Prehistoric wonder

Prehistoric miracle or how to begin the history of architecture
Thomas Hardy
Tess d’Erbervill killed her seducer. She runs to Angel Clare. The clouds seemed to be hovering over his head, it was dark. In the dark, they nearly ran into some giant structure. Single colonies were completely alone, others were connected with stone slabs, and the majority was on the ground.
Thomas Hardy led the heroes of his famous novel to the ruins of Stonehenge – an ancient mysterious buildings, located not far from London.
Traveling letom 1882 in Brittany, Maupassant saw a field dotted with stones of Karnak. The stones seemed to be alive, “the giant, the tiny, square, oblong, flat, like skinny or big-bellied body. Among them are lost.” This is also a mysterious constructions of the Stone Age, only in France.
Megaliths (translated as “big rocks” or, more precisely, “the construction of large stones”) are scattered over a huge area of ​​our planet, all over the world except Australia. They can be seen in England, France, Denmark, Spain, Greece, Asia Minor, Palestine, East and North Africa, India, Indonesia, Laos, Burma, China, Korea and Japan. They are found mainly in the coastal areas. They can be seen in the Caucasus, in Abkhazia. Once they have been widely distributed in the Kuban. They were erected in the time of the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age, in the III – II millennium BC, in some places built later.
These structures – one of the most curious features of the epoch of primitive people. In fact, just started sedentary life, people began to cultivate plants and livestock to grow. They lived in tents, adobe-Pletnev homes. This was the period of stone tools. And this time, people have created architectural monuments of huge stones. They still amaze as their size and skill of the ancient builders.
Megalithic structures consist of a single stone, small groups, and some – of the many hundreds of stones.
The simplest of megalithic structures – menhirs. It is a stone pillar or a stove, set vertically. But sometimes the other leaning against the stove or on a vertical plate is horizontal. They are as individual monuments, but there are collected in a group. Most impressive menhir in Lokmaryane in Brittany – its length is about 21 meters, the weight of almost 300 tonnes. The most famous group of stones that described Maupassant – at Carnac in Brittany. Several stones of this group extends for 3900 meters and consists of 2813 menhirs in different sizes – “the giant, the tiny”.
More complex constructions – dolmens. Usually a closed house of five stone slabs, four vertical and one covers them like a roof. In the front “facade” cut through a small round hole. The average size of dolmens in terms of two to three meters and up to two meters in height, but there are much larger – up to 15 meters long, five widths and three heights. Weight some stone slabs up to 40 tons. Dolmens are arranged in groups, sometimes apart in regular rows, reminiscent of the alley or street. The world’s largest facilities of dolmens are in Algeria. Near the resort Hammam Meskutin broad terrace of porous limestone, travertine, there are about 3,000 dolmens.
Even more complicated structures – cromlechs. The most famous of them – Stonehenge. He is considered the eighth wonder of the world, the biggest mystery of the ancient world. The ruins of this unique structure lies 130 kilometers southwest of London to Salisbury Plain near the swamps and hills of Devon. Stonehenge was built in three phases between 1900 and 1600 BC. It is a large structure, boulders whose height of almost eight meters and weighing 50 tons were delivered from the quarry from a distance of 230 kilometers.
Stonehenge is composed of four large stone circles. The outer circle – set vertical posts, each of which is a flat stone slab, coupled with the rest of the same plates into a single ring. Each pillar weighs an average of 25 tons and plate – 700 kilograms. In the second round – menhirs – a relatively small scale single stones. In the third and fourth quarters of unclosed, resembling a horseshoe – a group of stones. Each group – two vertical slabs, weighing up to 40 tons, and laying them on the horizontal plate.
Stonehenge has long attracted the attention of scientists trying to figure out who and how it raised complex structure in such a distant past, what is its purpose. After careful astronomical calculations Professor D. Hawkins gave evidence that Stonehenge – it is exceptionally accurate lunar and solar calendar, allows to predict the summer and winter of confrontation, to determine the long period of the clock rising and setting of the moon, to calculate the time between two full moons, track 18 6-year lunar cycle, to predict with accuracy up to one day advance solar and lunar eclipses.
There is much speculation about who created megalithic structures, but until now no one can say that he knows for sure. It is therefore not surprising that with their origin linked to many tales and legends. It was believed that the megaliths – the handiwork of some of the giants that could flip multi-ton blocks of a palm on the palm. The ancient Greeks, for whom the history of megaliths lost in the dim past, believed that they were building one-eyed giants – Cyclops. According to Homer, they had an incredible physical strength:
It was also believed that these stones could move independently with the help of “magic words” or the music of Orpheus.
In Menek, a mile from Karnak, and now a local legend claims that the menhirs – is petrified Roman legionnaires and that on Christmas Eve charms are repealed and stone figures down to the river to drink.
At the beginning of XVII century Stonehenge made a strong impression on him visited James I. The king ordered the famous architect Inigo Jones to draw the original plan of the building. Unfortunately, the architect did not leave a successive records, but his son John Webb in 1655 published the book “The most remarkable ancient Britain, called colloquially” Stone-Heng “recovery.” In it, he outlined the essence of “disorderly notes” Inigo Jones. In the spirit of his time, Jones thought that Stonehenge met “beautiful proportions”, and finally wished the researchers followed this extraordinary construction, “I wish you success and a fair wind.”
However, until now an ongoing debate among scientists about Stonehenge and other megalithic structures, there are modern and mythical version.
Some scientists believe, for example, that the megaliths of Algeria associated with mysterious Atlanteans who once inhabited Atlantis and North Africa. Others attributed dolmens in Brittany to the testimony of his visit to the land of the aliens.
The researchers conducted an experiment and calculations for transportation and installation of the stones of Stonehenge and came to the conclusion that all this although very time-consuming thing, but workable, even using ancient instruments, which, by the way, Stonehenge is literally swamped with: picks – bullish blades, flint and wood tools , some bones that resemble modern rakes. There were laden with multi-ton blocks of runners who ran down endless belt rollers of logs. There were, perhaps, a rope of twisted leather straps.
However, to repeat the work of the ancient builders in our time is not so simple. When in the early 1960s, archaeologists have decided to move out of town a small dolmen in Sukhumi Museum Escher and his family, they had thoroughly suffer, although at their disposal a truck and two cranes.
In 1979, amateur archaeologists from Bugona in French Brittany decided to dispel the legend of space aliens. According to the newspaper, they call a few hundred enthusiasts gathered to build a dolmen of the XX century. They were armed with only the rough ropes and logs, which were used as rails and rollers. With transport plate weighing 32 tons coped 170 people, and to raise it with the help of basic instruments, proved sufficient 50. However, this work took a lot of time. But there were no aliens.
The surprise and a sense of respect for the skills of primitive people cause menhirs, dolmens, cromlechs. Not having even a simple mechanism for lifting weights, they erected a grand stone structures that have prevailed for thousands of years. Striking “theoretical” part of the job, precise calculations to determine the plan of construction, placement of individual stones.
And one thing is surprising. Even today, the construction of facilities such as Stonehenge, would require a complex management of the organization. After all, every business should occupy a certain place at this construction site, perform a specific operation in full compliance with the general plan and rhythm, and finally, all the builders needed to provide regular meals.
We do not know what it was – a temple, a necropolis, an observatory. But whatever it may be – they are amazing, these facilities, which began with the history of architecture.

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