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Stonhenge: The Mystery By: Jouanna Abou Chacra
Where is Stonehenge? • Location: Wiltshire, Southwestern England, West of the Avon River on Salisbury Plain • Three Phases of Construction – Stonehenge One – Stonehenge Two – Stonehenge Three
Stonehenge One • Began around 3100 B. C. • First step – Dig circular ditch • Second step – Aubrey Holes • Third Step – Placement of Slaughter Stones • Fourth Step – Placement of Heel Stone
Mystery of Stonehenge One Heel stone is level with Horizon.
The Heel Stone • Leaning inwards towards the stone circle. It has been known by many names in the past, including "Friar's Heel" and "Sunstone". Today it is uniformly referred to as the Heel Stone or Heelstone. At summer solstice an observer standing within the stone circle, looking north-east through the entrance, would see the sun rise above the heel stone.
Mystery of Stonehenge One (continued) • Abandoned around 2900 B. C. • Theories to Stonehenge One – The stones were moved from Wales down the Avon River to Stonehenge and then rolled on logs to construction site. – The stones were brought way earlier by an iceberg. Workers rolled these stones to the construction site.
Stonehenge Two • Construction began around 2600 B. C. • New Generation of Druids (Celts) were believed to have completed this phase. • In this phase of construction, the Horseshoe trilithon is built. • Trilithon - a setting of stones where there are two stones erected beside each other and one stone laid on top of the two standing stones to make an arch-like setting.
Stonehenge Two • Construction of Horseshoe shaped trilithon – Brought fifteen bluestones to the edge of the site – Beaten with hammers until finally smooth – Ten stones brought in and set vertically in a horseshoe shape facing the main entrance – The remaining five stones were laid on top of the ten vertical stones • This created five separated trilithons that created a
Mystery of Stonehenge Two • First theory – Dirt ramp was built to top of the vertical stones and the stones were pushed to the top • With so much pressure and weight on the vertical stones, how did they not fall down? • This is why this theory is not highly accepted.
Mystery of Stonehenge Two (continued) • Most widely accepted theory – Workers pushed the stone on a platform at the base of two vertical stones – With hammers and wedges, workers lifted the stone high enough to put another plaform underneath it – After repeating this process over and over, the stone would be at the height of the vertical stones – Workers then slid the stone on top to create the trilithon – This process of setting stones on top was repeated for all five groups of trilithons
Stonehenge Three • Started construction around 2300 B. C. – This is the final stage of construction – Like Stonehenge Two, a new generation of workers built Stonehenge Three • Built with Sarsen stones – Weighed twenty-five tons and stood thirteen and a half feet tall • Sixty Stones carried from the quarry – Before they were assembled inside of the circular ditch; a large stone, called the Altar Stone, was laid in the middle of the horseshoe
Stonehenge Three • A circle surrounding the trilithon called the sarsen circle. • Thirty sarsen stones were stood vertically all facing the horseshoe in a circle • The other thirty sarsen stones, called lintels, were laid on top of the vertical stones
What Makes Stonehenge Even More Important? The summer solstice sun rose close to the Heel Stone, and the sun's first rays shone into the centre of the monument between the horseshoe arrangement. While it is possible that such an alignment could be coincidental.
Admittance • When Stonehenge was first opened to the public it was possible to walk among and even climb on the stones, but the stones were roped off in 1977 as a result of serious erosion. Visitors are no longer permitted to touch the stones, but are able to walk around the monument from a short distance away. English Heritage does, however, permit access during the summer and winter solstice, and the spring and autumn equinox.
The Fests • Festival or celebrations are made during the solstice(summer, winter) and equinox(spring, fall). • Which include performers and many other types of intertainment