Stonehenge – one of the most well-known landmarks in the United Kingdom. Located in Wiltshire, England, the formation of stones has become entrenched in British culture. Without doubt, Stonehenge is a phenomenon. One of the things that makes this landmark into the phenomenon it is, is the fact that no one quite knows how Stonehenge came to be, or why the formation was built! Like any question that has no definitive answer – a range of theories have been suggested to explain Stonehenge. In this article, which is this week’s Sunday Read, we explore some of the most well-known theories.
1. Unification of Britain
One theory is that Stonehenge was the output of a time period which witnessed Britain unifying together. This theory proposes that when Stonehenge was built, the people of Britain were working together to create structures – with thousands coming together to build Stonehenge. If this is true, then it is very, very impressive that they managed to get this sort of output!
2. Healing Site
A more philosophical argument but an interesting one all the same – many suggestions have centered around Stonehenge being a healing site. Normally, this theory doubles up with the site being 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. This theory has many backers too!
3. Second-Hand Monument?
This is an interesting theory which has recently been proposed. A team of investigators found that Preseli Hills, in Pembrokeshire, Wales, could’ve actually had a more superior site to Stonehenge, with similar stones used. The suggestion is Stonehenge was just a second version of a monument seen in Pembrokeshire. The team had used some advanced techniques to test the properties of the stones at Stonehenge, and eventually came to the conclusion that it was a secondary version of a site in Pembrokeshire.
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One of the more 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 made to provide a site for them to take place. Interesting!
5. And… The Extreme Theories
Yet there are some more abstract theories too! One such suggestions revolves around a giant! As mere human mortals would struggle to assemble stones that weighed so heavily, Nephilim – a race of giants, could’ve been the ones to do so. And of course aliens come in to play too! Author Erich von Daniken suggested Stonehenge could’ve only been built thanks to the help of deity-like Aliens, who gave the knowledge of how to make such a structure to mankind. As expected, these two theories have their detractors.
Stonehenge really is a phenomenon. When the structure was built, the wheel hadn’t even been invented yet. Modern tests suggest that without some form of machinery, Stonehenge couldn’t be built. So for a site like that to be created truly is remarkable. The fact that we don’t know why it was built only adds to the intrigue and mystique surrounding the site. The theories outlined in this article are just some of the many. The truth is, we’ll probably never know quite what happened! One thing is for sure – we can enjoy Stonehenge!