Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2015 Contents Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, June 22, 2015
The Megaliths of Stonehenge
Stonehenge's Sarsens, of which the largest weighs more than 40 tons and rises 24 feet, were likely sourced from quarries
25 miles north of Salisbury Plain and transported with the help of sledges and ropes; they may even have already been
scattered in the immediate vicinity when the monument's Neolithic architects first broke ground there. The smaller blue-
stones, on the other hand, have been traced all the way to the Preseli Hills in Wales, some 200 miles away from Stonehenge.
How, then, did prehistoric builders without sophisticated tools or engineering haul these boulders, which weigh up to 4
tons, over such a great distance?
According to one longstanding theory, Stonehenge's builders fashioned sledges and rollers out of tree trunks to lug the
bluestones from the Preseli Hills. They then transferred the boulders onto rafts and floated them first along the Welsh
coast and then up the River Avon toward Salisbury Plain; alternatively, they may have towed each stone with a fleet of
vessels. More recent hypotheses have them transporting the bluestones with supersized wicker baskets or a combination
of ball bearings, long grooved planks and teams of oxen.
As early as the 1970s, geologists have been adding their voices to the debate over how Stonehenge came into being. Chal-
lenging the classic image of industrious Neolithic builders pushing, carting, rolling or hauling the craggy bluestones from
faraway Wales, some scientists have suggested that glaciers, not humans, did most of the heavy lifting. The globe is dotted
with giant rocks known as glacial erratics that were carried over long distances by moving ice floes. Perhaps Stonehenge's
mammoth slabs were snatched from the Preseli Hills by glaciers during one of the Ice Ages and deposited a stone's throw
away---at least comparatively---from Salisbury Plain. Most archaeologists have remained cool toward the glacial theory,
however, wondering how the forces of nature could possibly have delivered the exact number of stones needed to complete
Many modern historians and archaeologists now agree that several distinct tribes of people contributed to Stonehenge,
each undertaking a different phase of its construction. Bones, tools and other artefacts found on the site seem to support
this hypothesis. The first stage was achieved by Neolithic agrarians who were likely indigenous to the British Isles. Later,
it is believed, groups with advanced tools and a more communal way of life left their stamp on the site. Some have sug-
gested that they were immigrants from the European continent, but many scientists think they were native Britons de-
scended from the original builders.
Stonehenge's Function and Significance
If the facts surrounding the architects and construction of Stonehenge remain shadowy at best, the purpose of the arresting
monument is even more of a mystery. While historians agree that it was a place of great importance for over 1,000 years,
we may never know what drew early Britons to Salisbury Plain and inspired them to continue developing it. There is strong
archaeological evidence that Stonehenge was used as a burial site, at least for part of its long history, but most scholars
believe it served other functions as well---either as a ceremonial site, a religious pilgrimage destination, a final resting place
for royalty or a memorial erected to honour and perhaps spiritually connect with distant ancestors.
In the 1960s, the astronomer Gerald Hawkins suggested that the cluster of megalithic stones operated as an astronomical
calendar, with different points corresponding to astrological phenomena such as solstices, equinoxes and eclipses. While
his theory has received quite a bit of attention over the years, critics maintain that Stonehenge's builders probably lacked
the knowledge necessary to predict such events or that England's dense cloud cover would have obscured their view of
the skies. More recently, signs of illness and injury in the human remains unearthed at Stonehenge led a group of British
archaeologists to speculate that it was considered a place of healing, perhaps because bluestones were thought to have
One of the most famous and recognizable sites in the world, Stonehenge draws more than 800,000 tourists a year, many
of whom also visit the region's numerous other Neolithic and Bronze Age marvels. In 1986 Stonehenge was added to UN-
ESCO's register of World Heritage sites in a co-listing with Avebury, a Neolithic henge located 17 miles away that is older
and larger than its more famous neighbour. Stonehenge has undergone several restorations over the years, and some of
its boulders have been set in concrete to prevent collapse. Meanwhile, archaeological excavations and development of the
surrounding area to facilitate tourism have turned up other significant sites nearby, including other henges.
(Source www.history.com/topics/british-history/stonehenge) (Edited)
21. The word "henge" is used to describe
A. A historic monument
B. A burial site
C. A massive circular ditch and bank
D. A religious pilgrimage destination
22. Historians and archaeologists indicate Stonehenge's
outer core is made of
A. Groove Planks
D. Sandstone Slabs
23. According to historical accounts, the 3rd Phase of the
Construction of Stonehenge commenced in
A. 1500 B.C.
B. 1600 B.C.
C. 1620 B.C.
D. 2000 B.C.
24. Of the 80 non-indigenous bluestones laid at Stone-
henge what percentage of stones remain today?
25. It is estimated that Stonehenge took some 1,500
years to erect, who where the engineers responsible
for its design?
A. John Aubrey
B. The Duke of Buckingham
C. Neolithic builders
D. Tribes of people
26. There are several theories associated with the trans-
portation of bluestones to Stonehenge. Which of the
following is NOT a theory put forward by scientists?
A. During the Ice Age Glaciers were responsible
for the movement of Bluestones.
B. Bluestones were transported by European
C. Supersized wicker baskets, ball bearings with
long groove planks and teams of oxen were
used to transport the bluestones.
D. Sledges and Rollers made of tree trunks and
rafts aided in the removal and placement of
27. What explanation does the writer offer for the use of
bluestones in the construction of Stonehenge?
A. Bluestones were unique to that time period
B. Bluestones were associated with royalty
C. Bluestones were associated with astronomical
D. Bluestones were thought to have curative
28. Which of the following is NOT believed to be a function
A. A court used by royals
B. A burial site
C. A ceremonial site or religious pilgrimage destination
D. A place of healing
29. In what year was Stonehenge added to UNESCO's
Register of World Heritage Sites?
DIRECTIONS: Read the poem carefully before attempting
the questions. Each question has four options, select the
most appropriate answer, based on what is implied or
stated in the poem.
Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me 16 And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear 20
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
"Suddenly I realize / That if I stepped out of my body I would
break / Into blossom."
By James Wright
Continued on the next page
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