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A Research Paper on The Mystery of Stonehenge

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Abstract

This paper contains the mystery of Stonehenge. Stonehenge was built on Salisbury Plain some time between 5,000 and 4,300 years ago. It is one of the most famous and mysterious archaeological sites in the world (O’Driscoll, 2009, p.15). The main focus of this paper is that the author would like to analyze several theories about the constructions and the functions of Stonehenge which are still mysterious and also to make a comparison between Stonehenge and Gunung Padang. The author gained the data from e-book and some website about the information of Stonehenge and Gunung Padang. From this paper, we could find there are several theories about the constructions and the functions of Stonehenge are Merlin’s theory, Roman temple, a worship place of Druid, a place of healing, a burial place, a site for celestial or astronomical alignments, and the new age viewpoint. The results of the comparison between Stonehenge and Gunung Padang are Stonehenge and Gunung Padang were built by stones, Stonehenge and Gunung Padang are mysterious archaeological and megalithic sites in the world, the author didn’t find when the Stonehenge was first discovered and Gunung Padang was popular by experts since 1800.

Introduction

Stonehenge was built on Salisbury Plain some time between 5,000 and 4,300 years ago. It is one of the most famous and mysterious archaeological sites in the world (O’Driscoll, 2009, p.15). Stonehenge was built by thirty of stones. The biggest stones called Sarsens. Sarsens have 9 meters tall and weigh 25 tons. The smaller stones called bluestones. It called bluestones because they have a bluish tinge when wet or freshly broken. Bluestones have 4 tons weigh.

We do not know who built the Stonehenge. Many theories about the constructions of the Stonehenge and it is functions. People believe that Stonehenge was built by the alien because it is impossible for ancient humans could move the big stones and built the complicated monuments such as Stonehenge. People believe that the functions of Stonehenge are a ritual place, burials, and an astronomical observation place. Indonesia also has a stone monument called Gunung Padang. The construction of Gunung Padang is also still mysterious. Therefore, the author chooses this topic as a focus of this paper. The author is expected that this paper could give more information about the mystery of Stonehenge and other stone monuments such as Gunung Padang.

Based on the explanation above, the purposes of this paper to analyze several theories about the constructions and the functions of Stonehenge which are still mysterious and also to make a comparison between Stonehenge and Gunung Padang. The data for this paper were gained from e-book and some website about the information of Stonehenge and Gunung Padang.

Results and discussions

Based on the analysis that has been done, the writer found several theories about the constructions of the Stonehenge and its functions. The following data and information are founded by the author:

1. The Merlin’s theory

In the 12th century, the English historian Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote a book called ‘Historia Regum Britanniae’ (History of the kings of England). In that book, he told about the famous legend of the king Arthur and the explanation of how Stonehenge was first made. According to Geoffrey, the bluestones came from the Africa. The giants carried the stones to the mysterious mountain named Killaraus in Ireland where they arranged them into a big circle. Therefore, that is where the stones were for a long time. When the king Aurelius Ambrosius wanted to make a memorial to his dead soldiers, a witch named Merlin suggested him to use the stones. The king accepted her suggestion, Merlin used her magic power and removed the stones and took them to Salisbury by the sea. This theory combined the aspects of English legend with the supernatural power of Merlin the witch. Although it was interesting, the experts had never taken this theory as a serious theory.

2. Roman temple

In 1620, the king James I asked an eccentric British architect named Inigo Jones to investigate the structure and history of the Stonehenge. In 1655, three years after Jones’s death, his son-in-law John Webb published a book entitled ‘Remarkable Antiquity of Great Britain, Vulgarly called Stone-Heng, Restored’. The book came from the documentation records inherited by Inigo Jones.

The book told about Stonehenge was actually a Tuscan-style temple was founded by the Roman period in England from the 1st century until the 5th century. He said that the temple was honor of Coelus, one of the Roman gods. However, many other writers refused this theory because the age of the monument was far from the Roman period in England.

3. A worship place of the Druid

Dr. William Stukley (1740) explained that in 460 BC, England was visited by a number of pilgrims from the Middle East, possibly the Finis who had lived in the land of Canaan which was conquered by the Israelites. These pilgrims were founded by the Druid religion which later built Stonehenge as a worship place. They used Stonehenge for their ceremonies and took place at the ring of the stones during the summer. Nowadays, Druid religion uses Stonehenge as a religious monument.

4. A place of healing

Professor Tim Darvill of Bournemouth University and Professor Geoffrey Wainwright of the Society of Antiquaries of London (2008) claimed that Stonehenge may have served as a ‘place of healing’ (as cited in Enigma, 2010). This was due to the discovery of skulls near the sites. In the remained of the skull was founded by them, there were several signs such as a skull that was accidentally opened. This sign indicated the operation procedure in the head. Stonehenge might had been used as a healing location for serious disease or injury, a kind of ancient Lourdes.

5. A burial place

Professor Mike Parker Pearson of Sheffield University (1998) explained that the area around Stonehenge had a large number of burials to suggest that it was a domain of the dead, while a Neolithic settlement nearby was the corresponding place of the living. More recently, Professor Parker claimed that Stonehenge was built to unify the different people of the British islands. He said that Stonehenge itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the labor of thousands stones from as far away as West Wales, shaping them and erecting them became an act of unification.

6. A site for celestial or astronomical alignments

This theory by Sir John Lockyer (1901). He is a famous British astronomer who discovered the element helium. In 1901, he wrote a paper that assumed that some parts of Stonehenge, called the Heel Stone was originally to Summer Solstice (the longest day in a year). Therefore, Lockyer assumed that Stonehenge might had been used by ancient astronomers to observe celestial objects. In 1965, this theory was reinforced by an American astronomer named Gerald Hawkins, he used computers to find 165 points of the constructions of Stonehenge were related to the movement of the sun and the moon. He proposed that Stonehenge was probably an ancient computer used to predict lunar eclipses.

7. The new age viewpoint

This theory explained that Stonehenge is used to a spiritual place (as cited in the mysteries of Stonehenge, n.d.). It is used to the religion that wanted to be better term in Neolithic times, it had the similarities to pagan religion nowadays. The concept sof the religion were mother earth and father the sun. They claimed that Stonehenge had energy and also follow a back to the nature theme.

From all of the data and information were presented by the author, the author assumes that the constructions and the functions of Stonehenge are still mysterious. Because many experts have their own theories and some experts disagree with other expert’s theories. As a result, there is no clear theory from the several theories of Stonehenge and nobody knows for sure about Stonehenge is used for.

The comparison between Stonehenge and Gunung Padang are:

  1. Stonehenge was built on Salisbury Plain some time between 5,000 and 4,300 years ago (O’Driscoll, 2009, p.15). Stonehenge was built by thirty of stones. Meanwhile, Gunung Padang was built between 3,500 years, 8,000 years, 9,500 and eventually 28,000 years ago (Dockrill, 2018). Gunung Padang was a massive stones on a hill in Cianjur, West Java. Some experts believe that Gunung Padang is older than Stonehenge because Gunung Padang was built in 3,500 years ago.
  2. The constructions of Stonehenge and Gunung Padang are still mysterious because many experts have their own theories.
  3. Stonehenge and Gunung Padang are mysterious archaeological and megalithic sites in the world.
  4. The author didn’t find when the Stonehenge was first discovered. Meanwhile, Gunung Padang was popular by experts since 1800 (Irfan, 2018). Gunung Padang was first reported on the Netherlands newspaper in 1914. Therefore, the experts made a research again in 1979. In 2011, a lot of people came to Gunung Padang because of the issue that there is a pyramid in Gunung Padang.

Conclusion

Based on the explanation above, there are several theories about the constructions of Stonehenge and it is functions. The theories and the functions are Merlin’s theory, Roman temple, a worship place of Druid, a place of healing, a burial place, a site for celestial or astronomical alignments, and the new age viewpoint. From all of the theories we could conclude that the constructions and the functions of Stonehenge are still mysterious. Because many experts have their own theories and some experts disagree with other expert’s theories. As a result, there is no clear theory from the several theories of Stonehenge and nobody knows for sure about Stonehenge is used for.

The results of the comparison between Stonehenge and Gunung Padang are Stonehenge and Gunung Padang were built by stones, the constructions of Stonehenge and Gunung Padang are still mysterious, Stonehenge and Gunung Padang are mysterious archaeological and megalithic sites in the world, the author didn’t find when the Stonehenge was first discovered and Gunung Padang was popular by experts since 1800.

The author hopes that this paper could give more information about the mystery of Stonehenge and Gunung Padang to the readers. This paper also could be reference for the next researchers who are interested in conducting similar research.

References

  • O’Driscoll, J. (2009). Britain for learnes of English: understand the country and it’s people (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Krystek, L. (2012). Stonehenge: Mystery on the salisbury plain. Retrieved from website: http://www.unmuseum.org/stonehen.htm
  • Enigma. (2010). Stonehenge: sejarah dan bagaimana monumen ini dibangun? Retrieved from website: http://www.enigmablogger.com/2010/12/stonehenge-bagaimana-monumen-ini.html
  • Dockrill, P. (2018). A scientist claims the world’s oldest pyramid is hidden in an Indonesian mountain. Retrieved from website: https://www.sciencealert.com/the-world-s-oldest-pyramid-is-hidden-in-an-indonesian-mountain-scientist-claim
  • The Mysteries of Stonehenge: What was Stonehenge used for and how and why was it built? (n.d.). Retrieved from website:https://www.londontoolkit.com/whattodo/sronehenge_mystery.htm.
  • Irfan, T. (2018). Gunung Padang Bukanlah Piramida. Retrieved from website: https://tirto.id/gunung-padang-bukanlah-piramida-cHW9

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A Research Paper On The Mystery Of Stonehenge. (2021, Jun 09). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-research-paper-on-the-mystery-of-stonehenge/
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