Stonehenge Feature

The opening paragraphs of the Stonehenge feature in the New York Times grabs our attention by explaining, or at least presenting a theory, as to why some of the structures around Stonehenge exist. This is interesting because, as far as I know, there is not an agreed upon theory behind the function and purpose of Stonehenge. This anecdote sets the stage for the main news item within the story because the theory proposed could in some way apply to the different structures in this area of Britain.

“Michael Parker Pearson of University College London has excavated houses at Durrington Walls and along the nearby River Avon, and he has proposed this is where the builders lived for the grandest stage of Stonehenge’s construction, which started around 2600 B.C. The giant stones, weighing some 40 tons, were moved and carved. He believes smaller bluestones, about two tons each, had been taken to Stonehenge during the initial construction from the Preseli mountains in Wales and now more, larger ones were hauled over.”

I think the preceding paragraph is interesting because it tries to explain a possible theory about Stonehenge and, presumably, some of the other structures in the area. The author of the article is explaining how one archeologist works in the field to conduct research into the Stonehenge by excavating homes. I also like how the author delves into Pearson’s theory about how some of the boulders came to be at Stonehenge–something nobody has really agreed on.

“‘The stone monument is iconic,’ said Wolfgang Neubauer, the director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Vienna. ‘But it’s only a little part of the whole thing.’
“Discoveries in the last decade, some via modern technologies like ground-penetrating radar, have revealed more about the people for whom the giant monuments held great meaning.”

The preceding two paragraphs are a good example of directing attention from one idea to the next idea of the article. Here, the quotation is referring to Stonehenge (“monument is iconic”). But from there is leads into some of the technology being used not just at Stonehenge, but in some of the other areas around Stonehenge that have similar structures from different time periods. What stands out to me in these connected paragraphs is how the author incorporates the most widely known idea in the article–Stonehenge–but is segueing into the other structures being studied by archeologists in the area.

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