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Caroline Menges
Mr. Probert
English I
8 May 2012

The Mystery of Stonehenge
When you take out all of the pieces in a puzzle the picture is not necessarily always clear.
To the average human looking at all of the pieces can be very confusing and may seem
impossible to solve, even though they know it can be. Stonehenge is similar to a puzzle because
of all the theories. Frost states in an article that, Stonehenge was started around 3100 BC and
finished around 1600 BC. The only missing piece to the puzzle is who built it. It is hard for
many scientists, archeologist, and geologist to identify the creators of this megalith because so
many ideas are believable and relevant to the subject. Even though there is not a definite answer
regarding the origin of Stonehenge there are three main theories concerning Merlin the Wizard,
Astronomical Observatory site, and the Druids, the most likely being the Druids.
Stonehenge is a main attraction for tourist. Hundreds of thousands visit Wiltshire,
England every year to see the prehistorical, circular megalith. The land Stonehenge is located on
is very flat and surrounded by meadow-like fields. The rock formation is made up of eighty
monoliths that weigh up to four tons each. These stones were originally located in Africa.
Scientists performed radio carbon dating on these stones and found that they were most likely
moved to Salisbury Plain by glacier. This is the most accurate because there are the same rocks
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in two different continents. Once they were in Salisbury Plain they were moved to their current
location, which is two hundred miles away. Once the stones were in Salisbury, they were then
moved by hand to their current location. The stones were moved by using sledges and log rollers.
This was the technology that was available to the creators at the time. After they were moved
they set up the design. The architectural design is classified as a post and lintel system,
according to Roberta Chapman, a professor at the Pennsylvania State University. Because
technology was so limited this construction took over two hundred years.





Fig.1: This shows the formation of Stonehenge from a birds eye view. (Jason Hawkes)
This is an accurate example of how the stones are set up. Scientists have recently found that the
stones were definitely transported by using log rollers. They know this because of the land
resources. The only recourse the creators had were trees from another area. No form of metal
was strong or big enough to move these megaliths. The scientist have also compares the mineral
texture to the geological texture and found that the stones were absolutely transported to
Salisbury from a land mass miles away.

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One of the first theories that were proposed was by Henry of Huntingdon. He was a
writer who wrote many history books and epistles. During the time he was living, folktale
characters were inspirational for people. He proposed that a wizard, named Merlin, had asked a
giant to move the rocks from Mount Kilarus, which is located in Ireland, and build it for him.
The stones were believed to have healing powers and were the main reason they were moved to
the current location (James Hamilton). Geoffrey of Monmouth followed Huntingdons theory
and added the belief that King Arthur was involved with the building of the megalith.
Although many people do not believe that this is possible, it is still considered one of the top
three theories on Stonehenge.
Another theory was developed by Gerald Hawkins. He was an astronomer whose theory
is very hard to deny because it can be proved every single year. It was written in Stonehenge
Decoded that the stones line up exactly with the summer solstice (Hawkins). During the time of
the summer solstice, the sun shines directly through the center stones called The Slaughter and
Heel stones. The names of these stones allow scientist to believe that some type of religious
sacrifice was made on these stones. It is also leads us to think that the sun god may have been
worshiped here. These are examples of how this site was use for religious reasons. Other reasons
scientists believe Stonehenge was created as an Astronomical Observatory is for the practical
reason of a calendar. The calendar could have been used for reasons such as to determine
farming, hunting, gathering food, social and seasonal events, and religious ceremonies. The
calendar could have been use to tell people when to gather their crops or when to plant them.
This is a very practical reason, but the amount of time and work put into it is impractical. The
lack of technology made it very difficult for them to solve the advanced math that was needed in
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order to align the stones with the solstices. This theory is not identified by who created it but
with the facts we know that it was create by someone for those specific reasons.
The last theory that is stated in the thesis is about the Druids building it. This is by far the
most believed theory of all of them. The Druids were a group of pagan people who populated
much of Ireland, England, and some British Islands. They are considered to be the oldest
indigenious religious people in these areas (Aes Dana Grove). Because the Druids settled in the
same spot as Stonehenge around the same time it was being built, they are credited for building
it. Since the Druids were very religios people, this lead historians to believe it was created as a
religious site. Irish monks have also agreed with this statement. An example that shows how this
could have been a worship site is the relationship between stone and wood in the Druid religion.
When a baby is born they are considered to be wood. As you grow older your wood starts to
decay. Once your wood is decayed it transfers into the stone. The wood represent the living
people in the community and the stone represents the ancestral dead. The journey from the wood
to the stone is referred to as death. Even though this is an accurate tradition there are some facts
about the Druids that would make historians believe the Druids were not the creators of
Stonehenge. The Druids were known for worshiping in the dense forest. If this is a true
statement, they would not have used Stonehenge as there worship site because it is in an open
plain (James Hamilton). Another aspect is the fact that there are bronze possessions buried in the
outer circle of Stonehenge. The Bronze Age was still years away from happening. It is always
possible that these could have come from another group of people, but the Celtic priest said
Stonehenge was only occupied by the Druids (Norris Lacy). The men who proposed this theory
are John Aubrey and William Stuckley. Aubrey was a natural philosopher, antiquary, and a
writer. Stuckley was also an antiquary and a physician in the 18
th
century.
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Stonehenge is still to this day a mystery. Scientists and historians have been trying to
figure this out for years. I believe that the Druids created it because they, according to the
research, were the only group of people who occupied the area during the time of construction.
Even though the task was very challenging it was completed somehow. The three main theories
are still being studied today to pinpoint and answer of who created Stonehenge.