When was it built?
Radiocarbon dating puts the construction from about 3000 BC through 1500 BC. It is
thought to pre-date the wheel in Europe! The Celts came in 2 waves - one Bronze
Age and then again in the Iron Age, so the Celts had nothing to do with the original
Did Stonehenge always have the big Sarsen stones?
Not at all. The first of the three stages of development was a circle of wood posts
surrounded by both a ditch and a bank. The 56 holes discovered which date back to
this period are know an Aubrey Holes, in honor of a 17th century Stonehenge
researcher, John Aubrey. This was around 3100 BC (broken bits of antler used to dig
the holes give us the date). There are 2 more concentric rings of holes, closer to the
monument, called Z holes and Y holes.
In about 2500 BC, the Bluestones were brought in from the Prescelli Mountains. Each
stone weighs about 5 tons and they were most likely set in concentric circles.
200 years later, it looks like the stones were re-arranged and the larger Sarsen stones
were brought over from nearby Marlborough Downs. The heaviest of these stones
weighs about 45 tons. They replaced some of the bluestones and in the center set up 5
trilithons (2 uprights and one across) and an outer ring of upright stones connected by
lintels across the top.
The bluestones were continuously included and moved about the site while the sarsens
were in use.
There is a path which leads to the outer ditch and rings of stones, called the Avenue.
Within this path, and probably pre-dating the path, is the heel stone.
How was it built?
Good question! Haven't a clue. Actually that is an exaggeration; we have clues, but we
can't quite put all of the pieces together. We know the inner circle of Bluestones came
from Wales and were floated over the Celtic Sea and River Avon to get to England and
the final location and we know the large Sarsen stones are from the local quarry but
would not be easily transported.
The holes for the stones were dug into the chalk just beneath the ground. That strong
foundation has helped keep them in place (for the most part) over millenia.
Stonehenge is the only stone sircle built with stones when are not from the area.
What are ley lines and are they at Stonehenge?
Ley lines are energy lines which criss-cross the earth. Not everyone believes the exist, I
know I seriously doubted it, until I experienced them. I was able to see Stonehenge up
close, with permission from English Heritage of course, and dowsed for ley lines here as
well as Avebury with several other people. (This comprises of walking with dowsing rods
around an area. If the rods cross and uncross naturally, you have walked over a ley
line. At one point, one of my dowsing rods was spinning in counter-clockwise circles!)
We were all convinced by the end of our trip.
Is it true that Stonehenge is a giant astronomical calendar?
We know that it tracks solar movements, because the sunrises for both the summer and
winter solstices appear to rise directly over the heel stone when you stand in the center
of the circle. There is a new theory espoused in Hengeworld by Michael Pitts which is
interesting. It states the stones represent the dead, and the wood represented the
living. Also the living come from the east and dead go off to the west, which follows the
path of the sun. There is a wooden monument, names Woodhenge, which lies to the
east of Stonehenge and the stones come from the west. I personally think he's
stretching things a bit, but is on the right track.
The axis of Stonehenge though is undeniably facing NE - which for its latitude means the