Stonehenge Compare and Constrast Essay

This essay has a total of 1364 words and 14 pages.


Man has

always been interested in mystery. Stonehenge is one of the

most mysterious places that man has been interested in.

Construction began on Stonehenge at about 2200 B.C. (

Abels 9 ). The origin and uses of Stonehenge are still a

great mystery. Stonehenge is a ruin of a stone building.

Stonehenge is the oldest pre-historic structure in western

Europe. The name "Stonehenge" is Saxon in origin and

means hanging stones. Stonehenge is visible from around

one to two miles ( Chippindale 12 ). It has a plain structure

and at first glance Stonehenge appears to be a large pile of

rocks. But when looked at more closely, it is a structure of

great mystery. ( Abels 5 ). Stonehenge contains close to

one hundred and sixty-five stones. All of the stones are

arranged in a plain and simple manner. Stonehenge is not

very large. It is only about thirty five paces or eighty feet

wide. Stonehenge is three hundred and thirty feet above

sea level and is eighty miles west of London. Stonehenge is

located in Wiltshire in south central England. The closest

town to Stonehenge is Amesbury. It is in the center of

Salisbury Plains ( Chippindale 10 ). The pillars at

Stonehenge are extraordinary. All of the stones appear

gray in color, but their natural colors vary from mostly

orange to brown or blue. Many lichens grow all over the

stones. About one half of the original stone pillars are

missing today. All of the joints that join the stone pillars

together are dry stone joints. There was no wet sand or

clay used to join the pillars together ( Chippindale 12 ). 2

At Stonehenge there are five different types of stone

circles. The five types are: outer sarsen circle, outer

bluestone circles, inner sarsen trilithons, inner blue

horseshoe, and the altar stone. The outer sarsen circle is

one hundred feet in diameter. Each stone is about thirteen

and a half feet tall and seven feet wide. The space between

each of the stones is approximately four feet apart (

Chippindale 12 ). The outer bluestone circle is close to

seventy-five feet in diameter. Most of the stones height are

six and a half feet or taller. The stones width are between

three and four feet. The stones color is blue. Only six of the

original sixty stones still remain standing straight. The others

either lean or lie on their side. The inner sarsen trilithons lie

just inside of the bluestone circle. Some call the inner

sarsen trilithon the sarsen horseshoe. The trilithon is

arranged symmetrically in a horseshoe shape and is about

forty-five feet across. Their overall height is about

twenty-four feet high. Three of the original trilithons still

stand in tact today. All of the original stones that make up

the trilithons are still at Stonehenge today ( Chippindale 14

). Just inside the inner sarsen trilithon is the inner bluestone

horseshoe. The stones start out at around six feet and

increase in size moving south-west until they reach a

maximum of eight feet. Six of the original nineteen stones

that made the horseshoe are still in place ( Chippindale 15

). Towards the apex of the inner bluestone horseshoe is a

single large slab of gray-green sandstone. This stone is

called the altar stone. It is approximately sixteen feet long

and lies on its side. It is broken into two pieces. The stone

was believed to have once stood upright. The stone has

been given nicknames like "Slaughter", "Heel", and

"Station" ( Chippindale 16 ). The uses for Stonehenge has

always been a vast mystery. No one knows for sure what

Stonehenge uses were. A few possible uses for Stonehenge

are as a temple, a burial site, and as a sundial. Some

scientists believe that Stonehenge was once used as a

temple. The scientists came to this conclusion due to the

circular shape and the towering stones. Many people

consider Stonehenge a holy place. 3 Over the last three

hundred years druids have come to worship at Stonehenge.

The druids consider Stonehenge their Religious Temple (

Roop 38 ). From early digs at Stonehenge we know that

Stonehenge was at least at one time used for burial

ceremonies because of the human remains that were found

at Stonehenge ( Roop 30 ). Some scientists believe that

Stonehenge was used as some sort of sundial to tell the

time , or as a calendar to tell the date. Scientists came to

this conclusion due to the way the sun hits the stones. At

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