“There are hundreds of myths and legends about the creation of Stonehenge, the most colourful of which involve the likes of giants, Merlin, and even aliens! Obviously, this is not the case.
“The truth is that Stonehenge is a masterpiece of human ingenuity.”
Go back 5,000 years to when the very first Stonehenge was a simple circular ditch dug with antler tools. This animation from the team at English Heritage shares a summary of how Stonehenge was created on an open piece of chalk downland now known as Salisbury Plain.
From English Heritage, who is charged with looking after the prehistoric monument:
“In about 2500 BC the site was transformed by the construction of the central stone settings. Enormous sarsens and smaller bluestones were raised to form a unique monument. Building Stonehenge took huge effort from hundreds of well-organised people…”
“To fit the upright stones with the horizontal lintels, mortice holes and protruding tenons were created. The lintels were slotted together using tongue and groove joints. These types of joint are usually found only in woodworking…To erect a stone, people dug a large hole with a sloping side. The back of the hole was lined with a row of wooden stakes.”
“The stone was then moved into position and hauled upright using plant fibre ropes and probably a wooden A-frame. Weights may have been used to help tip the stone upright. The hole was then packed securely with rubble.
“Timber platforms were probably used to raise the horizontal lintels into position. Then the final stage of shaping the tenons took place, to ensure a good fit into the mortice holes of the lintel.”
Watch more animated history from English Heritage.
Related exploration: Stonehenge Virtual Tour: Inside the Stones.
Plus, be sure to watch this next: Stonehenge: Moving Massive Blocks Using Simple Engineering.
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