ART AND CULTURE.

Stonehenge: between myth, restoration and mysteries of the past

The Neolithic site of Stonehenge, is located a few miles from Salisbury, England. Formed of huge stones, it is believed to have been an astronomical observatory in ancient times, with special significance at the solstice and equinox.

Specifically, these are huge megaliths positioned in a circular shape, topped by equally huge connecting lintels. The current position of the stones is the result of massive restoration that took place in the early part of the 20th century.

To this day, historians and scientists remain debated about its real significance. Included in UNESCO protected sites, today it is a popular tourist destination. The myths behind this place, even in 2023, are wasted.

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Stonehenge: between myth, restoration and mysteries of the past
The Neolithic site of Stonehenge, is located a few miles from Salisbury, England. Formed of huge stones, it is believed to have been an astronomical observatory in ancient times, with special significance at the solstice and equinox. Specifically, these are huge megaliths positioned in a circular shape, topped by equally huge connecting lintels. The current position of the stones is the result of massive restoration that took place in the early part of the 20th century. To this day, historians and scientists remain debated about its real significance. Included in UNESCO protected sites, today it is a popular tourist destination. The myths behind this place, even in 2023, are wasted.
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Stonehenge Is a trilithic system
A trilithic system is a structure consisting of two elements arranged vertically (piers) and a third resting horizontally above them (lintel), forming a kind of doorway. It is a structure covering a minimum of light. The trilithon is a simple architectural structure, quite common in megalithic monuments composed of three megalithic elements and was used mainly in the Chalcolithic period. The ancient Greeks used the trilithic system (they preferred it to the arch, although they also sometimes used the latter), so it forms the basis of architectural orders.
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Where and when was Stonhenge built
There is no date of construction of Stonehenge with certainty, but historians have made some estimates that date its construction between 3100 and 1600 BCE. This Neolithic site is located near Amesbury in Wiltshire, England, about 13 kilometers northwest of Salisbury. It is the most famous and impressive cromlech (i.e., a stone circle) in the world.
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The suggestion of landscapes
This site, being in an open space, often gives wonderful opportunities for photographs and memories, and this is also why it is one of the most visited tourist sites on the British Isle. In this photo we find, for example, the Flower Moon, which set over Stonehenge on May 26. May's full moon, the "Flower Moon," was the largest and brightest in 2021.
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The suggestion of landscapes
A place also for observing various eclipses, very often the moon gives incredible, mythical landscapes, much more than postcard views. In this case, for example, the full moon set behind Stonehenge on April 27, 2021. The pink supermoon then reached its maximum size in the early hours of the next day and shone 30 percent brighter than a normal full moon.
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The renovation work
The current position of the stones would be different from the original position millennia ago. In fact, already Victorian engineers began a grandiose work of restoration and repositioning, which led to the site's present appearance. The work continued until the mid-20th century, and scholars admit that without this work, the site would look very different.
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Sites similar to Stonehenge
Around the world there are several places similar to Stonehenge, or dating from about the same time. These include the so-called Circle of Brodgar in northern Scotland. A similar but even older circular site is found at Goseck in Saxony-Anhalt in Germany. Another complex, called the "Calendar Circle," is located at the Nubian Museum in Assuan, originally built in Nabta Playa, and is reported to be older than Stonehenge by at least a thousand years.
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The last owner of Stonehenge
Sir Cecil Herbert Edward Chubb became famous for being the last real owner of the megalithic site. The baronet bought it in 1915 for 6600 pounds, or about €664,000 at today's exchange rate. In 1918, Chubb sold the site to the British government behind certain conditions: first of all, the site was to be accessible to everyone upon payment of a sum not to exceed a shilling. Also, nothing more than a mailbox could be built within 400 yards.
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Stonehenge Unesco World Heritage Site
The World Heritage Site inscription took place in 1986. Stonehenge and Avebury, in Wiltshire, are among the most famous megalith groups in the world. The two shrines consist of circles of menhirs arranged in a pattern whose astronomical significance is still being explored. These sacred sites and nearby Neolithic sites are an incomparable record of prehistory. Stonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world, while Avebury is the largest.
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