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Published:June 18th, 2008 13:40 EST
Ever Wonder about a Wonder? Stonehenge

Ever Wonder about a Wonder? Stonehenge

By SOP newswire2

Stonehenge, one of the great Seven Wonders of the World. But what do we really know about it? What was its purpose, how was it built and by whom? Many different answers come up when asking the question `What was the purpose of Stonehenge?`. Some say that it was a horrid place, which the Druids used for religious sacrifice, but most others have a more positive idea. A temple of the sun, a Pagan Cathedral, or a holy sanctuary in the midst of blessed ground, or maybe a clock or even a place to Predict Eclipses. No one really knows what it was used for; this is due to a great number of facts surrounding all of these possibilities. Many ideas come up when talking about why this great structure was built, along with an equal amount on who built it. "The Druids" is the most common response, because the Druids inhabited most of the area in which Stonehenge is built.

"The Pagans" are another common answer to this age old question, because of how the building structure of Stonehenge resembles a Pagan Cathedral. Whoever built Stonehenge, they were an extremely advanced society-- either on purpose or by complete fluke. Many say that, because of Stonehenge`s exact solar and lunar alignment. The most common thought is that it was built to predict eclipses for worshiping. The following essay is going to state the facts and myths about the great Stonehenge. By the end of this essay, hopefully a solid conclusion will be found to be the most plausible answer for Stonehenge`s construction.

The moon has been a sight for all over human history. Back long ago, little was known of the reasons for eclipses; it was thought to be a sing from the gods. In a society that worshiped gods for all the mysteries of the world, the eclipse must have been very special. The builders of Stonehenge must have marveled at the sight of this holy event, which happened every four years. Most likely, the great Stonehenge was built to be a prediction device for the eclipse. Many people have studied Stonehenge and many have found that the stones are mathematically placed to show when an eclipse might occur. `In favor of this solution - that the Aubrey holes were used as a computer are these facts: the number 56 is the smallest number that measures the swing of the moon with an over-all accuracy of better than 3 days, and lunar cycles provide the only method of long-range eclipse prediction related to the seasons of the year.`

So taking in to account that Stonehenge could predict eclipses, another thought is that it was just used for predicting the full moon. The full moon meant new life, so perhaps they used Stonehenge for ceremonies to worship new life. Seasons changed, and the people of British Isles had no idea why, all of a sudden, the weather would begin to change and the day`s length increase or decrease. That is why experts say that it was used to predict the winter and summer solstice and the spring and fall equinox. ` The Earth moves around the sun in an orbit that is nearly a circle, and the axis of rotation of the earth maintains an effectively fixed direction. The orientation of the sun to the two hemispheres of the Earth changes during the year, and this change causes the seasons.` 

Many other sites of similar age or older are linked to Stonehenge. There was the Cursus, and Woodhenge. Cursus-- `meaning Course in Latin`-- has similar features, which shows that the significance of Stonehenge was not an accident. `Archaeologists think that the inner Woodhenge structure, erected after the outlying ditch and bank were placed, probably by the same Secondary Neolithic people who created Stonehenge.` Some say Woodhenge was like a rough draft of the monument, built to exact proportions from which builders could use while constructing the stone version. Another reason for Woodhenge is for housing of the men who built Stonehenge. With that in mind, you can draw the conclusion that the constructors cared for the people building their structure. To support that theory, objects like pottery and household odds and ends have been found, showing us that a few people did live there at one point.

Back when Stonehenge was built, people had no devices for telling the time. Perhaps the Druids wished to keep records of events. Stonehenge is said by some to be a type of large sundial clock used in ancient times. When the sun rises, it casts a shadow though an opening in the one side of Stonehenge, the day passes and the shadow move across the middle... showing the druids the time of day.

Of course, when researching anything, you come across facts and fiction. Stories say that Stonehenge was associated with Merlin and King Arthur.

`In the realm of purer myth, there may be more than engineering connection between Merlin and Stonehenge. Some mythographers have thought that the name `Merlin` is a corruption of the name of the ancient Celtic sky god `Myrddin,` who might have been worshiped at stone monuments.` There is a story, which credits Merlin for creating Stonehenge by transporting the stones from Ireland by magic, and that he and King Arthur are both buried under the great stones. Although many stories say this to be true, that is all they are-- stories. Merlin was a character made up in a time when the British needed a reason to believe in their importance; Stonehenge has nothing to do with the make believe wizard.

And finally, the idea that it was used for ancient sacrifice by the druids to their gods. This is a logical idea, due to the facts presented by the construction of Stonehenge. The Altar Stone is the stone in the middle of the circle of stones; this would have been ideal for a sacrifice of any kind, and the alignment of the stones look like pillars in a temple, which means this could just as well have been a temple.

Stonehenge really boggles the mind when you look at all the possibilities it holds. Were the people back then so intelligent that they knew how to predict seasons and eclipses, or were they religious cult members using it as a horrid sacrificial temple? For all we know, Merlin did just make it appear out of nowhere-- this is all very vague. But this essay was to give an educated guess about `What was the purpose of Stonehenge?`. From the information I found, there are many ways I could go. The two most realistic were the temple and eclipse prediction theories. I`m going to go with the eclipse theory, there are too many coincidences for it to have just been an accident... they must have been an advanced civilization which understood the most complicated mathematics and building techniques. It is not so unrealistic to assume this, we know so little about the culture back then, so who says that they couldn`t have figured it out. So in conclusion, I believe the purpose of Stonehenge was to predict the appearance of eclipses, due to their belief that an eclipse was a sign from the gods that perhaps they had done something wrong, and by worshiping it they could make it right. Stonehenge is truly the greatest mystery in the world. I hope they find out what it was truly for someday.

"Stonehenge." 18 Jun 2008