The last time an excavation has been allowed inside the ancient stone pillars was 1964. Now, British scientists are digging again in hopes of discovering more evidence behind the mystery of Stonehenge. For further insight into Stonehenge’s captivating secrets, we consulted Belle S. Tuten, the W. Newton and Hazel A. Long Associate Professor of History.
What is known about the origins of Stonehenge?
Very little is known about the origins. Many people have worked hard to figure out where the stones came from. It is clear that the small ring of stones was made first. The second stone ring, the one that looks likes many table-tops, was created about 1,000 years later. Also, the bluestone that was used is originally from a site over 100 miles away from Stonehenge itself. How the stone were transported over such a large distance is unknown.
What questions can a new excavation answer that previous excavations couldn’t answer?
These scientists have a particular question they are trying to figure out. They have a theory that the people who built Stonehenge thought that the bluestones had some kind of special healing power. The scientists are looking for evidence of this.
A multitude of tourists, pagans, and historians flocks to the ancient sight every year. What about Stonehenge makes it so interesting for people today?
The mystery of Stonehenge intrigues people. The neo-pagan movement tries to connect with ancient tradition and the site of Stonehenge. The main source of information about Stonehenge comes from Roman sources. These sources could have been misinterpreted. Also, the site of Stonehenge is 1,500 years older than Caesar.
What are some theories about how Stonehenge came into existence?
There is the Calendar Theory. According to this theory, whoever made Stonehenge used the placement of the stones to calculate certain days for festivals or rituals. Other theories claim that the standing stones were giants. Another theory proposes that this was a burial ground, although no graves have been found there.
Sara Hernández ’09, Juniata Online Journalist