The Neolithic Age: Stonehenge

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The Neolithic Age brought a variety of changes to Europe at around 4000 B.C. The usual life of hunting and gathering eventually turned into farming and domesticated life. Settlement meant that there was more room for monuments, burial grounds, and places for ritual ceremonies; such as megaliths and the one of the most famous of the kind, Stonehenge. Megalithic structures became the new popular form of building. The word megalith comes from the Greek words, mega meaning “great,” and lithos meaning “stone.” Yet, they did not first start out as stone structures. The earliest form of megaliths were made out of compressed earth and timber. Actually, earlier templets of Stonehenge (which will be discussed later on) were made of timber and was later …show more content…
- 700 years after Stonehenge I was built. The next piece added onto the monument was the double bluestone circle placed in the center. The bluestones were transported from the Presell Mountains in Wales, over 250 miles away. Also, the stones were extremely heavy; weighing up to eight tons. Reasoning behind the bluestones was that they were seen as having healing powers. In spite of the tremendous work that was done to bring the bluestones to Stonehenge, the bluestone circle was dismantled and replaced by the large sarsen circle of Stonehenge III before it was …show more content…
As explained earlier, Stonehenge is filled with hundreds of bones and ashes due to burial tombs around the monument and cremation deposits located around the pits. This could be interpreted as a religious factor. Actually, some people see Stonehenge as an old religious temple. Colin Renfrew came up with the fourth millennium theory saying that megalithic monuments were built as ritual centers and territorial markers because of the population growth. The population around Stonehenge was separated into five chiefdoms, or societies. It is said that there is one chief who has a high ritual position.Perhaps this could be understood as the main chief as a god of some sorts. Since the population grew, rituals and other practices could have been a mean to keep societies

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