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The Process of Building Stonehenge Research Paper

The Process of Building Stonehenge

There are probably hundreds of myths and legends about Stonehenge. Various people have attributed the building of this great megalith to the Danes, Romans, Saxons, Greeks, Atlanteans, Egyptians, Phoenicians Celts, King Aurelius Ambrosious, Merlin, and even Aliens.

One of the most popular beliefs was that Stonehenge was built by the Druids. These high priests of the Celts, constructed it for sacrificial ceremonies. It was John Aubrey, who first linked Stonehenge to the Druids. Additionally, Dr. William Stukeley, another Stonehenge antiquary, also claimed the Druids were Stonehenge's builders. Stukeley studied Stonehenge a century later than Aubrey and became so involved in the study of the Druid religion that he himself became one. Through his work he was very instrumental in popularizing the theory that Stonehenge was built by Druids.

Unfortunately researchers have proven this age-old theory linking Stonehenge's construction to the Druids impossible. Through modern radio carbon dating techniques, scientists have discovered that its builders completed Stonehenge over a thousand years before the Celts ever inhabited this region, eliminating Druids from the possibilities. Usually Druids worshipped in marshes and forests, but it has been verified that they did use Stonehenge occasionally as a temple of worship and sacrifice when they moved into the region. Modern Druids, formally named the Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of Druids, still congregate at Stonehenge on the midsummer solstice, clad in white robes and hoods. As recently as 1905, the Druids initiated 258 novices inside these stones on midsummer solstice. Today, for fear of its desecration, Stonehenge is usually shut off to public access on midsummer's eve.

Most scientists agree on the modern theory that three tribes built Stonehenge at three separate times. In approximately 3000 B.C., it is believe the first people to work on the site were Neolithic agrarians. Archaeologists named them the Windmill Hill people after one of their earthworks on Windmill Hill, which is near Stonehenge. The Windmill Hill peoples built large circular furrows, or hill-top enclosures, dug around a mound and had collective burials in large stone-encased tombs. Most of their burial mounds point east-west. These people were a blend of the local peoples and Neolithic tribe members from Eastern England. They were one of the first semi-nomadic hunting and gathering groups with an agricultural economy and contained a strong reverence for circles and symmetry. They raised cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, grew wheat and mined flint.

The Beaker people, or...

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