No place has generated so much speculation and wild theories as the standing stones of Stonehenge. After driving for miles through the rolling hills and plains of the English countryside the sight of this unusual structure makes people gasp. A walk around it only provokes more strange feelings. There's a sense that this is something very important. It taunts us with it's mystery. For over 5000 years it has stood silent vigil over the earth. It has been excavated, x-rayed, measured, and surveyed. Yet despite all that has been learned about its age and construction, its purpose still remains one of the great mysteries of the world.
Around 3500 BC the semi-nomadic peoples that populated the Salisbury Plain began to build the monument now known as Stonehenge. The original construction was a circular ditch and mound with 56 holes forming a ring around its perimeter. The first stone to be placed at the site was the Heel Stone. It was erected outside of a single entrance to the site. 200 years later 80 blocks of bluestone was transported from a quarry almost 200 miles away in the Prescelly Mountains. It is surmized that these blocks were transported by way of rafts along the Welsh coast and up local rivers, finally to be dragged overland to the site. These stones were erected forming two concentric circles.
At some point this construction was dismantled and work began on the final phase of the site. The bluestones were moved within the circle and the gigantic stones that give Stonehenge its distinctive look were installed. Some of these massive stones weigh as much as 26 tons! It remains a mystery how such huge stones could have been moved from the quarry at north Wiltshire by a supposedly primitive people.