||THE GREAT AND ANCIENT STONE CIRCLE
The great and ancient stone circle of Stonehenge is one of the wonders of the
world. There has always been intense debate over quite what purpose Stonehenge served.
Certainly, it was the focal point in a landscape filled with prehistoric ceremonial
structures, now a World Heritage Site. Stonehenge is surely Britain’s greatest national
icon, symbolizing mystery, power and endurance. Its original purpose is unclear to
us, but some have speculated that it was a temple made for the worship of ancient
It has been called an astronomical observatory for marking significant events on
the prehistoric calendar. Others claim that it was a sacred site for the burial of
high-ranking citizens from the societies of long ago. While we can’t say with any
degree of certainty what it was for, we can say that it wasn’t constructed for any
casual purpose. Only something very important to the ancients would have been worth
the effort and investment that it took to construct Stonehenge.
There are probably hundreds of myths and legends about Stonehenge. Various people
have attributed the building of this great megalith to the Danes, Romans, Saxons,
Greeks, Atlanteans, Egyptians, Phoenicians Celts, King Aurelius Ambrosious, Merlin,
and even Aliens. One of the most popular beliefs was that Stonehenge was built by
the Druids. These high priests of the Celts, constructed it for sacrificial ceremonies.
Jaime García Hernández ESO 4
Peaceful start to summer solstice
21 June 2006, 08:22 GMT 09:22 UK
Celebrations to mark the summer solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire have passed off
peacefully. Police estimate around 17.000 people watched the sun rise at 0458 BST
on Wednesday despite cloudy conditions.
English Heritage allows the public access to the 5.000-year-old stone circle for
the annual event.
Drum-beating and chanting turned to cheering as the sun broke through the clouds
shortly after 0500 BST.
Heavy overnight rain ensured numbers stayed well below the 20,000 expected to attend
the annual revelry at the ancient stone circle on Salisbury Plain.
Although the rain had stopped by dawn
this year’s sunrise was cloudy, unlike the strikingly clear spectacle witnessed last
One reveller said: “Today’s sunrise was spectacularly unspectacular.”
Every year people flock to the 5,000-year-old site for an all-night party culminating
in sunrise on the longest day of the year.