PREFACE

 

Stonehenge is one of the most exciting mysteries of this time. If you drive down the highway A303 from London to Exeter, the view of the 95 stones standing together strikes, as it stands there on a hill in the middle of the plains.

In spite of the chaos people created in earlier times, you can clearly see the stones were placed by some very clever men. For it is impossible to just place the stones and then coincidentally place them in circles with lentils on top of the standing stones. If you come closer, you can see that it is indeed no coincidence: the stones are cut with marvellous precision and placed together with a pin-and-hole construction, a technique known from constructions of wood. Some of the stones aren't even out of the own region, but from mountains a few hundreds of miles to the north.

Recent investigations proved Stonehenge is about 5000 years, and that makes it older than te Pyramids of Egypt and the Greek culture.

How did people, from who we thought they were primitive, build this impressive object? Even with our modern equipment it is not easy to build so exact, and our ancestors didn't have advanced tools. How, for an example, can you transport a stone weighing over 40 tons over a couple of miles, and erect it afterwards? And then so precise that, in spite of the slope on which it was built, the complete structure has a difference in height of only a couple of centimeters?

It seems we have to readjust the primitive view we have of our ancestors. The people who built Stonehenge could do the same as our architects and builders do, and without the help of computers and advanced tools!

The question of how it was built is just one of the many questions that rise if you see Stonehenge. The biggest part of the questions, like why was it built, what was it for, and why for god's sake there, in the middle of nowhere, remain unanswered.  

Nowadays English Heritage has built a big visitors centre close to Stonehenge. This centre has the task to answer some of the questions, but, as I discovered when I fisited the site, they failed hopelessly because of the commercial way of working. And, of course, because no one can answer these questions. You can only guess.  

Because of the thousands of tourists coming each year to Stonehenge, it has become impossible to walk through the monument. English Heritage has placed a fence around the stones, forcing you to walk in a big circle, far from the stones. During the walk you can be accompanied by a sort of telephone with a story recorded in it, but this story is of such a bad quality you can better buy a (quite expensive) guide and get your information from this guide.  

 So, the questions remain unanswered, in spite of the numerous people that searched for answers, ever since 1100 AD. The only thing that people discovered, is what Stonehenge was not for: It was not a temple for sacrifices, for there have been no traces of broken bones, knifes etcetera. There have been found interesting things, but they mainly aroused other new questi­ons.

In the meantime there have been many investigations about for an example the way the stones were erected, but because there is no evidence for a particular way it still is guessing.

I hope to give a wide scala of information about the general thoughts about Stonehenge, about how people think it was built, the possible reason for the founding and about the history of the monument throughout the centuries. Read well: I am not going to ANSWER the questions about Stonehenge, but I will mention some theories which are very likely.