Stonehenge

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Stonehenge

Behind every great structure in the world, there are the people who made them, and who took the time and effort to design them. Those who made Stonehenge succeeded in creating an incredibly complex and mysterious structure that lived on long after its creators were dead. The many aspects of Stonehenge and the processes by which it was built reveal much about the intelligence and sophistication of the civilizations that designed and built the monument, despite the fact that it is difficult to find out who exactly these people were. They have left very little evidence behind with which we could get a better idea of their everyday lives, their culture, their surroundings, and their affairs with other peoples. The technology and wisdom that are inevitably required in constructing such a monument show that these prehistoric peoples had had more expertise than expected.

The planning and assembling of Stonehenge took a very long time (about one thousand years, from 2800 BC to 1500 BC*), and not one but many different groups of people were involved in the process. How they came about plays an important role in understanding them. Some of the first men to come to England that are connected to the Stonehenge builders came when the ice blocking Britain and France melted around 10,000 BC (Souden, 104). After them, many more groups of people came from the mainland, and had great influence on those already living there.

The first group involved in the building of Stonehenge was the Windmill Hill people.

These people were semi nomadic farmers, mainly just keeping their flocks of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and dogs, and growing wheat, who had arrived as some of the last Neolithic (or New Stone Age, 4300 – 2200 BC) newcomers in England. Not only were they farmers they also hunted, mined flint, made and traded axes, and could almost be called industrialists. The Windmill Hill people had a very strong religion with a great respect for their dead and their ancestors. They have exceptional collective graves, in the form of long barrows, or long manmade piles of dirt, sometimes 300 feet long. Many riches such as food, tools, and pottery were buried with the dead (Hawkins, 36).

The next group to contribute to Stonehenge was the Beaker people, known for the beaker-like pottery they would frequently bury with their dead. These people did not ...

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...The idea that men from the Stone Age were unintelligent, ill-mannered barbarians is far from the truth in the case of Stonehenge. The cultures of Windmill Hill, the Beaker people, and Wessex all thoroughly demonstrate organized systems and communities of the Stone and Bronze Ages.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ancient Voices: The Secret of Stonehenge. Dir. Jean-Claude Bragard. Narrator Mark Hammil. Videocassette. BBC/Time Life, 1998.

Cohen, I.L. The Secret of Stonehenge. Greenvale, NY: New Research Publications, Inc., 1977.

Dimitrakopoulos, Sandra. (2000). Mystic Places: Stonehenge, [Online}. Available HTTP: http://exn.ca/mysticplaces/stonehenge.cfm.

Hawkins, Gerald S. Stonehenge Decoded. New York: Doubleday, 1965.

Mackie, Euan. The Megalith Builders. Oxford: Phaidon Press Ltd., 1977.

Niel, Fernand. The Mysteries of Stonehenge. New York: Avon Books, 1975.

Service, Alastair, and Jean Bradbery. Megaliths and Their Mysteries. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1979.

Souden, David. Stonehenge Revealed. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1997.

White, John B. Afterword. Stonehenge Decoded. By Gerald S. Hawkins. New York: Doubleday, 1965. 191-197.

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