural emblem of the United Kingdom, and is a site often frequented by tourists. So what is known about the origins of Stonehenge, and what is the history of it? Read on to find out!
To begin, Stonehenge is located in the county of Wiltshire, England. The site is designated as a World Heritage Site, and is open to tourists most days each year. It is believed that Stonehenge began as a burial site. The site was the host of several construction changes during the BC era. Historians have uncovered several different ‘phases’ where the design of Stonehenge changed. It is believed that around 1600 BC, the design we see to this day, was achieved. This was the culmination of hundreds of years of work. So next, what is the purpose of the monument?
So what is Stonehenge for? Unfortunately, no written records exist to explain the function of Stonehenge. However, there have been a number of theories based on this question – it is something that has been heavily debated by historians. Weather-related theories have emanated, burial grounds, rituals and even the supernatural have been proposed in regards to Stonehenge. A recent theory that has gained considerable traction comes from Geoffrey Wainwright out of Bournemouth University – who suggested Stonehenge was a place of healing.
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In more recent times, Stonehenge has become a tourist attraction, and one of the most well-known landmarks in the United Kingdom. Tourists haven’t been permitted to touch the stones since 1977, as a result of erosion on the stones. Visitors can however walk around the monument from a short distance away. There is a visitors centre near the site, which provides additional information on a range of topic related to Stonehenge. Still to this day researchers are putting substantial time, effort and money into analysing the monument – summarising the impact Stonehenge has.
Overall, Stonehenge is a very interesting monument. The fact that very little is known in regards to its function is an appealing part of the landmark. Given how many tourists flock to see the monument year-on-year, it is clear what a phenomenon it is. If you are planning on visiting, car or coach access is recommended. In conclusion, it is a monument well-worth visiting!
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