Stonehenge and Avebury are prehistoric henge monuments located in southwest England. These sites are among the most well known tourist attractions in the world because of the mystery that has stumped archeologists for years. How did these giant stones get here? And why were they brought to this place?
Scientists believe that these sites were built around 3000 B.C. to 2000
B.C. That was over 5000 years ago! The first stones that were brought to
Stonehenge were brought from a site in Wales between 2400 B.C. and 2200 B.C. it is thought they were then somehow loaded onto large ships to be carried down river to a village some 100 miles away from Stonehenge. The stones were then most likely rolled on top of large logs to where they would be stacked on top of each other in a circular setting.
This was probably the same case for the stones gathered in Avebury for they are not too far away from each other. No easy feat when you consider that the stones weigh anywhere from 5 tons to 45 tons each! The stones that were brought there were composed in larger circular setting than Stonehenge and had a huge ditch with two smaller stone circles lining the inside.
The original purpose of these monuments is unknown. Perhaps they were places of worship? There have been many theories but evidence suggests that Stonehenge was most likely used as a burial site. But what scientists discovered about this place surprised them. Twice a year, on the solstices, the sun shines through the front stone doorway. This allows you to see which month you are in by how the sun rotates and shines through a different doorway each month.
To really appreciate Stonehenge and Avebury is to see them first-hand and get an idea of how massive the stones really are and why archeologists are so interested in these monuments. It is a nice place to go and reflect on the mystery of how humans with only the bones of animals and stone tools could accomplish such a feat.