An Unusual Geographic Phenomena : Stonehenge

2471 words - 10 pages

Stonehenge. A place that has been surrounded in mystery, debate and speculation for centuries. Located in the English county of Wiltshire on the Salisbury Plains, it is one of the world's most famous prehistoric sites. Stonehenge is a ruin of a stone building. It is the oldest pre-historic structure in Western Europe. The name "Stonehenge" is Saxon in origin and means hanging stones. It contains close to one hundred and sixty-five stones and all of the stones are arranged in a plain and simple manner. Construction on this magnificent monument began 5000 years ago, but the stones that still stand today were put in place nearly 4000 years ago. Even though Stonehenge is an amazing sight physically, one of the main things that attracts visitors to Stonehenge is its mystery. Stonehenge is so mysterious because no matter how many theories we come up with, we can never be 100% certain on the purpose for which it was built or who actually built it.At Stonehenge, there are five different types of stone circles. (Refer to pages 6 & 7 for diagrams). The five types are: the outer sarsen circle, the outer bluestone circles, the inner sarsen trilithons, the inner blue horseshoe and the altar stone. The outer sarsen circle is one hundred feet in diameter. Each stone is about thirteen and a half feet tall and seven feet wide and the space between each of the stones is approximately four feet apart. The outer bluestone circle is close to seventy-five feet in diameter. Most of the stones height are six and a half feet or taller and the stones are blue in colour. Only six of the original sixty stones remain standing straight. The others either lean or lie on their side. The inner sarsen trilithons lie just inside of the bluestone circle. Some call the inner sarsen trilithon the sarsen horseshoe. The trilithon is arranged symmetrically in a horseshoe shape and is about forty-five feet across. Their overall height is about twenty-four feet high. Three of the original trilithons still stand in tact today. Just inside the inner sarsen trilithon is the inner bluestone horseshoe. The stones start out at around six feet and increase in size moving south-west until they reach a maximum of eight feet. Six of the original nineteen stones that made the horseshoe are still in place. In the middle of the inner bluestone horseshoe is a single large slab of gray-green sandstone. This stone is called the altar stone. It is approximately sixteen feet long and lies on its side. This stone was believed to have once stood upright.There are many myths and legends about Stonehenge. In the past, people have associated the building of this monument with the Danes, Romans, Saxons, Greeks, Atlanteans, Egyptians, Celts, and even King Aurelius and Merlin. Many past archeologists believed that the Druids constructed it for sacrificial ceremonies. They believed that only such a mysterious and mystical group such as the Druids could build an ancient temple so magnificent. In recent years,...

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