Stonehenge - Th Ancient Stone Circle Investigation

Trip Start May 30, 2012
Trip End Nov 07, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, September 16, 2012

The ancient stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury have puzzled historians for years. No one knows exactly why they were made or exactly how, but there they have stood for numerous generations. It's time that someone cracked this mysterous case of old. This is a story of how Jess and I spent the day searching for answers of the ancient stone circles.

Stonehenge was only about a 12 minute drive away from our hosts in Salisbury, so we set out for there first. Alex, the one I think of as the mother hen of the house, graceously lent us his National Trust membership card to obtain free entry to many National Trust things throughout the day. Stonehenge was included. Also Jack, our couch surf contact, and the one who is good at everything (a real Jack of all trades), lent us his National Trust parking sticker that allowed us to park free at all National Trust sites for the day. Cheers mates, we appreciate it! We pulled into the parking lot at Stonehenge and were given the royal treatment because of the sticker on the windshield. The park control guy motioned for us to pull ahead and park in a pretty decent spot. Stonehenge was packed! But once we started walking around it, it started to thin out. We got some audio guides that were very informative as we walked in a big circle around the stones. Only the very, very important people get to walk amongst the stones (right in-laws?). I found Stonehenge absolutely amazing! Each inner circle stone weighed about 5 tons, outter circle stones weighed about 25 tons and the few trilithon stones weighed up to 50 tons! Some stones are sticking straight up and have the bottom third of each rock buried into the ground to secure it. Historians think that the bluestone rocks were collected from the Preseli Hills in Wales, somehow put on a raft and floated to Salisbury, then somehow transported to the their final resting site of Stonehenge. Most of the rocks have gone missing because of past generations mistreating them and stealing them, but Stonehenge originally started as a full circle. The lintel rocks on top of the vertical rocks were cut with a slight curve in them to form the larger circle. Little notches were also put into the lintels so that they fit together perfectly and secured the whole circle as one. The coolest part was that the whole structure forms one giant calendar. When the summer and winter solstices come around, the stones are positioned perfectly so that a shadow is cast in the middle archway. Pretty impressive. Theories have been made as to what this was actually built for. Some say it's a calendar, some say it's a place where people come and worship ancient gods, and still some say that it was a way to show it's maker's power and might. Jess and I were still not convinced. Actually, Jess had already made her mind up, she thinks aliens put them there. "The Fox Mulder Theory." A possibility I admit, but I didn't have enough proof to conclude this theory. However, the truth was still out there, so we set out for Avebury to do some more searching.

The Avebury stone circle is sometimes overshadowed by Stonehenge, although it is 16 times larger in area and 500 years older. In Avebury, the common folk are permitted to walk around the stones as well. Our National Trust card allowed us to see some other stuff in Avebury, including the Avebury Manor, so we went to see that first. The house was set up to look like it would have during it's time of use. Old style chairs, beds, and tables among other things were in every room. It was a very interactive place. You could lay on the beds, sit on the chairs, pick up the kitchen utensils, and walk through the garden. It would have been a lovely place to live back in it's time. We moved on from there back to the stone circles, this time walking amongst the rocks. The Avebury stones are not connected by lintels, and were not shaped to prisms like Stonehenge, but they are just as large if not larger. One other thing we noticed here, was a trench ring dug around the outside of the stone circle. Stonehenge had this too but in Avebury it was way bigger and deeper. Many historians have no idea what these trenches were for. Still puzzled by these mysterious stones, Jess and I took a break from our investigation and drove down the road. We stopped at place that had tombs built into the side of a hill. The same sort of stones were used to build these. We headed down the road again to see a chalk white horse on the side of a hill. Below the grassy hills in this area of England are layers of white chalky rock. If you dig down through the grass, the white chalk rock contrasts with the green grass and shows up really well. People used to make images in the hills by using this method. Some white horses are still scattered around this area. The reasons why these were made is also not exactly known for sure. I am seeing a common theme of historians not having answers here.

Feeling dejected and a little discouraged that our own investigation had ended in the same result as the generations of historians, we hung our heads and started trotting back to the car. It was then, as I started day-dreaming and recalling the events of the day, that my mind went back to our time walking around the Avebury stones with the herds of sheep. A smile came upon my face as I recalled the fluffy sheep rubbing their butts against the ancient stones to get a relief from an itch...UREKA!! The historians have gotten it wrong! The ancient stone circles weren't made by people for people, they were made by people for animals! Back then animals, especially sheep were super important and these stone circles served a few purposes for them. They were a calendar, to keep track of when the sheep needed to be sheared. The ditches were dug to give shelter for the sheep from the wind. The circles were built in grass fields because that's what sheep eat. The white horses are there to signal the sheep and make them feel at home. And most importantly, the stones were a meeting place for the very social sheep, where they could give themselves a good scratch on the excellent scratching posts. It all makes sense. Our day had not been wasted! Now I just have to find a way to set the historians straight. Thanks for sticking it out with me!

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Mutti and Father on

Bud! This totally makes sense. Seriously you need to send this blog entry to the Historians ..... after you have left the UK and are safe at home ..... not saying your theory isn't right, I'm just not sure how serious the UK Historain folk are on this sort of thing and thinking it may be better to send it after clearing customs. Maybe change your name as well :)

mil on

a day full of pondering and walking. stonehenge from within was awesome, especially at sunset!

Auntie Karen on

Your a fool. A funny one too.

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