Stonehenge Perhaps the most famous are the vast circular monuments constructed of wood or stone dotting the British countryside. It is likely that a prehistoric monument was erected in what is now England some time between 3000 and 2000 B.C. The stones were transported all the way from neighboring Wales — It is not an easy matter for a Stone Age civilization.
It must have been a colossal effort and begs the question: Why? Land Are they bothered Why did people in the Stone Age build so many henges?
«The short answer is that I don’t know and no one else knows,» said Rosemary Hill, historian and author of Stonehenge (Profile Books and Harvard University Press, 2008).
Related: What are Rock Cairns?
Before we go any further, it is important to note that technically, Stonehenge is not just a vehicle for intervention. The word «henge» is actually a relatively recent term, first defined by British archaeologist Thomas Kendrick in 1932 to mean a round bank with a pit inside it and one or more entrances protruding through the bank. «But Stonehenge is the opposite,» Hill told Live Science. «It’s a bank in a hole.»
Another fun fact: Even ignoring the reverse arrangement of the moat and bank, most of the trenches still look like Stonehenge because they are usually made of wood, which makes sense. Wood is everywhere, and it’s easy to carve and transport, even if it’s not durable. It wasn’t until the twentieth century Archaeologists I realized Britain once boasted of an abundance of wood weeds that had long since rotten and disappeared from view.
“After World War I, when people started flying over the country, they started to see where these constructions were because they left traces on the ground with their piles. People didn’t really notice until they got a bird’s eye view,” Hill said. It is also quite unique to Britain.
In Ireland and the Brittany region of France there are also some similar ancient stone circles, which although technically not an overlap in academic discussions. There is, too A wooden monument resembling a wenge It dates from the late Stone Age and early Bronze Age not far from Berlin, and is 4,500 years old Monument «Circle of Timber» in Portugal. If we go back all these different types of circles together, then there it is It is believed to be in the thousands It is scattered around the British Isles and parts of continental Europe. So, back to the question: Why?
Researchers have it Countless ideas suggested Over the years, indicating that monuments such as Stonehenge were used as sacred hunting grounds, community gathering places, and astronomical calendars, Structures to amplify the soundOr tombs or even sanctuaries of ancient healing. Fossils provide supporting evidence for some of these claims.
«They have found [human] Stays in Stonehenge, So this is strong evidence that it was a burial site and that it was directed at sunset during The winter solsticeHill explained. «So I think you can say it is about the dead and the winter solstice. It is not unreasonable to think of it as a ritual site and there is no evidence that people eat or live there.»
But this is not the case for other henges like Dorrington WallsWhich, incidentally, is two miles (3.2 kilometers) from Stonehenge and contains evidence that people are celebrating there, Apparently on pork. «Hingis could have been used for various reasons, but I don’t know and anyone who can tell you for sure is overly ambitious,» Hill said. «It appears that the common denominator among the henges is that they did not appear to be closed and were possibly gathering places.»
This uncertainty may seem like an opposite climate answer to the question of why Stone Age Europeans saw fit to build so many circular monuments, Hill said, but there is a kind of magic in not knowing. «Stonehenge is still a mystery, and you can be The priest Or an anthropologist or archaeologist or a new era and you can bring your stuff into it. «
Originally published on Live Science.