By Joe Contreras, Latin Life Denver Media
In terms of being one of archaeological wonders of the world, Stonehenge may not at first glance seem as impressive as some of the other marvels that have been created by humans over the centuries.
After all there are the many Mayan & Aztec pyramids of Mexico, Central and South America, The Great Sphinx and pyramids in Giza, Egypt, the 8,000 Terra-Cotta Army in China and many others around the world.
So what makes Stonehenge such a marvel and mystery? At first impression it is just a group of stone slabs erected in a circular arrangement with other stone slabs placed horizontally on top of them. Big deal.
Awe, but a big deal it is. When one considers that these 23 feet high, nine feet wide and 50,000 plus pound stones were transported more than 150 miles from the Preseli Mountains in Wales and constructed in Wiltshire, England by people who lived from 3000 BCE (before common era) to 2000 BCE. That’s before the wheel was invented! How in the world did they lift those huge and heavy stone slabs to rest horizontally on top of the others and how did they get them to stay erected that way for hundreds/thousands of years?
Why did they do it? What was it’s purpose? What does it all Mean?
Why and by whom this monument was erected has gone through several interpretations over the centuries. Everything from that they were brought there by magic or by giants, by kings or the devil, or by large armies as part of the spoils of war. Some believe they were placed there by extraterrestrial aliens.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, many believed Stonehenge was a Druid temple, built by those ancient Celtic pagans as a center for their religious worship. … The presence of these remains suggests that Stonehenge could have served as an ancient burial ground as well as a ceremonial complex and temple of the dead.
Today, breakthrough science is offering yet more and still mysterious interpretations about this prehistoric monument and now you have the opportunity to explore them for yourself right here in Denver.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) is host to the Stonehenge Exhibition featuring 400 fascinating original artifacts accompanied by scientific research, text and videos, that attempt to answer questions about this iconic monument.
Guests can explore the ancient landscape, how the people of the area lived and learn about how the monument was constructed. There are even life size clay figures of people, who look amazingly realistic, working on the stones readying them for placement.
George Sparks, DMNS President & CEO said Denver is fortunate to have this world-class exhibition and share its wonder with the Colorado community and beyond. “What is truly remarkable is the depth of knowledge we now have regarding what the silent and massive stones tell us. With the use of cutting edge technology , we now have answers to questions that have mystified for literally thousands of years.”
At the press conference introducing the Stonehenge exhibit to Denver Dr. Erin Baxter, curator of Anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, talked about the many interpretations Stonehenge has gone through over the years, stating that “Now with aerial surveys archaeologists have been able to see things that have not been seen before. That along with advanced scientific analysis and the collaboration of archaeologists working with one another have led to an extraordinary new and interesting scope of interpretation.”
As far as the stones being placed there by extraterrestrial beings, one of the DMNS curators told Latin Life Denver Media, “That is a dangerous road to go down when you make claims that somehow these people or any other people who constructed the various archaeological wonders did not have the wherewithal to do it on their own. It is a form of cultural degradation to say that Romans could do it all on there own but the Mayans/Aztecs and others must have had help from the heavens. “
Stonehenge is definitely worth the price of admission to travel through this fascinating time warp of human ingenuity and perseverance.
This temporary exhibit will be at Denver Museum of Nature and Science now through September 6, 2021.
For tickets CLICK HERE.
Stonehenge: Ancient Mysteries and Modern Discoveries (Requires a timed ticket AND Museum Admission $13.95 to $19.95. Children 3 & under and members are free.
Stonehenge Ticket prices are:
upcoming Free Days for 2021 at the DMNS:
- April 25
- May 23
- June 30
- August 11
- September 1
- September 20
- October 4
- November 6
- December 6
Not feeling comfortable visiting yet? Or want more content to enjoy from home? Check out these links:
- 3D Tour of Stonehenge courtesy of English Heritage
- Here is what the houses of the builders would have looked like
- An introduction to Stonehenge with bite-sized information and video from the BBC
- Stonehenge for kids
- Here is a documentary that summarizes the newest research from Michael Parker Pearson’s team at Stonehenge
- An academic lecture by Michael Parker Pearson that details new sciences and explorations about the origins of the bluestones in Wales