The mysteries of why Stonehenge was built in the early Stone Age still baffles scientists and historians today. Many theories are surrounding the henge, from ancient healing centers to alien landing sites.

(Photo: garethwiscombe / Wikimedia Commons)
Stonehenge, a neolithic stone monument constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

What Makes Stonehenge Special? 

According to the English Heritage Organization, Henges are prehistoric Neolithic circular structures that date back 3,000-2,000 BC. There are less than a hundred henges still standing across Britain and Ireland. But out of all of them, Stonehenge is by far the most popular.

In recent years it has been discovered that parts of Stonehenge were transported by Neolithic humans from Wales, in a BBC article

This begs the question: Why did they bother? And Why did Stone Age civilizations build numerous henges?

According to historian Rosemary Hill, no one knows why. Until this day, scientists, researchers, and historians alike have found limited evidence showing Stonehenge's purpose and origins.

Technically, Stonehenge isn't a henge. The word was coined in 1932 by Thomas Kendrick that defined henges as a circular bank with a ditch inside and multiple protruding entrances.

But the opposite is true for Stonehenge. It is a bank inside a ditch, according to researchers.

Most henges were made of wood that was an abundant resource, especially in the Stone Age. 

In an article by History, many in the 17th and 18th centuries believed that Stonehenge's served as a Druid temple for ancient Celtic pagans. However, recent discoveries have proved that Stonehenge predates Celtics for over 2,000 years.

On the other hand, recent excavations have unearthed hundred of human bones onsite, which researchers theorize were cremated before burial, making Stonehenge an ancient burial ground.

READ ALSO: Amazon Full of Ancient Earthworks Resembling Stonehenge

What is Stonehenge Made Of?

As per the English Heritage Organization, there are two types of stone used at Stonehenge: Sarsen and bluestones.

Sarsen stones are silcrete rock that is naturally scattered across southern England. For years archeologists and researchers believed that sarsen stones were brought in from the Marlborough Downs. 

Through a novel geochemical approach, archeologists have confirmed that these stones came from West Woods, south-west of Marlborough.

On average, the sarsen stone timbers on Stonehenge weigh 25 tons while the larges, the Heel Stone, weighs roughly 30 tons.

Bluestone, on the other hand, refers to the smaller stones at Stonehenge. With various geology, these stones are said to come from the Preseli Hills in south-west Wales. Although the stones do not appear blue, they have a bluish tinge when wet or freshly broken. 

Meanwhile, the Altar Stone is formed from sandstone from either the Brecon Beacons or the Black Mountains in south-east Wales.

While some believe that these stones were brought to Salisbury Plain by glacier movement archaeologists, they think that neolithic humans transported them.

Although Stonehenge's mysteries remain, unsolved archeologists and scientists are unraveling various clues that could lead to the inevitable truth of why Stonehenge was built.

ALSO READ: Neolithic Monument Discovered Near Stonehenge

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