Our understanding about one of the most ancient monuments known in human history has been revised when scientists of Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project team discovered the most massive of all the stone structures known so far. It was found beneath Durrington Walls, which is around 3 kilometres away from Stonehenge.
The newly discovered structure is known to have been built before 4500 years whereas the Stonehenge that we have known till date is 3500 years old. As the mysteries enshrouding Stonehenge remains unravelled, a Superhenge has been discovered. Thus, the conundrums and awe of Stonehenge continue to surprise the humankind with its unanswered questions: Why was it built? When was it built? Above all, how was it built? It may look like a simple pile of stones, but they are enormously huge to be transported- 4000 years ago.
To more of our excitement, a group of researchers are looking for a Stonehenge -Blick Mead- that is considered 9500 years old.There are a lot of assumptions about the why’s and where’s regarding Stonehenge. Even the dateline that the archaeologists believe to be the age of the Stonehenge is a topic of debate despite the latest technological advancements like radiocarbon dating and high-resolution radar devices being used in the research.
Prior to the discovery of the recent Durrington Wall Stonehenge, archaeologists believed that the ancient people, as a ritual practice, had celebrations at the Durrington Wall and then proceeded to Stonehenge for final services. There is also an assumption that the bluestones used in the Stonehenge had the power of healing, and hence people visited it as a sacred site where ailments are healed.
Conforming to this assumption researchers have found dead remains of human beings with injuries. Moreover, people visited Stonehenge from different parts of the world. A skeleton exhumed by the archeologists is found to belong to a person from the present day Switzerland.There could be some astronomical significance to the entire construction of the structure, which has a horseshoe-shaped structure made of five individual structures, surrounded by a circle of stones, which is further enclosed by a ring of larger stones. The whole structure is aligned to the solar movements of the winter and summer solstice, speculate researchers. It is also assumed that the structure helped the ancient in identifying seasons favorable for agriculture.
What makes the Stonehenge more awe-inspiring is the method in which it was constructed, during a period of time, when no wheels were discovered. The transportation of such huge stones would have been a big deal in the present time and how did the ancient manage to move such megastructures is puzzling. Also, the stones were cut, surfaced and made flat manually to fit in the desired structure, which is again an impossible task without any metals at that time.
The biggest sarsen stones weighed around 25 tons and they were brought in from Marlborough Downs, which is 20 miles away from the Stonehenge, whereas the bluestones are smaller and weighed 4 tons, which are brought from several parts of western Wales, 140 miles away from the site.There is a speculation that these stones are brought closer by glaciers during the last ice-age, which made the transportation to the site easier. There are authors who believe that supernatural techniques were used to move the stones, otherwise, which would have been an impossible task.
Thus, every aspect of Stonehenge remains a mystery with a lot of questions remains unanswered. We may be completely wrong in believing that our ancestors were not as sophisticated in technology as ourselves, as we wonder how such a complex task was accomplished, which would require an army of men working for years to get completed.
The discovery of Blick Mead would be another defining moment in the history of Stonehenge if at all it is discovered. Even though the answers are too enigmatic to be understood, we could keep guessing how astonishing and skilled our ancestors were in their magnificent workmanship.
It is hard to say if we will find an answer to these questions, but one can be sure that the search will remain alive as long as there is human life on Earth.
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