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The seemingly impossible engineering of the monument has led some people to adopt conspiracy theories to explain the occurrence of Stonehenge.

With gigantic stones that loom over a vast green field, Stonehenge is a wonder, even in the modern era. The famous Neolithic monument still stands in England, boasting thousands of years of history. However, there’s still much to ponder about Stonehenge, as there’s no written record of the site and what it was used for. Historians and archaeologists have some theories when it comes to how Stonehenge was built and its history, but there’s no way to confirm with absolute certainty. Some spectators have turned to conspiracy theories to explain what seemed impossible for the people in that time period.

The earliest version of Stonehenge is thought to date back to 3000 B.C. The most accepted historical perspective on the site is that it was a temple, designed to align with the changing positions of the sun. This could suggest that the ancient Britons held a kind of religious ceremony at Stonehenge, perhaps during the summer and winter solstices. The sun and moon alignments could also mean the monument was used as a place for scientific observation.

Stonehenge has attracted attention over the years for its advanced and sophisticated architectural structure. The stones are massive, with the largest ones weighing a staggering 30 tons. Erecting these stones during the Neolithic Era would’ve been a massive feat. Historians and archaeologists believe the stones were pulled into position using plant fiber ropes and a large wooden A-frame with weights to assist in tipping the stones. The speculations of historians and archaeologists can’t be completely discounted, as their credibility makes them a reliable source. 

Further research on the stones has led archaeologists to believe some of the smaller stones  came from the Preseli Hills in southwest Wales. While these stones aren’t as heavy, they still weigh in at an impressive two to five tons. The Preseli Hills are over 150 miles away from the site, and how the humans transported these stones remains one of the biggest mysteries about Stonehenge. These statistics are the most compelling evidence that lends to the validity of various conspiracies.

The seemingly impossible engineering of the monument has led some people to adopt conspiracy theories to explain the occurrence of Stonehenge. Possible origins of Stonehenge include ruins of a Roman temple or a mark left by invading Danes. The theories can get pretty outlandish, however, using folklore and the supernatural to lend explanations about the history of the site. In the folklore tale, the stones are assembled by giants. The wizard Merlin then transports the stone structures to the site, thus arranging the Stonehenge monument. Other theorists believe that ancient aliens created Stonehenge as a model of the solar system and a landing place. The emphasis on the solstices could be a nod to their extraterrestrial origins.

In this case, the pyramids are also important to consider. Scientists and historians can’t exactly pinpoint how the pyramids were created, just like Stonehenge. The Egyptians were able to construct these immense structures in a short time period. While some people also believe the pyramids were a work of the aliens, if they were constructed by humans, it’s likely that Stonehenge was too. Cave paintings suggest that the pyramids were engineered by earthly creatures.

It’s difficult to believe the ancient Britons exerted so much effort to defy limitations and create Stonehenge when the reason for building the monument is so unclear. There’s little evidence to support popular theories surrounding its origins. Science has proven that it was possible to erect the stones during the time period. While the theories are compelling explanations, Stonehenge remains a historical and archaeological enigma. 

Diana Witt is a sophomore theatre and media arts and design double major. Contact Diana at wittdr@dukes.jmu.edu.