Stonehenge in England is without a doubt one of the most challenging and stunning ancient monuments in Europe.
Built thousands of years ago, Stonehenge is a mixture of myth and reality, what is possible and what is not.
The structure itself defies history, and until this day, countless generations after it was meticulously built, we are unable to fully understand how ancient people erected this ancient monument,
But where does the art of stacking up massive rocks on top of one another originate from?
Was Stonehenge the first of such movements to be built? Or are there similar monuments spread across the world?
According to a new map, monolith monuments like Stonehenge were spread across Europe most likely by ancient sailors, and the first one was erected in Brittany, more than 6,500 years ago.
After the construction of the Stonehenge in Brittany, it is thought that the knowledge and expertise of building similar structures was spread to Europe by sailors over the following millennia.
Evidence of that is countless similar monuments that have been discovered in coastal regions around the Mediterranean and Atlantic coast.
Dr. Schulz Paulsson, one of the study’s co-authors from the University of Gothenburg, told New Scientist: “They were moving over the seaway, taking long-distance journeys along the coasts.”
Previous studies have suggested at least two explanations for how megalithic monuments spread across Europe, and why they were built.
The first idea is that the structures were built in a specific region and that techniques were carried to different areas and cultures via sea.
The other theory tells us that building Stonehenge like structure become popular over time, but without external influence, and rather almost independently.
And according to the study recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the former may be the accurate one.
As explained by New Scientists, the researchers found that megalith construction began in a single location in parts of northwest France over a period of 200-300 years, sometime around 4500 BC.
The tradition then spread across certain parts of Europe spanning 2,000 years along the sea routes of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts.
The idea that Stonehenge-like structures spread over time across Europe also indicates that ancient societies developed sophisticated sea-faring techniques sooner than previously believed.