Who Kept the Ancient Wisdom of Stonehenge?
Stonehenge is one of the most famous monuments in the world. Although it stands in isolated countryside in south-central England, miles from any major town, it is one of Britain’s most popular tourist sites, attracting more than a million visitors every year. It is also one of the most ancient. Who kept it secrets?
Pyramids of Giza ( Marcella Miriello / Adobe Stock )
Most Mysterious Prehistoric Stone Age Construction
Around 5,000 years old, it predates the Great Pyramids of Egypt by over four centuries. In fact, it predates even recorded history and the use of metal implements, making it both a prehistoric and a Stone Age construction. And, above all, it is one of the most mysterious monuments in the world. Those who created it spent years toiling away with little more than animal horns, shaped rocks, dry bones, and their bare hands for tools. The time and effort thought necessary to have built Stonehenge is staggering. Archaeologists have estimated that the cutting, hauling, and erection of the stones for just the main part of the circle alone would have taken almost 40 million work-hours and over 10,000 people toiling full time on the project for years on end, when the entire population of south-central England was only around 30,000. Stonehenge must have been of immense importance to those who made it, yet its purpose remains a mystery. Why did the ancient people of Britain go to such extraordinary lengths to construct this enigma in stone?
Stonehenge ( LevT/ Adobe Stock)
Enigmatic British Earthworks
Remarkably Stonehenge was only one of thousands of stone circles erected throughout the British Isles—together with countless solitary standing stones, stone rows, huge earthen mounds, embankments, ditches, avenues, and other earthworks—that continued to be built and maintained for a period spanning over three millennia, between around 3100 BC and the arrival of the Romans in Britain during the first century AD, and even longer in Ireland. Through this entire era the basic design of these various monuments remained consistent. This vast array of ancient constructions is just as enigmatic as Stonehenge itself. How was it possible for scattered settlements of people—who left no evidence of the infrastructure of civilization, such as buildings, roads, and cities, nor any indication of overall leadership, taskmasters, or central government—to continue to create these monuments in unison for so long?
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Extract from Graham Phillips ’ Wisdomkeepers of Stonehenge
Top image: Druid greets the dawn at Stonehenge ( heywoody / adobe stock )