Stonehenge is a massive monument located on the Salisbury Plains, just north of the city of Salisbury, England. It is believed to be approximately 5000 years old and has many different theories about what the purpose it was built for.
While there are many different theories out there, I will be covering only a few here.
A Burial Site
Bones were initially found at the site more than a century ago, and were considered to be so common they were buried again. Recently British researchers have re-exhumed 50,000 bone fragments, representing 63 individuals from Stonehenge.
The burials occurred about 3000 B.C., and the very first stones were brought from Wales at that time to mark the graves. The archaeologists also found a mace head and a bowl possibly used to burn incense, suggesting the people buried in the graves may have been religious or political elite.
Stonehenge, A healing place
Another theory suggests that Stone Age
people saw Stonehenge as a place with healing properties. In 2008, archaeologists Geoggrey Wainwright and Timothy Darvill reported that a large number of skeletons recovered from around Stonehenge showed signs of illness or injury. They also reported discovering fragments of the Stonehenge bluestones — the first stones erected at the site — that had been chipped away by ancient people, perhaps to use as talismans for protective or healing purposes.
A celestial observatory
No matter why it was built, Stonehenge may have been constructed with the sun in mind. One avenue connecting the monument with the nearby River Aven aligns with the sun on the winter solstice; archaeological evidence reveals that pigs were slaughtered at Stonehenge in December and January, suggesting possible celebrations or rituals at the monument around the winter solstice. The site also faces the summer solstice sunrise, and both summer and winter solstices are still celebrated there today.
A very interesting book available from Amazon in stonehengh and the many theories about it is: Solving Stonehenge: The Key to an Ancient Enigma