Unless you’ve been living under a rock (pun intended!), then you’ve no doubt heard of England‘s mysterious Stonehenge. While questions still swarm today on the whos, hows and whys of Stonehenge, there are a few things that are certain – for now, anyway. Here are seven facts about Stonehenge.
Seven Facts About Stonehenge
1. It Took 1,500 Years To Build
Archeologic discoveries show that the oldest elements of Stonehenge can be traced back to around 3,000 BCE. At this time, a ditch of about 6 feet deep was dug in a circular pattern. It’s suggested that around 500 years later, the stones came to the location in 2500 BCE. The exact design and additions continued until approximately 1500 BCE.
2. They Came A Long Way, Too
The Neolithic builders of Stonehenge travelled quite far to get the stones used for this mega ritual site. While exactly how far and exactly where from isn’t widely agreed on, most scholars will give a nod to the idea that the stones came from at least 150 miles away.
3. It Is Also An Ancient Burial Ground
Long before Stonehenge was erected, the grounds served as a resting place for at least 60 Neolithic people. It has been discovered that there were originally 57 pits or ‘Aubrey Holes’ that contained these remains. Strangely, all of these remains were ashes aside from decapitated man’s remains from the 7th century.
4. Is Merlin Responsible?
In Medieval times, it was widely circulated that Stonehenge was the work of British lore wizard – Merlin. The legend says that Merlin brought the stones from Ireland where giants erected it.
5. Stonehenge Belongs To An Even Larger Sacred Area
Located in the heart of Salisbury Plain, there are other monuments in the area that date back to at least 10,500 years ago. This suggests that Stonehenge, mysterious as it may be, was more than likely part of an even bigger sacred Neolithic site.
6. Stonehenge Is Intrinsically Linked With Astronomy
The standing stones are in perfect alignment with the winter and summer solstice only adding to the curiosity around their original builders and purpose. This lends to the theory that Stonehenge was constructed as an astronomical observatory and/or used for celestial Pagan rituals. How they managed to align these 20+ ton stones with the sunrise and sunset of the summer and winter solstices, is beyond science at the moment.
7. George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, Dug For Gold There
The mystery and curiosity surrounding the sacred site extend even to Dukes. In fact, in 1620, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, searched for treasure at Stonehenge. He dug a large hole in the centre of the site determined to find a chest of gold or some sort of hidden mystery. While his search was fruitless, it proves the lengths people are willing to go to find out what Stonehenge is really all about.