Background
This analysis is based on an older version of our inference model which is accurate but more difficult to read

Question

Why was Stonehenge built?

Hypotheses
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Calculated Conclusions
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Conclusions
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1

81%
Sun worship:
Stonehenge was built as a place of sun worship.
81%

2

13%
Burial site:

Stonehenge was built as a burial site.

13%

3

6%
Calendar:

Stonehenge was built as a large calendar or season tracker.

6%

4

0.1%
Mystical healing:

Stonehenge was built as a place of mystical healing.

0.1%

5

Geocentric model:

Stonehenge was built as a geocentric representation of the Universe.

Summary

Stonehenge may be the most famous of all megaliths. Various theories attribute its construction to Druids, Merlin, and even aliens. Although it is clear that Stonehenge was deliberately constructed, no one really knows why. This analysis focuses on the original purpose for which it was built, irrespective of what its functions may have been after it was constructed.

The evidence doesn't fit neatly with any of the competing hypotheses. The construction of Stonehenge took place about 5,000 years ago, and there's little information about similar structures at the time. Therefore, it is possible that the true hypothesis has not yet been suggested or considered. However, among the hypotheses known today, the most likely explanation is that Stonehenge was built as a place of sun worship.

The alignment with the sun and the burials at the site suggest that Stonehenge was either a place of sun worship that included a burial ground or a (religious) burial site for people with strong ties to the sun and solstice. The graves and the sheer magnitude of such a project are more difficult to account for under the "Calendar" hypothesis. While there is peripheral evidence that may associate Stonehenge with healing (such as the origin of the bluestones, and skeletons that had medical problems), projects of this magnitude are without precedent and unlikely for healing alone.

The hypothesis that Stonehenge was built by Druids (suggested in the 17th century), is rejected outright (and not analyzed) due to the abundance of evidence that Stonehenge was completed by 1500 BC, while the Druids only arrived in England around the year 600.

An additional mystery analyzed is whether the bluestones from Preseli reached the Stonehenge area through glacier flow, or were manually transported. The conclusion finds glacier flow to be very likely, mostly due to the large variety of bluestone sources - since deliberate mining probably would have focused on one or two quarries and not multiple quarry sites.

Key Evidence
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Contribution
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1

Four points outside the circle (the station stones, only two of which are standing) mark significant celestial events pertaining to the sun and moon (northernmost and southernmost moonset, midwinter sunset, etc.).

Sources: Dr. Guy Worthey, Department of Physics and Astronomy at Washington State University
Celestial events marked by the station stones.
Celestial events marked by the station stones.
www.ancient-wisdom.com
Sun worship

42%

Burial site

8%

Calendar

42%

Mystical healing

8%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

42%

Burial site

8%

Calendar

42%

Mystical healing

8%

Geocentric model

2

Stonehenge is aligned with sunrise and sunset at the summer and winter solstice.

Sources: R.J.C. Atkinson (Department of Archaeology, University College, Wales)
Sunrise alignment on the summer and winter solstice
Sunrise alignment on the summer and winter solstice
www.the-stonehenge-enigma.info
Sun worship

36%

Burial site

13%

Calendar

44%

Mystical healing

6%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

36%

Burial site

13%

Calendar

44%

Mystical healing

6%

Geocentric model

3

The area around Stonehenge had been in use before the stones were erected (large pine posts were present around 6000-7000 BC, shafts from around 3800 BC, pottery and animal remains from around 3200 BC, and wooden posts from 2900-3000 BC).

Sources: Professor Timothy Darvill
Stonehenge Car Park Mesolithic Timbers
Stonehenge Car Park Mesolithic Timbers
digitaldigging.net
Sun worship

37%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

13%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

37%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

13%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

4

Many bones from animals originating in different parts of England were found at Stonehenge. A disproportionate number of these bones were from animals approximately 9 months old.

Sources: Mike Parker Pearson, Professor of British Later Prehistory
Sun worship

40%

Burial site

17%

Calendar

23%

Mystical healing

20%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

40%

Burial site

17%

Calendar

23%

Mystical healing

20%

Geocentric model

5

The inner faces of the

sarsen
circle are more finely worked than the exterior (outside) faces.

Sources: Explore History
Sun worship

26%

Burial site

13%

Calendar

35%

Mystical healing

26%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

26%

Burial site

13%

Calendar

35%

Mystical healing

26%

Geocentric model

Combined contribution of 13 remaining elements.
Sun worship

23%

Burial site

13%

Calendar

20%

Mystical healing

44%

Geocentric model

Analysis

Evidence
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Starting Point (1 item)

The stones (4 items)

Scenario A:

The bluestones were manually transported from Preseli to Stonehenge; there was no glacier flow from Preseli to Salisbury plains.

Scenario B:

The bluestones were moved from Preseli to the Stonehenge area by a glacier flow (and then manually transported less than 5 kilometers).

Scenario C:

The bluestones were manually transported from Preseli to Stonehenge; there was an unrelated glacier flow in Salisbury plains.

The Preseli Mountains
The Preseli Mountains
www.visitpembrokeshire.com
Sun worship

25%

Burial site

26%

Calendar

24%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

25%

Burial site

26%

Calendar

24%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Very few bluestone chips have been found close to the surface (most chips were found deeper in the ground).
Sources: Professors Timothy Darvill and Geoffrey Wainwright, members of the Society of Antiquaries
Sun worship

25%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

25%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

The inner faces of the

sarsen
circle are more finely worked than the exterior (outside) faces.

Sources: Explore History
Sun worship

26%

Burial site

13%

Calendar

35%

Mystical healing

26%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

26%

Burial site

13%

Calendar

35%

Mystical healing

26%

Geocentric model

Stonehenge’s large

sarsen
stones (up to 30 feet / 9 meters tall and weighing an average of 25 tons) originated in Marlborough Downs (a distance of approximately 20 miles / 32 kilometers).

Sources: The British Academy
Stonehenge's sarsen stones
Stonehenge's sarsen stones
www.beautifulenglandphotos.uk
Sun worship

25%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

25%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Arrangement of the stones (6 items)

Stonehenge is arranged in a circular pattern.

Concentric circles at Stonehenge
Concentric circles at Stonehenge
arthistoryworlds.org
Sun worship

25%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

25%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Stonehenge is aligned with sunrise and sunset at the summer and winter solstice.

Sources: R.J.C. Atkinson (Department of Archaeology, University College, Wales)
Sunrise alignment on the summer and winter solstice
Sunrise alignment on the summer and winter solstice
www.the-stonehenge-enigma.info
Sun worship

36%

Burial site

13%

Calendar

44%

Mystical healing

6%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

36%

Burial site

13%

Calendar

44%

Mystical healing

6%

Geocentric model

Four points outside the circle (the station stones, only two of which are standing) mark significant celestial events pertaining to the sun and moon (northernmost and southernmost moonset, midwinter sunset, etc.).

Sources: Dr. Guy Worthey, Department of Physics and Astronomy at Washington State University
Celestial events marked by the station stones.
Celestial events marked by the station stones.
www.ancient-wisdom.com
Sun worship

42%

Burial site

8%

Calendar

42%

Mystical healing

8%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

42%

Burial site

8%

Calendar

42%

Mystical healing

8%

Geocentric model

Stone 54 has the weathered remains of 3 large holes arranged in a vertical line and at equal distances.

Sun worship

25%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

25%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

The

sarsen
stones are tapered for apparent architectural effect when viewed from the outside.

Sun worship

Burial site

Calendar

Mystical healing

Geocentric model

Sun worship

Burial site

Calendar

Mystical healing

Geocentric model

The outer ring of

sarsen
stones have lintels that are precisely level with each other (even though the ground is slightly sloping).

Sources: Bradshaw Foundation
Sun worship

Burial site

Calendar

Mystical healing

Geocentric model

Sun worship

Burial site

Calendar

Mystical healing

Geocentric model

Burials (3 items)

Some skeletons near Stonehenge from around the Bronze Age came from distant lands (including the ‘Amesbury Archer’ from around 2300 BC who was probably from Germany and ‘The Boy with the Amber necklace’ from around 1550 BC who was probably from the Mediterranean).

Sources: Jane Evans, British Geological Survey Head of Archaeological Science
The Amesbury Archer
The Amesbury Archer
forums.canadiancontent.net
Sun worship

26%

Burial site

22%

Calendar

22%

Mystical healing

30%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

26%

Burial site

22%

Calendar

22%

Mystical healing

30%

Geocentric model

Prehistoric skeletons buried in the Stonehenge area show that a larger than normal percentage suffered from serious health problems.
Sources: Professors Timothy Darvill and Geoffrey Wainwright, members of the Society of Antiquaries
Professors Darvill and Wainwright in Stonehenge
Professors Darvill and Wainwright in Stonehenge
www.nbcnews.com
Sun worship

24%

Burial site

24%

Calendar

24%

Mystical healing

29%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

24%

Burial site

24%

Calendar

24%

Mystical healing

29%

Geocentric model

Cremated human remains were buried at Stonehenge from around 3000 BC - 2300 BC.

Sources: Radiocarbon tests
Sun worship

23%

Burial site

30%

Calendar

20%

Mystical healing

27%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

23%

Burial site

30%

Calendar

20%

Mystical healing

27%

Geocentric model

History (4 items)

Many bones from animals originating in different parts of England were found at Stonehenge. A disproportionate number of these bones were from animals approximately 9 months old.

Sources: Mike Parker Pearson, Professor of British Later Prehistory
Sun worship

40%

Burial site

17%

Calendar

23%

Mystical healing

20%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

40%

Burial site

17%

Calendar

23%

Mystical healing

20%

Geocentric model

The area around Stonehenge had been in use before the stones were erected (large pine posts were present around 6000-7000 BC, shafts from around 3800 BC, pottery and animal remains from around 3200 BC, and wooden posts from 2900-3000 BC).

Sources: Professor Timothy Darvill
Stonehenge Car Park Mesolithic Timbers
Stonehenge Car Park Mesolithic Timbers
digitaldigging.net
Sun worship

37%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

13%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

37%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

13%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

In the 4th century (around 1900 years after Stonehenge was completed), Hecataeus of Abdera wrote about a round temple in Hyperborea that was dedicated to Apollo (sun worship).

Sources: Geoffrey Ashe
Sun worship

26%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

26%

Burial site

25%

Calendar

25%

Mystical healing

25%

Geocentric model

In the 13th century (around 2800 years after Stonehenge was completed), Stonehenge was believed to have healing properties.

Sources: Laȝamon, Geoffrey of Monmouth
Wooden statue of Geoffrey of Monmouth in Tintern, Monmouthshire
Wooden statue of Geoffrey of Monmouth in Tintern, Monmouthshire
michaelfaletra.weebly.com
Sun worship

24%

Burial site

24%

Calendar

24%

Mystical healing

29%

Geocentric model

Sun worship

24%

Burial site

24%

Calendar

24%

Mystical healing

29%

Geocentric model

Storyline Assumptions
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Assumptions that derive from the evidence above are presented and evaluated here for each hypothesis.
Storyline assumptions:
Likelihood given hypothesis
(including preceding assumptions)

Discussion
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To view the discussion pages of the subanalyses, click below:
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Daniel Kardash

Feb 15, 2022 at 12:30 PM

It maybe was built for human sacrifices to satisfy their gods at the time. That may be why theirs human remains.

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Bud Kan

Jun 29, 2021 at 5:56 AM

I think, Solar lock point here indicates the exact position of the sun's rise and fall in order for the humanity masses to balance their rotation and the core of the world.

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Jonathan Morris

Jul 1, 2021 at 7:27 AM

The analysis has moved on a bit since this thread started. The hypothesis is now able to predict and is being successfully used to do that. Presented at an archaeological conference about 6 weeks ago, the developed hypothesis was published in late 2020 and is now known as "A Neolithic Universe" (Stonehenge is now but a small part). Unfortunately, that evidence is now so wide-ranging that it would not be possible to present it in this site's format.

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Jonathan Morris

Mar 2, 2017 at 2:17 PM

Stonehenge's layout appears to describe the key features of a geocentric universe. In particular, its four Station stones can be shown to describe the rotation of the sun about the Earth.

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Rootclaim

Mar 5, 2017 at 2:37 PM

The evidence seems to be that the four Station stones mark the rotation of the sun about the Earth - which is also likely under "calendar" and not so unlikely under "sun worship." Less likely under "burial" - even if solstice celebration is assumed.

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Jonathan Morris

Feb 22, 2017 at 7:42 PM

Stonehenge is unique: There are no other monuments like it. To associate it with other non-similar earthen monuments (largely burial sites) could be argued to ignore all associations with more similar timber housing and other types of monument whose remains are known to exist (especially in the local vicinity). The most similar monument in the vicinity is probably the remains of a timber circle at a location called Durrington Walls (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durrington_Walls). The circle had a 'solstice' alignment (which is the same as a 'geocentric' alignment). At this location, there do not seem to have been any burials: For this reason, the archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson suggests that Stonehenge was a place of death and that Durrington was a place of life (but note that both monuments were built after burials ceased) On this basis, the likelihood of hypotheses should probably have a more even distribution.

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Jonathan Morris

Feb 22, 2017 at 6:29 PM

Directly south of the centre of this circular monument, a stone known as Stone 54 has the weathered remains of what appear to be 3 large holes (referred to as rock inclusions) arranged in a vertical line and at equal distances. The line from the centre of the monument to this trilithon set (Stones 53,54 and the lintel over) intersects with the edge of Stone 54 (which is where the holes are located). Each of the inclusions (holes) appears to be oriented upwards. Two sources are cited: One showing a picture of the Stone and another much larger source document (Cleal) showing plans (refer to fig 14 page 27)

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Rootclaim

Mar 1, 2017 at 8:02 AM

Found your paper that explains some of the mechanics. http://www.megalithic.co.uk/downloads/Stonehenge_and_heavenshinge.pdf These three holes don't seem very likely to have occurred randomly. I can see the specific function it could serve – but why have the bar located off center? And why the need for different heights – if the position of the hanging ball is what's important, couldn't that be adjusted by the cross beam without raising the entire apparatus?