Precise identification of the details of Stonehenge history is not an easy task for this iconic monument is surrounded by myths and mysteries. It is sufficient for us to know that this mysterious edifice is considered the most important prehistoric monument in Britain, which had been completed three thousand and five hundred years ago.
For usability, we divide Stonehenge history into two main periods, which include several phases of its construction and modern developments. It should be clear from the outset that determining the exact dates and the various phases of Stonehenge construction is complicated due to unavoidable factors like poor quality of early excavation records and absence of scientifically verified dates.
The approximate date given for the initial construction of the site is about five thousand years ago. With five millennia, it is but realistic to expect that the Stonehenge of today is just remains of the original for it suffered throughout its history both from human negligence and weather condition.
Stonehenge history about its construction covers an estimated span of time for at least one thousand and five hundred years. It has actually four stages. From its earliest stage, which designated as Stonehenge 1, the place was acknowledged as a cemetery for the wealthy few. It was built around three thousand and one B.C. Excavations have revealed cremated human bones, and so its original function was interpreted as an enclosed cremation cemetery. It was the earliest known cremation cemetery in Great Britain.
Stonehenge 2 was started around two thousand, and one hundred fifty B.C. During this time, some eighty two bluestones from the Preseli Mountains in Wales were transported. It was widely recognized that journey covers nearly two hundred and forty miles.
The construction of Stonehenge 3 happened about two thousand B.C. where the arrival of Sarsen stones took place. Due to the weight of these stones, each with twenty-five tons, it was claimed that it would take five hundred men just to pull one stone.
The final stage occurred after one thousand and five hundred B.C. It was during this time that the bluestones were rearranged in the horseshoe and circle shapes that we see today.
Modern Stonehenge history is largely dependent on excavation done in 1919 and 1950. Here, we are including a legend, historical overview from the sixteenth century up to the present time, and efforts on re-excavation and restoration.
Except for the Arthurian legend associated with the name of Merlin, the heel shape of stone in Stonehenge has its own mythological version. This myth centers on the story between the devil and a priest. After purchasing the stones from Ireland, the devil was confident that no one could discover how those stones arrived on Salisbury plain. The priest disagreed resulting to the devil throwing one stone and struck the former’s heel. This legend originated in the seventeenth century.
Stonehenge history covering from the sixteenth century up to the present time contains information about several changes in ownership, a nationwide appeal in the 1920s for the protection of Stonehenge from the appearance of modern buildings in the surrounding area, renewed religious interest for the site, and controversies about expensive re-routing of roads.
As a result, of appeal in the 1920s, buildings were removed, and the land was returned to agriculture. The revival of religious interest involves movements like new paganism and new age. At present, the ritual use of the site is now carefully monitored.
The re-excavation project joined by Richard Atkinson was instrumental to the modern understanding of the three major stages in the construction of the monument. The 1966 and 1967 re-excavation of the Vatchers led to the discovery of Mesolithic postholes dating from between 7000 and 8000 B.C. Other re-excavation projects were also launched and made some significant discoveries.
Restoration projects were also conducted. In 1958, three of the standing Sarsen stones were re-erected and set in concrete bases. The final restoration project was implemented in 1963.
All these re-excavation and restoration projects are commendable. Through re-excavation projects, many are still hoping that some mysteries surroundingStonehenge history would come to light. Restoration projects, on the other hand, is also praiseworthy for by attempting to preserve the site,Stonehenge history could also be kept alive in memory of succeeding generations.
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