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Archaeology & History

The building of Stonehenge was a celebration

By T.K. Randall
March 9, 2018 · Comment icon 5 comments

Stonehenge was built around 5,000 years ago. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Simon Wakefield
The construction of the world-famous stone circle may have been all about bringing people together.
The social and ceremonial aspects of selecting the stones, moving them to the site and setting them up may have been just as important as the finished structure, historians have claimed.

This prioritizing of socializing and celebrations over speed and efficiency may also explain why the builders chose to transport some of the stones over such large distances.
"In contemporary Western culture, we are always striving to make things as easy and quick as possible, but we believe that for the builders of Stonehenge this may not have been the case," said archaeologist Susan Greaney, Senior Properties Historian at English Heritage.

Celebratory feasts around the site of the construction would have been "a powerful tool in demonstrating the strength of the community to outsiders."

"As soon as you abandon modern preconceptions which assume Neolithic people would have sought the most efficient way of building Stonehenge, questions like why the bluestones were brought from so far away - the Preseli Hills of south Wales - don't seem quite so perplexing," said Greaney.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
This has been my pet (completely un-scientific) theory for decades.  It goes like this: Every year (twice a year) everyone gathers for a 'party' from around the region to catch up on events, trade and cavort. There is mead. Over the years more and more sophisticated markers are erected to track the sun (time of year) and commemorate other events while drinking mead. Someone decides that wood markers are nice but why not put in a large permanent stone? Pass the mead please. The following year, sitting around a fire, they decide that the rock they put up was nice but what about a bigger rock? L... [More]
Comment icon #2 Posted by BorizBadinov 6 years ago
Many ancient monuments seem to be trending toward the public works answer. What is really fascinating is the dedication of purpose in ancient folk. There are a lot of stone circles other than Stonehenge, so obviously it was popular with the culture. Still hauling huge boulders from many miles away requires some serious dedication. Perhaps the stones path was part of a pilgrimage style journey from myth or tradition that was made once each year or possibly once a decade even. Something like the Olympics. Send all the young men off to fetch the stone and everyone gathers at the henge to place th... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by khol 6 years ago
sorry to burst your bubble but you didnt hear of that timeloop that materialized in the UK ?  ...local photographer went back and captured this shot we still have to ask why would aliens do this tho..hmmmmmm   
Comment icon #4 Posted by LV-426 6 years ago
They have a wager going as to whether humans will still be discussing it on Internet forums thousands of years later
Comment icon #5 Posted by Calibeliever 6 years ago
Ah darn it. Well that takes some of the fun out it doesn't it?  


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