Welcome to around the world with your lovable and witty host, me, Dave. This is the place where I tell you all about the places around the world I hope to one day visit.
Our stop this week is at a pile of stones placed in a circle in England. Can you guess where it is?
It is of course the ancient unknown site of Stonehenge.
Also I feel a bit ashamed of the fact that I live in England but I’ve never been to Stonehenge. I can’t ever remember even passing it in a car.
Now you may be thinking Stonehenge? Why do you want to see that? It’s just a bunch of stones that someone put in a circle, and you’d be right, but who, why, when, and how did they get in a circle I ask?
Radiocarbon dating done in 2008 puts the age of Stonehenge between 2400 and 2200 BCE. That’s some 4500 years ago, which is a long bloody time. It’s long before the Romans came about, for instance Rome was founded around 753 BCE which is some 1500 years after Stonehenge was built. That means that Stonehenge was ancient by the time of the Roman Empire which is just incredible.
With Stonehenge being so old it raises the question of just how in the hell did they move and maneuver those bloody big stones into position? Personally I think there is this modern belief or attitude of looking down on our ancient ancestors and viewing them as less intelligent or less advanced than they actually were. A lot of texts have been destroyed over the course of human history for one reason or another that could have held clues.
So we have a rough of idea when it was built, no idea on how, so what about the who and the why? Well we aren’t quite sure on either of those either but there are a bunch of theories ranging from ancient aliens (sigh), an ancient observatory, some sort of burial site (cremated remains have been found at the site), healing stones, or perhaps my personal favourite, as a means of uniting all the different groups, tribes, factions and peoples of the British Isles.
This theory suggests that because so many resources were required to build Stonehenge which came from all over Great Britain, such as from quarries as far as Wales, that a great deal of co-operation and teamwork was required in its construction. What a nice happy little thought that is? A symbol of unity and working together, you know before Britain was invaded by Romans, Vikings, Normans, Saxons etc driving out the native people.
Obviously today it is used by various New Age groups like neo-pagans and neo-druids which I don’t think there is much evidence of historically but hey whatever makes them happy right?
Stonehenge may not be the most spectacular of places to see around the world but because of the myths, the unknown, and the sheer amount of effort to move and erect these stones, that I want to visit it. Plus it’s British and part of British history and culture, yes I’m being biased but it’s my list.
Remember to check back next week to see where we’ll be stopping next time.