1. A Famous and Recognizable Site
Located in England’s Wiltshire area, Stonehenge is among the most famous and recognizable sites in Earth. Stonehenge features a ring of free standing stones that have gotten historians, archaeologists and the general public fascinated for many years. Numerous theories about when these stones were constructed exist with most theories suggesting that they were built between 2000 BC and 3000 BC.
2. A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Stonehenge is featured on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. It is among the Seven Wonders of Medieval World. Stonehenge is at the core of numerous Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments. The land and area that surrounds Stonehenge has a number of hundreds of burial mounds. The land where Stonehenge sits belongs to the National Trust. The monument belongs to the Crown and is under the management of the English Heritage.
3. Religious Significance
Stonehenge has important significance among Neo-Druidry. A Druids initiation mass was held at the Stonehenge in 1905 by Ancient Order of Druids. The Druids wore fake beards and white robes during the initiation. Today, ritual use of this heritage monument is restricted. As a result, the Druids erected Stonehenge-like monuments in other places across the globe.
4. Burial Site
Archaeological evidence discovered in 2008 shows that Stonehenge might have served as a burial site way before the Stonehenge monuments were constructed. The builders of Stonehenge must have been sophisticated in geometry and mathematics because Stonehenge was aligned with the midsummer and midwinter sunset. This monument was also aligned with many other northerly settings as well as southerly moon rising points.
5. Built with Two Stone Types
The Stonehenge was constructed using two kinds of stones. The builders used Sarsen stones whose weight is 25 tones and measure about 18 feet in height. Bluestones, a kind of volcanic rock, were also used to build the monuments. Bluestones were sourced approximately 240 miles away and their weight is about 4 tons. These stones are found in specific places which is the reason why it has been discovered that they were sourced about 230 miles from the Stonehenge site.
6. Built in 300 million labor hours
It took a minimum of labor 300 million to build the Stonehenge monuments. Some people say it took about 1500 years. Stonehenge is the most famous ring monument out of more than 900 stone monuments found in the British Isles. There are varying opinions as to whether Stonehenge was constructed for ritualistic purposes or as an astronomical observatory.
7. Crop Circles
When people talk about crop circles, reference is often made to Stonehenge. There are people who hold that the monuments were built by aliens but there is no proof to support this theory. Common theories include use of the monuments for human sacrifice, religious activities, cremation and burial place.
8. Missing Stones
It is hard to develop a definite conclusion concerning the Stonehenge since over half of the stones are said to have fallen off or they are missing. Some people believe that the site’s tall stones are grave markers while others believe that Stonehenge is a giant clock.
9. Built before Egyptian Pyramids
Stonehenge was constructed some 300 years before Egyptians started building the pyramids. Visitors to the site were able to touch and feel the stones but today, the stones are roped off.
10. Continuous Evolution
According to research, the Stonehenge site has evolved continuously over 10,000 years. The University of Birmingham is currently mapping the Stonehenge historic site and its surroundings using a range of technologies that include magnetometers and ground penetrating radar.