British Museum Exhibit Explores the Function of Stonehenge

A deep dive into compelling history

Looking at Stonehenge from a different angle.
Ankit Sood/Unsplash

To modern visitors and viewers, Stonehenge offers an air of mystery. Well, more than just an air of mystery — the ancient site has plenty of mysteries, period. Some surround its construction, while others relate to what it was used for. (There’s also the report of a UFO hovering above it.) There’s no shortage of theories about what Stonehenge was originally intended for, some of them mundane and some deeply far-fetched.

If you’re after a more lived-in take on the ancient stone circle, a new exhibit at the British Museum might well be of interest. The World of Stonehenge is on display there through July 17, and focuses on 3,000 years of history — described on the museum’s website as “the restless and highly connected age of Stonehenge — a period of immense transformation and radical ideas that changed society forever.”

Writing at The New York Times, Farah Nayeri has more insights into the exhibition and what it’s setting out to do. For lead curator Neil Wilkin, part of the appeal of the exhibition involved bolstering the historical context around Stonehenge.

Wilkin told the Times that “[w]e want to pan back from it, and look at the world that it existed within.” It’s not hard to see the appeal of this — nor is it hard to wonder about what other mysteries this world might contain.

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