We have seen it many times in movies and television shows. But not many of us know about the amazing details of Stonehenge. A prehistoric monument, the Stonehenge is located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England.
It is one of the most iconic tourist destinations in the world and perhaps one of the most mysterious as well. The latter part is probably because there are quite a few things we do not know for sure about Stonehenge. To satisfy your curiosity, here are some of the most interesting facts about Stonehenge you probably didn’t know before.
Unknown transport technology
While there are many theories, it is not known exactly how these stones were transported to the site. It is estimated that the stones were transported from South Wales to Wiltshire, which is a distance of 240 km. There are suggestions that boats were used. Still, it is surprising to see such gargantuan tasks being achieved without the use of any machinery.
The stones at Stonehenge have various carvings including 115 prehistoric axe-head carvings. Several tool marks have also been identified, which are estimated to be 4,500 years old.
While one may have seen the Stonehenge in small pictures, it is difficult to realize the size of the entire site until you visit it in person. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Stonehenge site is spread over an area of around 2,600 hectares (6,500 acres). That’s more than seven times the size of Central Park in New York City. The immediate area around Stonehenge, which includes the circular bank and ditch, is around 10,000 square meters.
Survived Noah’s flood
Some Biblical experts say that Stonehenge was among the structures that survived the Old Testament flood. The guidebook relating to this is available at the visitor center.
People actually lived around Stonehenge
Skeletal remains found near the site indicate that people lived in the area long before the Stonehenge was constructed. Via radiocarbon dating, the skeletal remains are identified to be around 3,630 and 3,360 BC old.
A number of objects such as pins, coins, pottery fragments and jewelry have been found at the site. These are identified to be of Roman origin. Experts believe that offerings were made by people, who considered the Stonehenge as some sort of a sacred shrine.
A lot is buried underground
It is natural for such heavy stones to sink, as years pass by. What people see is just the portion above the ground. For example, around 2.13 meters of the tallest stone on the site is hidden underground. Total length of this stone is a massive 8.71 meters.
On an average, the Stonehenge sarsen is around 25 tons in weight. The largest of these is the Heel Stone that weighs 30 tons. Visitors can actually get a feel of these heavyweights via a replica installed in the outdoor gallery. It is not actually made from real sarsen stone, but visitors can at least get a feel of how heavy these stones are.
Love for cows
Cattle were quite important for Neolithic people. A cow jaw found at the site was radiocarbon dated to be present much before the ditch was dug. The fact that it was kept in good condition shows that the cow jaw was a relic passed on from one generation to another.
Purchased via an auction
Not many know that a local businessman named Cecil Chubb had purchased the Stonehenge in 1915 by paying a mere £6,600. Later, the property was transferred to the then Ministry of Works. Since then, several restoration works have been performed at the site.