Monday, May 15, 2006
Stonehenge: created 5000 years ago in Southern England, in part with Blue Stones from Wales
1) "a temple made for the worship of ancient earth deities."
2) "an astronomical observatory for marking significant events on the prehistoric calendar."
3) "a sacred site for the burial of high-ranking citizens from the societies of long ago,"says brittania.com.
Please see Stonehenge.
The site originally comprised a large bank and precisely circular ditch, called by the British a "henge." The earliest construction dates to about 5000 years ago. Henges were constructed - with ditch, bank and poles - all across Britain in the Neolithic and Mesolithic periods (the Stone Age).
Stage 2 of construction: 82 Blue stones - about 4 tons each - were transported from the Prescelly Mtns. of Wales (about 240 miles). Within the outer circle of 60 stones were two horseshoe-shaped assemblages of stones.
Stage 3 saw the transportation of 77 Sarsen stones of 26 to 40 tons each from about 20 miles away. The Sarsen stones are the ones apparent in photos of Stonehenge. The Sarsens were dressed (rubbed smooth) and notched. Lintel stones were laid across the tops of this giant circle of vertical stones in mortise and tenon construction.
The 3-stone (2 posts and a lintel) groups are called trilithons. The large outside ring of trilithons would have been about 16 ft high. Inside the ring was a horseshoe-shaped group of trilithons. These stones were the largest: some 50 tons each and as high as 24 ft., says Wikipedia.org.
Independent work: Comparing Stonehenge and the nearby Avebury ring.