Stonehenge was also a type of BBS system popular in the late 80's and early 90's. It was primarily based on the WildCat software, written in Pascal. This version of the software was mostly used in and around Seattle, with a particular variation being Stonehenge Citadel. It ran on IBM based machines, but I believe there was a port for Mac.

This was a room based system that allowed users to navigate to message spaces, and thereby post. Of course, most if not all of the boards had hidden file areas, and some had FidoNet relay for a simple sync with other stonehenge boards.

The way I heard it, English Heritage are not denying that they moved the stones during the past hundered years, beacuse it's quite obvious that they did. It's just that not a lot of people know that.

If you look at the painting William Turner made of the site in the late 19th century, you'll see that it was far more jumbled and collapsed than it is now, with many stones looking as if they will fall over. Many of these have since been cemented upright, and some of the blocks have been placed back on top of others. Most of this work was done in the 1920's, around the time it stopped being privately owned. The problem now is that people are starting to suspect that they might have got it wrong...

In response to the whole place being a hoax, that's fairly unlikely. It seems to have first been recorded in the 12th century, according to stonepages.com (who also have some rather nice photos):

Early mention of Stonehenge was made in 1135 by chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, who claimed that it was brought by a tribe of giants from Africa to Ireland, and from there flown by the wizard Merlin across the sea. Another legend claims that the stones were stolen from an Irish woman by the Devil, and re-erected on Salisbury Plain by Merlin for Ambrosius Aurelianus, the King of Britons.

The area has some earthworks dating back to about 9000-8000 BC, and the stones are belived to have been erected from about 2100 BC onwards.

There is a common misconception regarding Stonehenge that I would like to clear up. This is shown again in the latter portion of the writeup by Webster 1913 ("generally supposed to be the remains of an ancient Druidical temple"). I myself, like many others, once thought that Stonehenge was constructed by the Celtic druids. This is not the case.

I learned this recently while researching for a major thesis project for school. In his book, The Druids: Celtic Priests of Nature, author Jean Markale writes, "...But the problem lies in the fact that Stonehenge isn't Celtic. It was constructed in the Megalithic era, around 2000 B.C., and then reworked twice - on separate occasions - during the Bronze Age. It often appears in Celtic tradition, however, if only through the legend that presents this monument as the magic work of Merlin, or in the Arthurian tales that place Arthur's last battle in this immediate vacinity. This incontestably raises the question of Celts and therefore the druids, incorporating into their culture a tradition that preceded their arrival. Moreover, the solar cult's period of triumph must be sought not within the Celtic Iron Age, but within the Nordic Bronze Age."(page 49)

Markale's main arguments are that Stonehenge was constructed long before the formation of the Celtic society in which the druids resided; and furthermore, that the structure was obviously used for solar worship, which peaked in the Nordic Bronze Age.

Having long assumed that the druids built Stonehenge, I was crestfallen to learn otherwise. I was further disappointed to learn that Jean Markale was unable to credit an individual group of people with the construction of Stonehenge, which further adds to its mystique as well as my confusion.

Stonehenge is, according to The Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary, Clarendon Press, Oxford (1991), a 'unique megalithic monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England'. It is situated 30 km south of the Avebury site and 13 km northwest of Salisbury. It was built in prehistoric times, beginning about 3100 BC (although the oldest signs of human activity, found under the car park, date from about 7000 BC). The monument consists of a monumental circular setting of large standing stones surrounded by an earthwork. Today, much of Stonehenge is ruined. Many of the stones have been pilfered.

The construction of Stonehenge can be divided into four periods. The original construction, made around 3100-2300 BC, was a circular ditch of about 100 metres in diameter with an internal bank, and a north-eastern entrance. Just inside the earth bank were 56 holes forming a ring. Probably also dating to this time are the four Station Stones (only two of which survive) and, on the north-east side, an earthwork which runs from the break in the bank and ditch. The first stones at the site that probably also date from this period are the Slaughter Stone (now fallen) and the Heel Stone. They were erected outside the entrance to the site.

Around 2000 BC the earthwork approach road to the entrance of the bank and ditch, now called the Avenue, was built by people of the Beaker Culture. 80 blocks of bluestone (spotted dolerite) were transported by the same people 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 or menhirs 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 stones weigh as much as 26 tons. Ten upright stones arranged as five freestanding pairs with a single lintel (the so-called trilithons) were placed in the shape of a horseshoe. The trilithons were then enclosed within a circle of about 33 metres in diameter comprised originally of 30 neatly trimmed upright sandstone blocks (known today as sarsens). These stones, which stand on average 4 metres above the ground, are about 2 metres wide, and 1 metre thick, supported a continuous ring of sarsen lintels (held in place by tongue-and-groove joints). The final element that was added was the altar block, a large block of green sandstone from South Wales that was placed in front of one of the trilithons. The 35-ton heel stone was possibly placed during the second period. Its placement was one of the most sophisticated accomplishments of that age and provides the best evidence that early people used astronomy. On Midsummer Day (June 24 then, now June 21) a person standing in the center of the circle can see the sun rise directly above the heel stone.

From 2000 - 1550 BC a circle of 30 sarsen-stone uprights (weighing up to 50 tons) 30.5 m in diameter and capped by a continuous ring of sarsen lintels was erected in the centre of the site. This circle surrounded a horseshoe-shaped setting of five sarsen trilithons. After transporting the sarsen stones from Marlborough Downs, 30 km away, the stones were shaped and jointed together with stone hammers. Other changes involved adding, moving, and rearranging stones that had been used during the second period. Some of the bluestones were later reerected in the center in an oval structure that contained at least two miniature trilithons, and holes were dug for the rest to be set in two concentric circles (the so-called Y and Z holes) outside the sarsen circle. This plan was abandoned unfinished, however, and the bluestones were finally rearranged (ca. 1550 BC) in the circle and horseshoe whose remains survive today. Finally the Avenue was extended to the River Avon around 1550-1100 BC.

Several mysteries surround the Stonehenge monument, like: how on earth did they build that, and even more interesting: what was it for?

Stonehenge's axis points roughly in the direction of the sunrise at the summer and winter solstices. Some scientists believe that the people who built and used Stonehenge were able to foretell eclipses of the sun and moon by their positions in relation to the monument. It can probably be safely assumed that this orientation is not accidental. Nobody knows however whether timekeeping and prediction of eclipses, equinoxes and such was the purpose of Stonehenge, or if it was built that way for symbolic reasons (like a mosque, that has the mihrab to point out the direction of Mecca, while the purpose of a mosque is not specifically to know where Mecca is).

There have been several stories and theories over the centuries. One of them is told by the twelfth century writer, Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his History of the Kings of Britain. His story is based on the legend of King Arthur and states that Merlin brought the stones to the Salisbury Plain from Ireland by magic. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the stones of the Giant's Ring stone circle were originally brought from Africa to Ireland by giants. The stones were located on "Mount Killaraus" and were used as a site for performing rituals and for healing.They were moved from Ireland to England as a memorial to 300 British noblemen who were slaughtered by a treacherous Saxon leader sometime in the fifth century.

Another belief that was widely spread in the 17th century was that Stonehenge was a Druid temple. As pointed out by Diomedes, they certainly did not build it, although they may well have used it. Early belief states that the Stonehenge monument was built as a temple for sky worship, but no proof has been found for this.


Sources: www.christiaan.com/stonehenge, www.britannica.com, witcombe.sbc.edu/earthmysteries/EMStonehenge.html, www.mysteriousplaces.com/stonehenge
Stonehenge -
Population: 30
Small town along the Matilda Highway in Western Queensland. The Defence Department's site for the Over the Horizon Radar initiative guards the Australian coastline from here. The Thomson River flows a short way from the town attracting bird watchers and photographers from around the state. Less than 4km away from the town are the famous Rock Holes which act as a natural swimming pool.

Stone"henge (?), n.

An assemblage of upright stones with others placed horizontally on their tops, on Salisbury Plain, England, -- generally supposed to be the remains of an ancient Druidical temple.

 

© Webster 1913.

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