Category: 

Have Ancient Monuments Always Been Protected?

It’s always sad to see visitors deface important monuments, and now most governments do their best to preserve their cultural heritage. At Stonehenge in England, tourists can no longer get near the stone monoliths -- they’ve been roped off and off-limits to visitors since 1977, to keep vandals from climbing on them, or chipping off hunks of stone to take home. However, taking a stone souvenir was actually encouraged before 1900 -- visitors were even given chisels when they arrived at the site so they could have a bit of Stonehenge for themselves.

Protected thousands of years later:

  • Stonehenge landowner Sir Edmund Antrobus decided that the 5,000-year-old monument needed to be protected and petitioned for the help-yourself practice to be outlawed in 1900.

  • Throughout the Victorian period, Stonehenge was a popular gathering place. More than 3,000 people would assemble at the summer solstice each year to watch the sun rise over the Heel Stone.

  • Stonehenge was substantially restored in the early 20th century, when stones that had become wobbly were straightened, and then set in concrete.

Follow wiseGEEK:
  twitter

More Info: Smithsonian Magazine

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email

Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

Some London buses now run on a biofuel made by combining diesel and coffee oil, extracted from used coffee grounds.  more...
 
November 24 ,  1971 :  A man hijacked a plane, parachuted out with $200,000 US Dollars (USD) and was never seen again.  more...