Did you know that Stonehenge is not the only ancient monument of significance in history? Why is tin ore so important to the Middle East? How were people punished in ancient Britain when they were convicted of committing a crime? All of these questions and more are answered in this article.
The Significance of Stonehenge
When it comes to the most well known of Neolithic religious sites, Stonehenge presents a unique arrangement of stones that are found on the Salisbury Plains situated in the southern part of England. It is deduced that the construction of this famous attraction took place over an assortment of phases between 2,500 B.C. and 2,000 B.C. The stones used to construct Stonehenge originated from two different places. The Preseli Mountains is where the bluestones come from, which were used to generate the inner, earliest, and semicircle. Some of the larger stones came from Marlborough Downs, which is about 30 kilometers to the north.
The mystery behind Stonehenge has baffled many, but great amounts of people believe that the stones served as a large Neolithic calendar. Conclusions have arisen because the design of the structures shows bisection about the stone circle that is perfectly aligned with the rising sun. This may or may not have been the purpose of Stonehenge, but numerous discussions regarding this wonder center on time.
While Stonehenge is important throughout time, it is not the only ancient monument located in the British Isles that has showcased significance in the world of astronomy. For instance, the New Grange tomb found in County Meath, Ireland was built about 3,000 BC and was created where the burial chamber was flawlessly illuminated with the help of the rising sun during the winter solstice that takes place on December 21st.
All in the Numbers
Around 2,300 BC, the earliest known unit of length was used in ancient Britain, which was a friend to the megalithic tomb builders. While the name of the unit remains a mystery, it measured around 2.72 feet in length.
What is Thule?
During the 3rd century, Pytheas (a Greek geographer and explorer) sailed about the Atlantic coast of Europe, explored the ins and outs of Great Britain, and then sailed to the north to “Thule” (which is thought to have been what Norway is today). He also navigated the Baltic Sea and traveled beyond. The first details regarding the northwestern parts of Europe were part of his handiwork.
While the present time is known for mistreating natural resources, the first time that this took place was about 4,000 years ago, when the natural supply of tin ore (which was used to create bronze) was depleted in the Middle East. All of this occurred about 2,000 BC. In Cornwall, England, the tin-rich mines were uncovered during the 13th century when the Phoenicians were searching for tin. More than 3,000 years of mining would take place, where close to 3 million tons of tin have been removed from the Cornish mines. To this day, the supply has not been exhausted.
Crime Doesn’t Pay
During the 5th century in Britain, if you were convicted of a crime, you were thrown into a quagmire as your punishment.