In class this week we have been learning about the myths and truths surrounding one of, if not the most famous archaeological discoveries of all time: Stonehenge. The amount of wonderment probably has to do with the fact that this grand stone structure is in plain view and incredibly hard to comprehend the meaning of, or even how it was put together in the first place. Massive carved stones, stacked on top of each other in a time when humans did not have access to cranes and advanced machinery that we have today. Discoveries and artifacts like this always beg the questions, “who, how, and why?”
Personally I am okay with taking it at face value and letting my imagination go to work due to the fact that this structure’s construction is nigh inconceivable to the average person. It is awesome to learn about the history surrounding it and the theories that people come up with. However, these theories only should be given credence if they are probable in any way, shape, or form. Many people can not accept that ancient wonders were built by ancient people, and tend to believe that ingenuity and engineering have not existed throughout human history. Because such structures as Stonehenge baffle people’s minds they feel the need to believe that there has to be some other-worldly or outlandish explanation for them.
For example is we backtrack to the pyramids of Giza, the amount of hair-brained ideas about the history and significance are amazing in just how far they will go to say that the humans of the ancient world were incapable, or not sophisticated enough to build them. The explanation has to be Atlantians, aliens, or some other highly sophisticated people just because they are too wonderful to wrap ones head around. Some other prime examples of this are the myths surrounding the North American mounds built by the Mississippians. They were said to be “too savage” or “not civilized enough” to come up with the ideas and engineer them.
I will never truly be able to understand why people will go so far just to disprove a theory and belittle people and societies that they have never met or experienced. We tend to maintain this idea that people were more stupid than they are today, or that since they held different belief systems or had different cultural values that somehow this negates the intelligence of their culture and what they left behind. Is it out of jealousy? a lack of understanding? The fact that they would go so far as to say that aliens must be responsible for Stonehenge and the Pyramids just shows a lack of critical thinking and the sensationalized propaganda that people will believe without even thinking twice about it. I am a firm believer in that there have always been intelligent and inventive people on this earth. How does one become a chief, priest, or other cultural leader without having the ability to multitask and lead by example? Even propaganda used throughout history and especially in the fertile crescent where civilization began shows the intelligence and resourcefulness that people have always held and maintained to this day.