Stonehenge has baffled archaeologists who have argued for decades over the stone circle's 5,000-year history - but now academic Dr Rupert Till believes he has solved the riddle by suggesting it may have been used for ancient raves. Part-time DJ Dr Till, an expert in acoustics and music technology at Huddersfield University, believes the standing stones of Stonehenge had the ideal acoustics to amplify a 'repetitive trance rhythm' not dissimilar to some kinds of modern trance music.
First discovered in 2002, the waterside site—called the Ness of Brodgar ("Brodgar promontory")—lies on Mainland, the largest of Scotland's Orkney Islands. According to recent radiocarbon dating of burned-wood remains, the Ness was first occupied around 3200 B.C. and went on to include up to a hundred buildings within a monumental walled enclosure. By contrast, the earliest earthworks at Stonehenge date to about 3000 B.C. And it would be roughly another 500 years before the first of the famous stones were set on Salisbury Plain.
Archaeologists at the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology found, according to the university press release, are two large pits positioned in “celestial alignment.” The researchers think the pits could have contained tall stones, wooden posts or fires to mark the rising and setting sun and could have been connected by a processional route used by agriculturalists to celebrate the summer solstice.
It is believed that Stonehenge was built as a sacred monument used for meetings and religious purposes. The key stones are aligned with major major solar and lunar events including Solstices and Equinoxes.
For the construction of Stonehenge, two chief stones were used- the 'bluestones' weighing four tons and the 'Sarsen' stones weighing twenty-five tons. The bluestones are the oldest among all the stones at Stonehenge and their original place has been changed many a times since then.
According to folklore, Stonehenge was created by Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, who magically transported the massive stones from Ireland, where giants had assembled them. Another legend says invading Danes put the stones up, and another theory says they were the ruins of a Roman temple. Modern-day interpretations are no less colorful: some argue that Stonehenge is a spacecraft landing area for aliens, and even more say it's a giant fertility symbol in the shape of female genitalia.
Stonehenge in southern England ranks among the world's most iconic archaeological sites and one of its greatest enigmas. The megalithic circle on Salisbury Plain inspires awe and fascination—but also intense debate some 4,600 years after it was built by ancient Britons who left no written record.
In 2010 Gaffney began a three-year project heading an international team that will probe the surrounding countryside in one more attempt to unravel the site’s mysteries, this time with the aid of the very latest technology. The first reward came quickly. Within just two weeks the team, armed with high-powered magnetometers and ground-penetrating radar, discovered traces of that putative timber ring—possibly the most important find on the site in half a century.
Advances in carbon dating mean experts can provide a more accurate chronology. More sophisticated chemical analysis of human remains allows archaeologists to identify the likely origin of the earliest visitors to the site... And with more data come fresh ideas. New evidence is now emerging to bolster a front-running theory: Stonehenge never stood in majestic isolation. Says Gaffney: “It was just part of a much wider ritual landscape.”
Using petrography (which is basically the science of getting down to the gritty details of rocks), a team from the University of Leicester and the National Museum of Wales sampled the mineral makeup of several large outcroppings of rock in Pembrokeshire, Wales. They then cross-referenced those with Stonehenge’s rhyolites. They found a match with a 215-foot stretch of rock called Craig Rhos-y-Felin in north Pembrokeshire. That’s 160 miles from Stonehenge)