Theories of Stonehenge

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The mysteries of Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plains of England have perplexed human-kind since the beginning of recorded history. Some of the stones weighing as much as 40 tons were said to be transferred from Wales, which was a distance of about 137 miles. With the use of radiocarbon analysis at the site of Stonehenge it has been determined that the monument was built between 3000 and 1500 BC. The original purpose of Stonehenge has been lost in the pages of time, and therefore has been a major topic of discussion for archaeologists. Since the mid 12th century archaeologist, geologists, historians, and even some authors have put forth their own opinion of when and why Stonehenge was built. Throughout this essay I shall analyse and interpret different theories on Stonehenge in an attempt to understand what we know so far. It is in the mid 1100’s that we come across our first theory on Stonehenge, given by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the author famous for being credited with the Legend of King Arthur, also created his own theory on Stonehenge, his theory is known as the “Merlin Theory” (1). According to Geoffrey, the giants who first colonized Ireland brought the stones from their original home in Africa to Mount Killaraus for their miraculous virtues. In the 5th century AD, Aurelius Ambrosius, a half-real, half-mythical king of Britain, sent Merlin, Uther Pendragon (King Arthur’s father) and 15,000 knights to remove the stones and to place them in England on the Salisbury Plains. After a very bloody battle Merlin used his sorcery to send the stones 137 miles to the Salisbury Plains. With this theory, I find it is necessary to really look at the historical context to understand how and why Geoffrey of Monmouth ca... ... middle of paper ... ...hers, pg 62 note 151 6- Squires, Charles, unknown date, Celtic Myth and Legend, Gresham Publishing, Great Britain, pg 325 7- Bebbington, David, 2005, The Dominance of Evangelicalism, IVP Academic, chap 1 8- http://www.aboutstonehenge.info/index.php?pg=who-built-stonehenge 9- Renfrew, Colin, 1973, Before Civilization 10- http://www.suite101.com/content/why-build-stonehenge--a5907 11- Lockyer, Sir Joseph Norman, 1906, Classics of Science: Stonehenge as an Observatory The Science News-Letter, Vol. 13 No. 369, May 5 1928, pg 285-286 12- Hawking, G, 1973, Astronomical Alignments in Britain, Egypt and Peru, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Vol. 276, No. 1257, pp. 157-167 13- http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/blavatsky/123/stonebuilt.html 14- http://www.britannia.com/history/narprehist.html

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