Did you ever think that perhaps some of your ancestors helped build Stonehenge? Maybe they dragged the rocks for many miles or helped set those rocks vertically on the Salisbury plains. I suspect that most everyone with English ancestry is descended from some of the people who built Stonehenge, although there is no way (yet) to prove that. Perhaps a future DNA study on any exhumed bodies might prove a connection but that’s not possible with today’s technology. A new archaeological dig may turn up some other interesting evidence, however.
The odds of descent from a Stonehenge builder are overwhelming. Everyone has two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents and so forth in a quickly expanding mathematical progression. If you go back 400 years, you have roughly 131,000 ancestors. If you go back to the time that Stonehenge is believed to have been created, about 4,500 years ago, you would theoretically have billions or trillions of ancestors.
NOTE: Those numbers assume that you have no duplicate ancestors. Of course, everyone has many duplicates in their family trees. In fact, most population experts believe there have only been about 100 billion people ever born. While we obviously are not descended from all of them, chances are that each of us has millions and perhaps billions of ancestors.
Anyone whose ancestors were in England several thousand years ago probably is descended from Stonehenge builders. That conjecture is based solely on the numbers involved. In my case, I can document my descent from a number of people who lived 400 years ago in Wiltshire, not far from Stonehenge. I suspect the odds are good that I have Stonehenge ancestors, even though I probably will never be able to prove that connection. The same is probably true for millions of today’s people in England, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere.
The BBC is funding a two-week archaeological dig at Stonehenge with video cameras recording nearly every moment of the effort. It is the first such excavation in more than forty years. Of special interest is the bluestones that stand inside the larger sarsen pillars. The exact origins of these bluestones has already been proven: from the Preseli Hills of North Pembrokeshire, 250 km to the west. What is not known is why these stones were so important and how these primitive people transported the heavy stones.
The BBC has an interesting story about the new archaeological dig, including two videos, at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7322134.stm.