Stonehenge

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The enigmatic presence of the sarsen stones of Stonehenge stomps me. It’s mind-boggling when I think about how these stones were put forth the way it has by humans five thousand years ago. How did they do it? Especially when the bluestones (the smaller ones) were believed to have come from Wales—how did they bring those massive stones over without transportation? Theories hint at glaciers bringing them over. That makes sense but it still doesn’t answer the question of humans manipulating these megalithic stones without the assistance of modern machinery, tools or pulleys.

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The size and layout of the stone circles were strategically placed, as they align with midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset. The sarsen stones are similar in height and width with leveled lintels. The stones within the circle is arranged in a shape of a horseshoe. And beyond this whole arrangement is a circular ditch and bank that encircles the monument.

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Even though there is a myriad of theories on why Stonehenge was built, it remains a mystery. However, there are little known facts that researchers have gathered. They found 240 bodies buried around the area and it suggests Stonehenge was once a burial site. 10,500 years ago before the construction of the monument were three large pine posts, totems, erected at the exact site. Then about 5,500 years ago two Cursus monuments were erected at a length of 1.8 miles. Like Stonehenge, these earlier structures remain unknown.

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Standing in front of these mysterious stones was surreal. It’s not the same as seeing them in pictures. Different angles reveal something new to the eye as you walk around the circle. We wished we could have gotten up close, stepping into the inner circle, but the sacred site is now regulated so that tourists can’t get close, touch and climb on the Neolithic stones.

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The monument fell into neglect and misuse over the years and as a result the circle is missing some of its stones. I wonder how much longer will they be standing. And did the makers know when creating the circle that they would evoke a mystery to modern cultures? It’s fascinating when you think about it. We both thought this was the most memorable thing we saw on this trip.

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