Theories run the gamut, casting Stonehenge together anything from an ancient healing facility to an extraterrestrial landing site.

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Although it’s one of the world’s most famous monuments, the prehistoric rock circle recognized as Stonehenge stays shrouded in mystery. Constructed on Salisbury plain in Wiltshire, England, Stonehenge was created in number of stages in between 3000 and also 1500 B.C., covering the Neolithic period to the copper Age. 


Its substantial scale says that Stonehenge to be vitally necessary to the ancient peoples who constructed it, but the monument’s purpose has actually been the subject of prevalent speculation for centuries. In the 17th and also 18th centuries, many thought Stonehenge was a Druid temple, developed by those old Celtic pagans together a center for their religious worship. Though more recent scholars have actually concluded the Stonehenge most likely predated the Druids by some 2,000 years, modern-day Druidic cultures still view it as a pilgrimage destination.


One enduring theory for Stonehenge’s purpose comes from the initial observation, an initial made by 18th-century scholars, that the monument’s entrance faces the climbing sun top top the day of the summer solstice. For many, this orientation argues that old astronomers may have used Stonehenge as a sort of solar calendar to monitor the activity of the sun and moon and mark the an altering seasons. 

New excavations in current years, however, have actually unearthed a different theory based on hundreds of human bones discovered at the site, dating across 1,000 years and also showing indications of cremation prior to burial. The existence of these remains says that Stonehenge might have offered as an ancient burial ground as well as a ceremonial complicated and temple of the dead. 


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In 2010 archaeologists discovered a second stone circle located simply over a mile away from the much more famous landmark. Called “Bluestonehenge” for the 25 Welsh bluestones that originally consisted of the site, this secondary monument provides more evidence that Stonehenge can have been part of a vast memorial facility where high-ranking individuals took component in fancy rituals and also ceremonies honoring the dead. Yet together no written records exist, this theory—like every those around Stonehenge’s purpose—can only remain a issue of speculation.

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READ MORE: Solving the Riddle that Stonehenge's Construction


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