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Stonehenge built as a symbol of peace and unity, British researchers suggest

The creation of the mysterious monument and the culture built around it suggests Stonehenge was thought as a symbol of unity in late Neolithic Europe, British researchers say. 

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The mysterious structure of Stonehenge may have been built as a symbol of peace and unity, according to a new theory by British researchers.

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The mysterious structure of Stonehenge may have been built as a symbol of peace and unity, according to a new theory by British researchers.

During the monument's construction around 3000 B.C. to 2500 B.C., Britain's Neolithic people were becoming increasingly unified, said study leader Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield.

"There was a growing islandwide culture — the same styles of houses, pottery and other material forms were used from Orkney to the south coast," Parker Pearson said in a statement, referring to the Orkney Islands of northern Scotland. "This was very different to the regionalism of previous centuries."

By definition, Stonehenge would have required cooperation, Parker Pearson added.

"Stonehenge itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the labor of thousands to move stones from as far away as west Wales, shaping them and erecting them. Just the work itself, requiring everything literally to pull together, would have been an act of unification," he said. [Photos: A Walk Through Stonehenge]

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