If you love a good mystery, then Stonehenge is the ultimate in historical mysteries. One of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the stone circle still confounds historians. Despite the mystery, here are some of the things that we do know about Stonehenge:
- It is incredibly old
The site didn’t start life as a ring of stones and went through many transformations over many years. The circular bank dates back to around 3100 BC but the first stones probably didn’t arrive at the site until 2400 BC. Over several centuries, the stones were repositioned, and new ones added. The formation that remains today has most likely been like that since 1600 BC.
- No written records
The people who created Stonehenge left no written records as to why or how they did it which is why so much remains an enigma about the site.
- Was it a burial ground?
Archaeologists uncovered the remains of 50,000 bones in 2013 belonging to men, women and children. The bones date between 3000 and 2500 BC which suggests that Stonehenge could have started life as a burial ground. We still don’t know if that was its primary purpose.
- Stones from 200 miles away
The stones were quarried in a Welsh town and somehow made their way to Wiltshire. This was an amazing feat for the time period and there is still great uncertainty of how this was achieved. However they did it, it must have been incredibly tough. It’s a pity they couldn’t use a Hoist Winch supplied by https://www.brevini.co.uk/power-transmission/winches/hoisting-winches/
- The “ringing rocks”
The Stonehenge rocks have a unique acoustic property in that they produce a loud clang when struck. This might be the reason for transporting them so far as in ancient times, this type of rock was believed to contain special healing powers.
- Earliest painting
The earliest known painting that offered a realistic view of the stone circle was created in the 1500s by Lucas de Heere, a Flemish artist who used watercolours and painted on site between 1573 and 1575.
- Millions of visitors
Stonehenge holds UNESCO World Heritage status and because of its myths and legends, it’s an incredibly popular tourist destination. It was first opened to the public in the 20th century and visitors were able to walk freely among the stones and even climb on top of them! As a result, the stones suffered from serious erosion, so the decision was made in 1997 to rope off the stones so they can only be viewed from a distance. During the summer and winter solstices and spring and autumn equinoxes, the stones are made accessible.