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There is a theory which seems to continue to percolate (e.g., Erich von Daniken is still active, though I don't know if he still advances this idea in particular) which claims that Stonehenge required advanced construction skills and design intelligence beyond the capabilities of human inhabitants of the area and time.

Are there reasonable experiments which have replicated a plausible building process with stones of similar size and weight, or in the absence of that, analogous building techniques from elsewhere which could have been used?

Even if construction was possible, was the design of the site too sophisticated for the Britons of that time?

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Not a full answer, but you should check out this guy, who has definitively shown how easy it is to move around large blocks with simple equipment. And he does it by himself! Add a workforce of hundreds and the actually movement and construction of the monument would not be that hard, even if the tech used was less sophisticated. Now the carving of the blocks, I know less about. –  Scott Hamilton Apr 11 '11 at 21:12
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Also check out [skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/377/… question; the arguments will be more or less the same. –  Lagerbaer Apr 11 '11 at 21:17
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+1, I've been challenged on this a couple times and don't know exactly how it was accomplished. I usually just ask people why it's easier to believe in an advanced alien race with the technology to zoom across the galaxy to this particular planet only to construct a fancy fire-pit, over at least one of the ancient civilizations of the world being able to stack some rocks in a circle. –  Carson Myers Apr 12 '11 at 2:51
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@David Thornley: A race of bow-wielding, fish-hating aliens traveled hundreds of light years in order to teach early humans how to do that. –  oosterwal Apr 12 '11 at 16:16
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Just because we are not sure how ancient people were able to make or build X or Y, it doesn't mean that therefore space aliens / angels / fairies must be responsible. –  Andy Apr 13 '11 at 23:04
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2 Answers 2

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Related Question: How were the Pyramids Built?

This question is very much related to the one I answered about Pyramids. I even reference a site in that answer that is relevant to this question. In particular, they have a very nice description of the site, and history behind it. And they go over how those stones were moved. The video from Scott Hamilton's comment also shows that this is much easier than people suppose.

Stonehenge is a very well studied site. We know where the materials came from. We have a very good idea of how it was used. And we are constantly refining our understanding of the site.

Okay, so what is the point of all these links? Well, just to expose the argument from incredulity. Just because an individual is unable to imagine how something was done, does in no way mean that their hair-brain idea of how it was done has any more credibility. Too many people assume that because ancient people's didn't have TVs and Airplanes, that they were dumb. Nothing could be further from the truth. They were just like you and me. Perfectly capable of figuring things out within the context of their upbringing. And since they didn't have TVs and Xboxes to distract them, and were very focused on survival, they had a very detailed record of astronomical events (Stonehenge being a giant clock amongst other things) to help them know when to plant crops, or get ready for colder days.

Furthermore, there is absolutely no evidence anywhere on this planet for any advances species from other planets ever having visited us. As much as I would LIKE to have evidence of such, it just doesn't exist. In light of what we know of physics and interstellar distances, such a visit will in most likelihood never happen either (and if it should, there would be no doubt about it).

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Like with pyramids, true believer never seems to answer well, “If aliens did this why did they need to practice on other sites first?” “Why did it take so long to build?” Stonehenge was built over thousands of years. Was there some alien redevelopment agency? “Why is it that no stones ever come from vast differences away? Why isn’t Stonehenge built with stones from the four corners of the world?”

Look at the timeline of dates given for the building of Stonehenge.

While done with smaller stones, there is the start here, Stonehenge Built With Balls? Keep in mind how often we had been told that no one could do these types of things without the wheel. Obviously, you don’t need a wheel if you have enough balls.

A better question might be, “Given we now know that the Egyptians built the pyramids, what rational reason is there to believe that other monuments were built by aliens?”

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Why did it take so long to build?: you know, alien bureaucracy... getting permits, expropriating land... –  nico Aug 3 '11 at 6:53
    
industrial action (strikes) by the workforce... –  jwenting Aug 3 '11 at 9:01
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