Amesbury is popularly known as the nearest town to the historic monument Stonehenge which is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites. Stonehenge is a revelation of the science and skill of a Neolithic civilisation. Stonehenge consists of sophistically placed stones of which the largest weighs over 40 tons in a concentric architectural design by unknown builders.
Archaeologists believe that the Stonehenge was built around 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The evidences found by the Stonehenge Riverside project states that The Stonehenge could possibly have been a burial ground as cremated remains containing human bones were found when the ditch and the bank were first dug. Stonehenge is a famous pilgrimage of religious significance. A number of myths surround the Stonehenge which gave rise to multiple theories some more plausible than the others subjecting to debate as it was produced by a culture that left no written record regarding this site. There is no direct evidence stating the construction techniques employed by the Stonehenge builders. It is believed that either supernatural or Anachronistic methods were used as an average stone weighs around 30 tons which were impossible to move otherwise. However using conventional techniques proposed by Neolithic technology as basic as shear legs have been effective at moving and placing stones of similar architecture. British archaeologists were successful in discovering the remains of a massive Stonehenge, or ceremonial circle, which is believed to be a part of the ancient and celebrated Stonehenge complex, a discovery that throws new light on how the monument was built and the religious uses associated with it.
The new henge known as “ The Bluestonehenge “ as it was built with blue Preseli dolerite mined more than 150 miles away in Wales on the banks of River Avon is a place where ancient pilgrims used to carry the ashes of their dead relatives. “Stonehenge Decoded “ a 1965 book by the astronomer Gerald Hawkins stated the most comprehensive hypothesis to date of Stonehenge’s purpose. Hawkins in his analysis identified 165 separate points on the monument and linked them with astrological phenomenon like the two solstices, equinoxes, lunar and solar eclipses. The theory proposed by Gerald Hawkins is a difficult theory to disapprove and some evidence is persuasive. Some theories by others are even more inventive.
However, Amesbury in history has great importance beyond being a mere stepping stone. Amesbury is located in southern Wiltshire, England. Amesbury has also been known as “Ambrosbury”, “Ambresbury” and “Amblesberie” at various times in the past. Amesbury is considered to be a hub of Christian worship for centuries. “Choir of Ambrosius”, a great monastery of 300 monks is situated in Amesbury. Ambrosius Aurelianus who was the leader of several British tribes in the 5th century is believed to be the founder of this monastery. He established the area “Ambrose Burgh” as his headquarters and it is believed that the name Amesbury is derived from this.
The Stonehenge serves as an evidence which shows that the land surrounding Amesbury has been settled since prehistoric times. Archaeological studies have discovered a large Roman graveyard in the area of Amesbury Archer burial which reveals Roman excavations from Amesbury.
Amesbury is linked to the Arthurian legend as it is believed that Guinevere retired to the convent at Amesbury after leaving Arthur. The phenomenal discovery of the richest Bronze Age burial site ever excavated in Britain was made in May 2002 which further lead to the revelation of the grave of a man dating around 2,300 BC while performing excavations for a housing development in Amesbury. And the media entitled the man as “The Amesbury Archer ” or “The King of Stonehenge ”. It is believed that “The Amesbury Archer” has its origin either from the German, Swiss or Austrian Alps.The two graves contained more than one hundred objects which includes arrowheads, copper knives and gold earrings et cetera.
“Vespasian’s camp” a concealed Iron age hill fort is situated one mile west of Amesbury. This fort has the history of never being excavated after the Roman general and later emperor who campaigned this part of Britain.
Amesbury’s territorial boundaries were three sections, Amesbury proper, South Amesbury and West Amesbury. The South Amesbury wanted to separate from Amesbury but the same was rejected by the state legislature. West Amesbury comprises of pretty and charming thatched and timbered cottages. West Amesbury houses have residences with mullion windows. West Amesbury was previously known as “Little Amesbury” and is thought to have been associated with the priory at Amesbury containing the remains of a medieval house.
Amesbury is considered to be a town that dominated manufacturing of transportation for more than one hundred years.
Amesbury town has tremendously expanded in recent years after the establishment of the military and Armament experimental establishment. The old centre however has managed to retain its former charm dating from the earlier centuries even after new housing estates being constructed, and the most recent one is the Archers gate which has taken its name from the “ Amesbury Archer ”. There are many myths attached with Amesbury as well as The Stonehenge but the only certain consensus is that as the sun rises and sets its mark, another day will pass with the complete answers to the mysteries about the sites origins firmly wedged in the past. Perhaps that’s how it is meant to be.