Sep
22
2008

Archaeologists pinpoint Stonehenge construction date; Wally shows how it was built


Stonehenge: A 19th Century engraving of the mysterious monument.Courtesy Mark Ryan
Stonehenge is back in the news. Archaeologists working on the mystery-laden prehistoric site located in south central England have now pinpointed the time of its construction to around 2300 BC. This radiocarbon-derived date connects it more closely with burial date of the Amesbury Archer, a wealthy metalworker from Europe’s alpine region, whose tomb was discovered not far from Stonehenge. Examination of the archer’s corpse revealed damage to his knee and other potentially fatal health issues.

This has led Tim Darvill and Geoff Wainwright, the two professors heading the excavation, to believe that the circle of megalithic stones existed as a healing center. Not everyone agrees, but you can find out all the details here. The dig's progress is also being recorded for an upcoming BBC Timewatch documentary.

All very well and good. But scientists remain uncertain as to how these huge stone monoliths were put in place by Stonehenge’s ancient technopeasant builders. Well, Wally Wallington, a retired construction worker in Flint, Michigan, just might have the answer. This following video came to my attention this past weekend, and I find it quite impressive and amazing. See for yourself.

SOURCES and LINKS

BBC website story
More about Stonehenge
Guardian website story
More on the Amesbury Archer

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Thank you Mark, for this super post about stonehenge. I especially enjoyed the Wally Wallington video.

posted on Mon, 09/22/2008 - 1:51pm
mdr's picture
mdr says:

You're welcome Art! Glad you enjoyed it.

posted on Mon, 09/22/2008 - 2:12pm
bryan kennedy's picture

That video is really fantastic. Wally's efforts really make you consider the power of humans and simple tools.

posted on Mon, 09/22/2008 - 3:24pm
Howard's picture
Howard says:

The construction of Stonehenge was not a complicated or mysterious process that required any advanced engineering techniques – the answer lies in the numerous mounds and passage graves scattered throughout the UK and Ireland . The process was as follows:

The dressed sarson stones where first erected (levered upright in slanted holes). The erected stones were then covered by a huge mound, out of which protruded the undressed tops of the sarson stones. These were then worked/dressed level with each other and prepared for the lintel stones. Lintel stones were then dragged/levered up the sloped mound, dressed to shape and then placed in position on the leveled tops of the still buried sarson stones. When the circle of lintel stones was complete, the soil of the mound was removed, exposing the completed stone circle.

Howard Langley
[email protected]

posted on Tue, 03/03/2009 - 3:26pm
Rand Soellner Architect's picture

Excellent information. As a architect of post and beam homes, it is nice to know how far back this technology existed. Timber frame wattle and daub with half-timber elements appears to go back 6,000 years. Therefore, it is not hard to believe that Stonehenge is 4,310 years old. Thanks, scientists, for helping solve this riddle. It has been my experience that builders and architects from any era can be very clever. After the facility is constructed and done, people may stand back and marvel and theorize about aliens doing it, but my money is on smart people, any day.

posted on Sun, 03/07/2010 - 4:00pm
Mackomas's picture
Mackomas says:

There is no proof till now that who made Stonehenge. It still remains unsolved. There are various assumption which lack full proof assertion.However it is discovered that Stonehenge was used as Burial ground for more than 300 years.The question of who built Stonehenge is largely unanswered to date. Here i came to know some facts about it. So thought of sharing with you.

posted on Thu, 10/28/2010 - 11:10pm

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