Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 km) west of Amesbury. It consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide and weighing around 25 tons. The stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds.
Archaeologists believe it was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the first bluestones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, although they may have been at the site as early as 3000 BC.
One of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, Stonehenge is regarded as a British cultural icon. It has been a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument since 1882 when legislation to protect historic monuments was first successfully introduced in Britain. The site and its surroundings were added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986. Stonehenge is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage; the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.
Stonehenge could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings. Deposits containing human bone date from as early as 3000 BC, when the ditch and bank were first dug, and continued for at least another five hundred years.
Coordinates:51°10′44″N 1°49′34″WCoordinates: 51°10′44″N 1°49′34″W
Height:Each standing stone was around 4.1 metres (13 ft) high
Material sarsen, bluestone
坐標：51°10’44“N 1°49’34”W坐標：51°10’44“N 1°49’34”W
Function and construction
Stonehenge was produced by a culture that left no written records. Many aspects of Stonehenge, such as how it was built and which purposes it was used for, remain subject to debate. A number of myths surround the stones. The site, specifically the great trilithon, the encompassing horseshoe arrangement of the five central trilithons, the heel stone, and the embanked avenue, are aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice and the opposing sunrise of the summer solstice.A natural landform at the monument’s location followed this line, and may have inspired its construction. The excavated remains of culled animal bones suggest that people may have gathered at the site for the winter rather than the summer. Further astronomical associations, and the precise astronomical significance of the site for its people, are a matter of speculation and debate.
There is little or no direct evidence revealing the construction techniques used by the Stonehenge builders. Over the years, various authors have suggested that supernatural or anachronistic methods were used, usually asserting that the stones were impossible to move otherwise due to their massive size. However, conventional techniques, using Neolithic technology as basic as shear legs, have been demonstrably effective at moving and placing stones of a similar size. How the stones could be transported by a prehistoric people without the aid of the wheel or a pulley system is not known. The most common theory of how prehistoric people moved megaliths has them creating a track of logs which the large stones were rolled along. Another megalith transport theory involves the use of a type of sleigh running on a track greased with animal fat. Such an experiment with a sleigh carrying a 40-ton slab of stone was successful near Stonehenge in 1995. A team of more than 100 workers managed to push and pull the slab along the 18-mile (29 km) journey from Marlborough Downs. Proposed functions for the site include usage as an astronomical observatory or as a religious site.
More recently two major new theories have been proposed. Professor Geoffrey Wainwright, president of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and Timothy Darvill, of Bournemouth University, have suggested that Stonehenge was a place of healing—the primeval equivalent of Lourdes. They argue that this accounts for the high number of burials in the area and for the evidence of trauma deformity in some of the graves. However, they do concede that the site was probably multifunctional and used for ancestor worship as well. Isotope analysis indicates that some of the buried individuals were from other regions. A teenage boy buried approximately 1550 BC was raised near the Mediterranean Sea; a metal worker from 2300 BC dubbed the “Amesbury Archer” grew up near the alpine foothills of Germany; and the “Boscombe Bowmen” probably arrived from Wales or Brittany, France.
最近提出了兩個主要的新理論。倫敦古物學會主席Geoffrey Wainwright教授和伯恩茅斯大學的Timothy Darvill教授認為，巨石陣是一個治癒的地方 – 相當於盧爾德的原始地位。他們認為，這解釋了該地區的大量埋葬以及一些墳墓中創傷畸形的證據。然而，他們確實承認該網站可能是多功能的並且也用於祖先崇拜。同位素分析表明，一些被埋藏的人來自其他地區。公元前1550年埋葬的一名十幾歲男孩在地中海附近長大;公元前2300年，一位名叫“埃姆斯伯里弓箭手”的金屬工人在德國阿爾卑斯山麓附近長大;而“Boscombe Bowmen”可能來自威爾士或法國布列塔尼。
On the other hand, Mike Parker Pearson of Sheffield University has suggested that Stonehenge was part of a ritual landscape and was joined to Durrington Walls by their corresponding avenues and the River Avon. He suggests that the area around Durrington Walls Henge was a place of the living, whilst Stonehenge was a domain of the dead. A journey along the Avon to reach Stonehenge was part of a ritual passage from life to death, to celebrate past ancestors and the recently deceased. Both explanations were first mooted in the twelfth century by Geoffrey of Monmouth, who extolled the curative properties of the stones and was also the first to advance the idea that Stonehenge was constructed as a funerary monument. Whatever religious, mystical or spiritual elements were central to Stonehenge, its design includes a celestial observatory function, which might have allowed prediction of eclipse, solstice, equinox and other celestial events important to a contemporary religion.
另一方面，謝菲爾德大學的Mike Parker Pearson建議巨石陣是儀式景觀的一部分，並通過相應的大道和埃文河與杜林頓城牆相連。他認為Durrington Walls Henge附近的地區是生活的地方，而巨石陣則是死者的一個地方。沿著雅芳前往巨石陣的旅程是從生與死，慶祝過去的祖先和最近去世的儀式通道的一部分。這兩種解釋都是在十二世紀由蒙茅斯的杰弗里首次提出的，他頌揚了石頭的治療特性，並且也是第一個提出巨石陣被建造為喪葬紀念碑的觀點。無論宗教，神秘或精神元素是巨石陣的核心，它的設計包括天體觀測功能，這可能預測日食，冬至，晝夜平分點和其他對當代宗教很重要的天體事件。
There are other hypotheses and theories. According to a team of British researchers led by Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield, Stonehenge may have been built as a symbol of “peace and unity”, indicated in part by the fact that at the time of its construction, Britain’s Neolithic people were experiencing a period of cultural unification.
還有其他假設和理論。根據謝菲爾德大學Mike Parker Pearson領導的一個英國研究小組的說法，巨石陣可能是作為“和平與統一”的象徵而建造的，部分原因是在建造時，英國的新石器時代人正在經歷一段文化統一時期。
Researchers from the Royal College of Art in London have discovered that the monument’s bluestones possess “unusual acoustic properties” — when struck they respond with a “loud clanging noise”. According to Paul Devereux, editor of the journal Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture, this idea could explain why certain bluestones were hauled nearly 200 miles (320 km)—a major technical accomplishment at the time. In certain ancient cultures rocks that ring out, known as lithophones, were believed to contain mystic or healing powers, and Stonehenge has a history of association with rituals. The presence of these “ringing rocks” seems to support the hypothesis that Stonehenge was a “place for healing”, as has been pointed out by Bournemouth University archaeologist Timothy Darvill, who consulted with the researchers. The bluestones of Stonehenge were quarried near a town in Wales called Maenclochog, which means “ringing rock”, where the local bluestones were used as church bells until the 18th century.
來自倫敦皇家藝術學院的研究人員發現，這座紀念碑的藍石具有“不尋常的聲學特性” – 當被擊中時，它們會響應“響亮的叮噹聲”。 “時間和心靈：考古，意識和文化雜誌”的編輯保羅德弗羅說，這個想法可以解釋為什麼某些藍石被拖運近200英里（320公里） – 這是當時的一項重大技術成就。在某些古代文化中，被稱為“石墨人”的岩石被認為含有神秘或治癒的力量，而巨石陣則有與儀式相關的歷史。這些“響起的岩石”的存在似乎支持了巨石陣是一個“治療之地”的假設，正如伯恩茅斯大學考古學家蒂莫西達爾維爾所指出的那樣，他與研究人員進行了磋商。巨石陣的藍石在威爾士一個名為Maenclochog的小鎮附近開採，這意味著“響起岩石”，當地的藍石被用作教堂的鐘聲，直到18世紀。
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