One of the most famous stone monuments on the European continent is Stonehenge: the massive stone formation in Wiltshire, England. It attracts millions of tourists and is home to countless secrets.
Believed to have been between 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Radiocarbon tests performed in 2008 indicate that the very first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC.
However, some argue the monument is much older and that the first standing stones at Stonehenge were put into position as early as 3000 BC.
The site we see today, the beautifully arranged stones were transported hundreds of miles away.
Somehow, in ancient times, its builders raised and placed the massive stones into position without advanced tools.
But like many other monuments around the globe, Stonehenge too was restored numerous times.
From 1901 to 1964, the stone circle was restored in a series of makeovers that have left it, in one archaeologist’s words, as a product of the 20th-century heritage industry’.
Furthermore, there are various references, such as Stonehenge by Malone and Barnard, confirm that:
In 1958 a 60-ton mobile crane was used to restore the stones that had fallen in 1797 and 1900
There’s also an article published by New Scientist offering evidence that:
virtually every stone was re-erected, straightened or embedded in concrete between 1901 and 1964…
…The first restoration project took place in 1901. A leaning stone was straightened and set in concrete, to prevent it falling.
More drastic renovations were carried out in the 1920s. Under the direction of Colonel William Hawley, a member of the Stonehenge Society, six stones were moved and re-erected.
Cranes were used to reposition three more stones in 1958. One giant fallen lintel, or cross stone, was replaced. Then in 1964, four stones were repositioned to prevent them falling.
The 1920s ‘restoration’ was the most “vigorous”, says Christopher Chippindale of the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. “The work in the 1920s under Colonel William Crawley is a sad story,”
Cambridge University archeological archivist and leading Stonehenge author Christopher Chippindale admitted that “Not much of what we see at Stonehenge hasn’t been touched in some way’. And historical research student Brian Edwards, who recently revealed that the nearby Avebury Monument had been totally rebuilt, has found Stonehenge’s rare pictures being restored.
He said: ‘It has been as if Stonehenge had been historically cleansed.’ ‘For too long, people have been kept in the dark over the Stonehenge restoration work. I am astonished by how few people know about it. It is wonderful the guide book is going to tell the full story in the future.”
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