You would think that a monument that has been in plain sight, studied, poked, and prodded for millennia would have given up all its secrets long ago. Not so. Stonehenge, probably the most famous prehistoric monument in the world, continues to surprise the historians, archaeologists, and scientists who continue to investigate it.
Stonehenge is an arrangement of gigantic standing stones in southwestern England. The first stones may have been put up as early as 3,000 BC. Although many other theories for its use have been proposed, Stonehenge clearly had an observatory function, since the stones’ placement allows predictions of solstices and other astronomical events.
Archaeologists recently found support for the observatory function. They have found evidence of two huge pits connected to the stones’ astronomical alignment. The finders propose that the pits held large objects or even fires that would have marked a route for a ritual procession.
The stones themselves are also the subject of research. One recent discovery revealed exactly where some of them were quarried. Researchers had long suspected that the stones came from hills in western Wales. Now geologists have narrowed down the site to within 230 feet by matching the mineral content and textural relationships within the rock. The analysis raises a new question, though. Since rough terrain separates the new-found quarry site from the sea, from where the stones could be floated to the Stonehenge site, how did the people get the stones from the quarry to the coast?
Another study hints that Stonehenge had acoustical properties that could have enhanced its status as a sacred, or at least very special and unusual place. Using a replica of the monument in Washington State, specialists in acoustics determined that sound waves bounced around Stonehenge with a reverberation time of just less than one second—the rate that is preferred for a good lecture hall. The study’s director compared the effect to the feeling one gets when standing in a great cathedral.
Image credit: © Corbis
Take a virtual tour of Stonehenge at this official English Heritage site.
(Source: English Heritage; accessed May 31, 2012)
- Discoveries Provide Evidence of a Celestial Procession at Stonehenge
Scroll down for a podflash interview with Dr. Christopher Gaffney, lecturer in Archaeological Geophysics at the University of Bradford, on his recent discoveries at Stonehenge.
(Source: University of Birmingham, November 26, 2011)
- Stonehenge Rocks Pembrokeshire Link Confirmed
How did scientists learn where the stones came from? Find out here.
(Source: BBC News, December 19, 2011)
- Measuring the Acoustics of Stonehenge
Read the details of the acoustic research project.
(Source: University of Salford, Manchester; accessed May 31, 2012)
im the first 1 to comment 😀
You Are the only one to comment besides for me.
I nominate this bloke to be the one-man binudlig committee for our church. If it can work for Stone Henge, there may be some chance (?) he can get our binudlig up by 2050.
WowowA. Superb. The image itself is moiyerstsosososososo.Beautiful. I have never been to Stonehenge. I’ve heard it’s a bit of a racket/trap. But this, now, THIS is gorgeous. Did you see the face of GOD?! Wowowowow!
Happy Summer Solstice to you I love this day always have tahnks for the history. When Ty was in elementary school, for about 3 years in a row on the evening of June 21st we would head down to the ocean with junk food and watch the sunset on the longest day. A great memory for me. Our welcoming of the summer ahead.
hahah yall are funny (:
This is the most coolest thing in the worldest.
Carol – What Will didn’t say We were searching evehrwreye for Stonehenge and couldn’t find it. The clock was ticking so we were literally about to run for the gate, then I turned the corner and there it was. It was the last Lego display we saw before seeing the real thing. Magical. That’s how we roll.
How do you think they got there?
I think it was a lucture hall for colleage classes.
How has Stonehedge stood tall threw all of these years?
Perhaps the water between the quarry and the site wasn’t there at the time.
Amazing how these people could place the stones in the correct place to have sound bounce and get the stones over a body of water.
it is the coolest thing ever
and how they lived all these years
how are the stones acoustical???
When we went my wife found an early morning tour that let you walk arnoud the stones before they were open to the general public. You can do everything except climb on them.
I wonder what the acoustics would actually sond like as an intrument. The acoustics might just someday be used in a new instrument someday.
This is very interseting. how did they live all these years?
I want to know how they really moves the boulders without the inventions we have today.
i thought that this story was very interesting. i love rocks because there cool. and if you like rocks or anything else pleas comment.
This article interesting it makes me want to go check the monument(The Sehenge)stones that were built about 3000 BC.
Nothing has ever lead me down a longer road that leianrng about the wonderous Celt’s, history, lore. My entire bloodline is Western European..and that subject has counted for many hours of wonder. btw, im a mutt just like us all.
i actually heard that stegnhonee wasnt for anything other then landing the old type of space craft with a deep bell shape. it didnt have landing gear and used to burn what ever it came near so it would land there and prevent scorching
this is a good help
but where did humans come from in the first place? From apes?? But where is the link from apes to human? apes did evlvoe into Neanderthals, but there is no link between them and US! im guessing alians came took the Neanderthals (as they had the closest DNA match to them and where more then likely the most advanced animal at the time) and implanted there alien blood in them. then put em back on earth to evlvoe, but it took to long so they began mating subspecies (humans) and aliens to speed it up
This was very interesting! 😀
Stonehenge is an amazing place to see firsthand.
stonehenge sounds awesome! 🙂 😀 🙂 Wish I could go there!