A huge yet ancient stone circle in southwestern England, Stonehenge has inspired more questions than answers. As such, archaeologists, scientists, and pseudoscientists have put forward theories over the centuries to explain how and why Stonehenge was constructed.
Built between 3000 and 2000 BCE, Stonehenge is an engineering marvel of Neolithic Britain. Pulley systems hadn’t been invented yet, and Britons in this period didn’t have wheels to help move the large monoliths that make up the structure. Adding to this ancient mystery is the fact that some of Stonehenge’s stones - so-called “bluestones” - weren’t locally sourced. Neolithic Britons moved them from modern-day Wales to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, a distance of about 180 miles. Some believe Stonehenge’s form follows its function, and the structure could have been built for anything from wild rituals to proto-scientific pursuits in the prehistoric world.
How, then, did prehistoric Britons build this site - and why did they go through all that trouble to construct it? The world may never know for sure, but plenty of theories - ranging from the scientifically sound to the highly speculative - attempt to answer those very questions.
1. Stonehenge Was A Megalithic Calendar And Scientific ObservatoryPhoto: The original uploader was Tatarize at English Wikipedia / via Wikimedia Commons / Public DomainDo you buy this?
2. Neolithic Technology, Including Levers And Weights, Were Able To Build The Monumental StructureDo you buy this?
3. Tree Trunks Were Cut And Carved To Make Sledges And RaftsDo you buy this?
4. Stonehenge Was Used As A Holy Site Where Ancient Peoples Performed Sacred RitualsDo you buy this?