The Discovery and Comparision between Stonehenge and Mayan

The Discovery and Comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan Architecture.
李俐欣。台北市立士林高商。高二 11 班
林玟妗。台北市立士林高商。高二 11 班
林思妤。台北市立士林高商。高二 11 班
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version
The discovery and comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
II. Thesis
A. Stonehenge
1. The formation of Stonehenge
2. The past studies
a. Stonehenge is a hospital
b. Stonehenge is a cemetery
c. Stonehenge is a place that has astronomical observation and ritual function
d. Stonehenge is as a temple for the living
The construction of Maya
The formation in Maya’s building
What’s different between these two buildings?
The common points
The different points
In the past and nowadays
The relationship between Stonehenge and Maya’s construction
1. In functions
2. In meanings
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version
The discovery and comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
Located in Salisbury Plain, Stonehenge is the most architecturally complicated
prehistoric stone circle in the world. However, similar stones can also be found in
many places, and people start to question their differences. Generally speaking,
people probably think that Stonehenge is done by aliens. The suspense is based on
plenty of phenomena. Scientists rely on evidences to predict and analyze its
meanings, instead of imaginations. Thus, there are lots of theories though up by
scientists all over the world in order to uncover the mystery.
Ancient Mayan civilization is located in southeastern Mexico, Guatemala and the
Yucatan Peninsula, such as the civilizations of the Central American. Contrary to the
legend, Mayans have never disappeared. There are still three million Mayans residing
in these areas. Surprisingly, many people today still can speak Mayan. Mayan
culture has never had a unific, powerful empire, and the whole area is divided into
hundreds of Mayan city-states. However, the language, religion, customs, traditions of
these states are the same cultural circle as Mayan culture.
Mayan civilization originated from the tropical rain forests of Central and South
America in 1000 B.C. until its decline in 900 A.D. But it still continue until the
fifteenth century when Spaniards came to Central America. It was said that Mayan
began to build the religious architecture about 3000 years ago. The earliest relics
were some graves composed of soil which were the parts of Mayan pyramid.
This essay will dig into the historic and geographic mystery of Stonehenge and Maya.
We will grope into the ancient history from various references. There is no
architecture will be more complex than Stonehenge, because it involve many aspect:
in history, geography, astronomy, religion, etc. Then, we will discuss and compare
the differences between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
A. Stonehenge
1. The formation of Stonehenge
Stonehenge is made up of stones placed at strategically
sacred places in a circle. We intend to discuss the formation
of Stonehenge from three phases.
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version
The discovery and comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
Phase I: Earthwork monument
Source: all the pictures are from
The architecture was started with an encircling ditch around 2950 to 2900 BC. It
consisted of two earth banks, a high internal bank with an exterior one. There were
two entrances into the two earth banks. The main one faced to the northeast and the
other faced to the south.
Phase II: The timber monument
It seemed to happen between 2900 and 2550-2400BC. Parts of the encircling ditch
were filled up with fresh chalk.
Phase III: Stone monument
The third phase was under the longest architecture. It
was sub-divided into five different stages and it lasted
from 2550 BC to about 1600 BC.
Stage3-1: Arrival of the Bluestones
Bluestones were the first stones to be placed in Stonehenge.
Their arrangement were placed in the center of the ditch
and concentrated more in the north and the south.
Stage3-2: Arrival of the Sarsen Stones
Sarsen stones were hard-grained sandstone with a siliceous
cement. They were probably brought to the site from the
Marlborough Downs, about 30 kilometers to the north of
Stonehenge. The most important is that the center of this
Sarsen stone circle is different from the Phase I and II.
Stage3-3: Bluestones and Sarsens
Bluestones were randomly selected and placed in a circle,
surrounding the outer Sarsen circle. They were shaped,
dressed and placed in an oval shape by more than twenty
stones. Bluestone referred to various types of mostly
igneous rocks including dolerites, rhyolites, and volcanic
ash. It also included some sandstones. The Bluestones at
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version
The discovery and comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
Stonehenge were believed to have originated from various outcrops in the Preseli
Hills, Pembrokeshire, Wales. How they were transported to the site at Stonehenge had
been the subject of much speculation.
Stage3-4: Two Circle and Two Horsestones
The oval of bluestones were changed to a smaller horseshoe, by taking away most of
the bluestones from the northern area during 1900 or 1800 BC. Hence, at this stage,
there should be two circles of Sarsen and Bluestone, followed by 2 horseshoes of
Sarsen and bluestone. A single standing stone (the Altar Stone) acted as the focal
Stage3-5: The Y and Z Holes
In the final phase, there were two circles named The Y and Z stones by its excavator,
Lt-Col Hawley, was one inside the other. It was dug
for the placement of stones but were never filled.
However, this phase was never carried out. There
were other six outer stones, included the Heel,
Slaughter and Station Stone. They were found
inside the circular band and ditch.
2. The past studies
Stonehenge is a World Culture Inheritance located in
Britain. It is constructed in 3000 B.C. to 1600
B.C. It has been considered that is one of British most
mystical places. However, the archaeology has
debated uncreasingly its use:
a. Stonehenge is a hospital:
The archaeologists have carried on for 44 year first time excavation work to it, will
attempt to open this riddle through many years. Recently, the British archaeologists,
Jeffrey, Wen Wright, Timothy, Darwell, have announced the research results, and have
determined time and the function of Stonehenge. They believe that Stonehenge is
different with Luder in the Neolithic Age . Luder is the French Holy Land, in that it is
considered that there was the mysterious treatment to be renowned in specific
time. The archaeologists come up the surmise is based on a lot of evidence. The
appliances of grave scatter around Stonehenge and its gravel. Archaeologists have
discovered a great number of skeletons nearby Stonehenge. It also leaves a good
many portents of serious illness or severely wounded hurts. As a result of the remain
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version
The discovery and comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
teeth, they find out that a half of humans from the places where beyond Stonehenge.
b. Stonehenge is a cemetery:
Buried the population that under Stonehenge are not many, and along with the dead in
the cultural relic to have some stone carving scepter to be unearthed. These people
possibly are at that time in the village cyanine UK social class or the ruler. They are
not the average people because they were buried under the so important
commemoratory symbol. Stonehenge should be the biggest cemetery in that
time. Approximately 240 people are buried during 600 years, including natural death
of male, female as well as child.
c. Stonehenge is a place that has astronomical observation and ritual function:
By gathering data regarding the movement of celestial bodies, the Stonehenge
observations used to indicate the appropriate days in the annual ritual cycle. In this
regard, it is important to mention that the structure was not used only to determine the
agricultural cycle, because in this region the summer solstice occurs well after the
growing season begins and the winter solstice well after the harvest is finished.
d. Stonehenge is as a temple for the living:
Stonehenge's capacity to determine the dates of the solstices and equinoxes becomes
all-important. Throughout the ancient world people have regarded the sun and moon
as sacred beings whose cyclical rhythms, with their seasonal strengthening and
weakening, rewarding effect upon the life of human beings.
B. The construction of Maya
1. The formation in Maya’s building
Mayan pyramids were the earliest building that was a religious temple for offering
sacrifices to god or ancestors in Mayan civilization. It was built at the center of the
ancient Mayan city. An American archaeologist said: ”In the jungle, there are a lot
of city which vanished suddenly. Only few people could understand the secret
epigraph as well as its grave that is fully treasure, and so is the mystery of
disappearance.” Now Mayan pyramids were only second to the Egyptian Pyramid.
And it was famous for its architecture.
Mayans value statistics of astronomy, and the celestial body motion regular numbers
can be found on the building everywhere. Besides the number of stairs, the four
sides of pyramid go with 52 quadrangular reliefs, which means one century equals 52
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version
The discovery and comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
years in Maya. The Mayan observatory also has a bottom construction of cylinder
shape; there has a hemisphere cover on above, and this cover is the place that the
telescope stretches out in the observatory’s design. The bottom exactly aims at four
positions. This place’s windows and doors form 6 segments, among 3 segments is
about astronomy, the other one is about the Spring Equinox, another are about moon
Every staircases are formed by 91stairs. The total number of the four staircases plus
the top step is 356 (91×4+1=356)which is exactly the number of days of one year. It
consists of the great stone pile, and the stone are in iron grey. The top of pyramids
have a god temple for holding sacrifice ceremony. Mayan pyramids have four
staircases respectively.
This structure is amazing in present angle. For example, Mayan pyramids, how to be
cut the huge stone, how to move the huge stone in the distance of jungle, and piles up
again with several ton stones. And pile up 70m, if it wouldn’t have the advanced
transportation vehicle and hoisting equipment, it would be difficult to achieve this
mission. Thus it can be seen, Mayan scientific knowledge isn’t inferior than today.
2. The function of Mayan Pyramid
Mayans had existed and had highly scientific culture nationality in a history. This
mysterious nation lived in the You Kadui peninsula in Mexico, Guatemala and
Honduras. Some places might also see that leaves behind Pyramid, the temple and
some historic buildings to many the Maya, as well as many stone carvings and many
perplexed epitaph. Archaeologists considered that the Maya had a great civilization.
And Maya’s cultures had many relate to people, life and mysterious universe.
Mayans left behind the calendar and number system, and it had rich mystical color.
No one knows this calendar and number system come from to date. And it is not
difficult to infer that the Maya had far exceeded solar system to the heavenly body
Because architectures are used in religious rites in order to sacrifices to gods or
ancestors, around Mayan architectures are the number which is about the regular
motion of the heavenly body. Mayan architecture showed its society's
appearance. The architectural complex is composed of temples, mansions around
urban center as well as tablet stone, Shi Zuo and field. It illustrates that Mayan
society is the theocracy and the centralization.
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version
The discovery and comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
What’s different between these two buildings?
1. The common points
Mayan pyramids and Stonehenge are a big riddle in human history. There are some
common grounds between the two architecture. Here, we propose several spots to
make a discussion.
a. Religion:
Mayans think that their lives were mastered by god. Surely, when they built their
architecture, it would have some relation to their religion. It is said that Stonehenge
also has the same element when it was built by people who lived in that ancient times.
b. Astronomy:
People who built Stonehenge took the wind direction and sun to be their references
which was easy for they to build their architecture. Likewise, building Mayan
pyramids use the same way, but it`s for different using.
c. Calendar:
The times when Stonehenge was built, people needed to know the change of the
season. So they calculated the circle of moon and sun, it was convenient for them to
identify with the season. The appearance of Mayan calendar was for the as same
reason as Stonehenge. Most of specialists think that Mayan calendar was accurate,
They used different ways to calculate how many days of a year.
d. Mystery:
Mayan pyramids and Stonehenge are both a mystery on a account of their huge shape.
How to move such a huge stone? How spectacular architecture were built? In that
times without machine, people how to do that? That is a mystery that through
thousands of years.
2. The different points
First, Stonehenge was built in many circles from the innermost to the outermost and it
arranged stones one after another in one layer. Mayan pyramids made several stones
be a stack. Its formation was built to steps from ground to the high they needed.
Second, Stonehenge is located in a plain and pyramid is in the jungle.
Third, Mayans had a great civilization and Stonehenge was just a architecture.
Forth, there are many stone carvings and many perplexed epitaph in the pyramid but
Stonehenge lack of.
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version
The discovery and comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
3. In the past and nowadays
Stonehenge is listed as United Nations world heritage nowadays, many archaeologists
are fascinated by it, the purpose of Stonehenge is puzzled. Du Lingdu village
heritage have an ancient path that pass through the river, and Salisbury Stonehenge
also have an ancient path connects to the river. The archaeologists think that the two
different places are responded with each other.
Previously, Stonehenge is a place which held the sacrificial rites of dead people. And
the ancient people have a ceremony to memorize the dead to ancestry. But now this
place is that let people to visit, and become a place for sightseer.
Maya is the same as Stonehenge. The archaeologists think that Mayan pyramid might
also have a ceremony to memorize the dead to ancestry. Now, the purpose of Mayan
pyramid is puzzled.
III. Conclusion
The relationship between Stonehenge and Maya’s construction
1 .In function
Stonehenge and Maya have the same construction way, but it is the mystery that their
building. It’s for people to offer sacrifices and ancestors. It can trace back to 3000
B.C~1600 B.C. Maybe Stonehenge is early than Maya, but their also have a great
achievement. Maya have a great of stairs and four pyramids, and Stonehenge is
made by 56 stones and stones circle around. Maybe they don’t have the same
original, but their ability of construction is really amazing.
2. About their exist
Stonehenge and Maya have the same belief, they believe their ancestors and spirit.
Although their religions are different, approximately their sacrificial offering methods
are the same. People build Stonehenge, they want to offer sacrifices to
ancestors. They use their wisdom to build that, and it is impossible to build such
huge ruins at that time. It is hard to primitive people. Some archaeologists say
maybe Stonehenge was made by alien. Maya is also offer sacrifices to
ancestors. They use their calendar and math to computation how to build the
construction of Maya. And nobody knows the method that builds the Maya pyramid
so far.
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version
The discovery and comparison between Stonehenge and Mayan architecture.
I think it is unknown reason. Maybe it is caused by aliens, or maybe they have
magic. Now what we can know is that they are so smart that build the marvelous
construction. Maybe several decades later we can find the reason why they will
become extinct and leaving behind such a amazing construction.
1. Ashe,Geoffrey.”Stonehenge”.The Arthurian Encylopedia.New York.PeterBedrick
2. English Heritage.”Historical Background”.DCMS,English Heritage works with a
rangeofGovernmentDepartments ,notablyCLGandDefra.26Oct.2008<http://www.e WebDoc.1914>
3. 蔡 筱 雯 .” 英 國 最 出 名 的 史 前 遺 跡 巨 石 陣 ” 綜 合 外 電 報
4. Chris,Witcombe.”Stonehenge”.Professor,Department
5. Chris Scarre.”The French Built Stonehenge?”.Archaeological Institude of
6. RichardMudhar.Stonehenge:History.31Jan.2000.9.Nov.2008<>
7. Demarest, Rita P. Wright , Arthur.Ancient Maya: The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest
Civilization.Cambridge University Press.December 9, 2004
8. WILFORD.JOHN NOBLE . Ancient Yucatán Soils Point to Maya Market, and
aya.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Maya%20Civilization&st=cse&oref=slogin >
9. WILFORD.JOHN NOBLE .On Ancient Walls, a New Maya Epoch.27.Sep.2008.<
11. Hearn.Kelly.MayaRitualsCausedAncientDeclineinBigGame.27.Sep.2008.<http://n >
12. Okeowo.Alexis. Portal to Maya Underworld Found in Mexico?.27.Sep.2008.<>
PDF created with pdfFactory trial version