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tv   Treasures of the World - Stonehenge - A Mystery from the Distant Past England  Deutsche Welle  October 6, 2018 1:15am-1:31am CEST

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you have no human rights. when you die there's no proof of the ever exist. and every ten minutes. someone loses. ten million people in the world the stakes they have no nationality in the total made over the long run and it's good that everyone has the life to listen to everyone has a right to say. because michael moore.
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salisbury plain in the south of england it's a harsh rather inhospitable landscape often swept by a cold penetrating wind. in the neolithic period about five thousand years ago this was grazing land with spires vegetation of the people who live here we know very little. war. already but the legacy they and their bronze age successors left us is incredibly impressive the stone circles and barrels of the megalithic culture. one of the most famous of these monuments is stonehenge.
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it's a unique and distinctive religious site a temple built for eternity. the structure of the stone circle can only be seen properly from above the standing stones form various circles and horseshoe shapes grouped around a common center a bank and ditch mark the perimeter. archaeological excavations have given us
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a fairly accurate idea of who built stonehenge when and how. but why stonehenge was built remains a mystery. it was a wrecked it over a period of almost two thousand years from around three thousand to one thousand b.c. . the outer ditch and bank came first presumably they encircled an area of sacred ground. there was only one point of access to the circle a gap in the perimeter to the north east the builders placed a striking monolith on this axis the so-called healed stone the complex was abandoned after about five hundred years. this pottery is typical of the so-called beaker people it was they who completely remodeled and enlarge stonehenge.
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from twenty one hundred b.c. stonehenge was a major building site for the beaker people transported pillars of so-called blue stone hauled away from wales probably because of the color it was a laborious undertaking. the pillars which weighed up to five tons were transported over a distance of nearly three hundred miles by boat and raft on sleds and rollers but above all with plenty of muscle power. for. the beaker people aligned the entrance to the circle very precisely so that at the
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summer solstice the sun rose exactly over the heels don't. the third building phase starting around two thousand b.c. was the most important it gave stonehenge its present impressive shape after one hundred years of working on the site the builders suddenly changed their concept. the blue stone pillars brought here with such great effort were cleared away and left in a pile next to the site. instead the beaker people brought in blocks of sarson which were ten times as heavy as the blue stones they weighed fifty tons each and were seven meters high. from. the perspective effect is remarkable because the uprights are narrower at the
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top they appear higher than they really are this trick was also used by the greek temple builders of the ancient world. over a period of five hundred years the outer stone circle and a further inner semicircle were erected in the end even the rejected blue stones were used and given a place within the complex. around fifteen hundred b.c. the stone circle was finally complete but only four hundred years later in a time of great up evil the old gods were superseded the complex was abandoned once more and fell into really. but what was stonehenge certainly a religious site but what was the religion clearly the builders had
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a fairly detailed knowledge of astronomy they set great store by lunar and solar phenomena which may. help them decide on the right time for sewing or harvesting. hundreds of furnished funeral barrels have been found near by could stonehenge have been a giant memorial to the dead perhaps a kind of gateway to the underworld for fallen warriors. anything is possible maybe part of the fascination of stonehenge derives from the fact that very little is known for certain about the site so all kinds of interpretations and fantasies can be projected onto it. in the middle ages stonehenge was linked with merlin the magician and the legendary king arthur who else could have raised such a giant stone and. others thought giants were responsible for building the stone circle or the phoenicians the inhabitants of the lost continent of atlantis or according to local legend even old nick the devil himself
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. neo druids celtic bards spiritual healers and new agers of all kinds feel drawn to stonehenge even today. that the spot is a popular landing site for u.f.o.'s is not in doubt among those in the know. but it's not just stonehenge the entire area was a center of the megalithic culture. everywhere in the fields next to paths and roadsides you come across standing stones which have been part of the local landscape for millennia there's a major concentration of them around a very. the
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a very stone circles a large one containing two smaller one. are older less well known but much more extensive than stonehenge though perhaps not as spectacular. over the centuries many of the stones were toppled destroyed buried or used as building material of the twenty seven stones that made up the northern small circle only four remain standing. one that became famous is the barber's stone in the fourteenth century a barber surgeon and his friends tried to topple it he was crushed by the stone during later excavation work his skeleton was discovered beneath the stone along with a few coins. a bank in ditches around the large circle which is almost half a kilometer in diameter.
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once four hundred uprights marked the two avenues leading into the center of the circle. today the road follows the old track. a mile south of a bridge stands the mysterious silvery hill the largest pyramid in europe. to create this mound which is forty meters high a quarter of a million cubic meters of soil had to be moved ten years labor for a workforce of seven hundred. using only the simple tools of the
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neolithic age vast amounts of chalk was quarry brought here and heaped up in layers . what was the purpose of silvery hill one possibility is that the mound represented a mother goddess who every year became pregnant with the fruits of the earth for the a very complex wasn't dedicated to moon and sun worship but to the cycle of birth life and death fertility and mortality. this interpretation is supported by the fact that there are obviously female and male stones with the characteristic differences playing an important part in the rites. the cult of the dead was clearly of vital importance prehistoric burial grounds are found all around a very. west kennet long barrel for instance is
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a huge chambered cairn which was used as a burial place by successive generations for over a thousand years. but what did these people believe in what were their rights in their cults like the barrows and graves of west kennet long barrow and silvery hill the stone circles and banks of stonehenge in a very very impressive but silent witness to a distant past about which we are unlikely ever to know more perhaps that is why they continue to fascinate us.
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