Stonehenge, Englands Historic Monument

 

Stonehenge

Stonehenge has been a place of fascination and study for many years.
Located on the Salisbury Plains of England, this may make a very special vacation for your family that will trigger educational opportunities and much discussion.

Blue sky with white fluffy clouds over the massive circle of stones that make up the world famous prehistoric landmark and World Heritage Site

Blue sky with white fluffy clouds over the massive circle of stones that make up the world famous prehistoric landmark and World Heritage Site

Recently, new evidence has come to light that suggests Stonehenge may not be a place of worship of the gods as was thought previously. Instead, archeologists are considering that it may have been used as a site to honor the ancestors of the ancient inhabitants of Britain.

National Geographic recently aired a program called “National Geographic: Stonehenge Decoded” in which they explored this new theory on the history and purpose of Stonehenge.

A select group of archeologists and volunteers were put to work digging around the perimeter of Stonehenge. Results showed that an ancient civilization not only built this incredible site but that they made it a pilgrimage destination at the winter and summer solstices to honor their ancestors and to promote and celebrate fertility.

Original theories suggested that Stonehenge was built around 2500 BC, around the time the Egyptians were building the Pyramids. New carbon dating tests are indicating, however that Stonehenge dates back to 4500 BC, during the period known as the Stone Age.

Stonehenge was an incredible achievement for the people who built it. These giant stones weighing more than 45 tons each came from as far away as 25 miles from the monument site. They were set on the trunks of trees that then served as rollers beneath the stones. The ancient Britons moved the stones to the site on Salisbury Plain and then engineered their placement, creating the monument we see today. Imagine the team of people it took to move these giant stones 25 miles in this manner!

Nearby, they also made a mirror image of Stonehenge made of wood. They both were made with the famous archway that frames the rising sun. The wooden version is almost as impressive as its larger stone neighbor.

Nearby sights include the town of Salisbury, which has historical features of its own. This is the location of an 800 year old cathedral that is home to the Magna Carta; you won’t want to miss seeing a document that has such historical significance while you’re there. You can also visit nearby Bath, famous for its hot springs that are reputed to have cured one of Britain’s kings of leprosy. Bath Abbey is worth a visit, as are the ancient Roman Baths. Seeing how well the Romans understood plumbing and engineering is worth the trip all on its own.

To help prepare the family for this momentous trip, you may want to watch the National Geographic: Stonehenge Decoded. By doing a little research before you leave, you’ll know exactly what you want to see while you’re there and you’ll make this vacation into something truly special.

A vacation to Stonehenge can be a memorable trip for your entire family. By paying it a visit, you and your family can become a part of its mystery and intrigue. If you time it right, maybe you can be there for the Summer Solstice and see its full majesty for yourself.

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