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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Rolla in Phelps County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

UM-Rolla Stonehenge

A Half-Scale Partial Reconstruction of the Final Stage of Stonehenge

 
 
UM-Rolla Stonehenge Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
1. UM-Rolla Stonehenge Marker
Inscription.  

Located on Salisbury Plain, 75 miles southwest of London, Stonehenge was built in three phases, beginning in 2800 B.C. by Neolithic people and culminating around 1800 B.C. during the Broze Age. Stonehenge evolved into primarily a 100-foot circle of 29½ "sarsen" stones, each of which stood 14 feet high and weighed 25 tons. The sarsen circle was capped by seven-ton stone lintels. Inside the sarsen circle were five "trilithons" with each vertical stone standing 25 feet tall and weighing over 52 tons.

Considering the difficulty of shaping, transporting, and raising the stones during an age 4,000 years in the past, Stonehenge must be classed as an outstanding engineering project.

Stonehenge was oriented so that the rising sun at the summer solstice could be observed through the central trilithon aligned with the "heel" stone outside the ring. This same alignment also could be used to observe the mid-winter full moon rise, an event which then could be used to determine whether a lunar eclipse was imminent. It is believed that the sarsen stones represented the 29½ days of the lunar month.

Although not a part of the original

UM-Rolla Stonehenge Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
2. UM-Rolla Stonehenge Marker
Marker is in the right foreground, on the front of the Heel Stone
Stonehenge, provision has been made to use an analemma to indicate the date and time as shown by the noon sun. The Anasazi Indians in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, used this type of observation from 950-1150 A.D. to maintain their calendar and observe lunar phenomena. Further provisions have been made to locate and observe Polaris, the North Star, during the hours of darkness.

This half-scale model embraces many of the features of the original, but in the forming of the rock, modern versions of ancient practices have been used. Water jets, at low pressure, were used in ancient Egypt to mine alluvial beds of gold-bearing ore. And, as Tennyson once wrote:

"No rock so hard but that a little wave
May beat admission in a thousand years."

In forming the rocks for UM-Rolla Stonehenge, this process was speeded up by raising the pressure of the cutting water to a high level (15,000 PSI). Thus, the rock in this monument was cut from the solid to its present shapes within a period of a month's work through the use of high-pressure water-cutting technology.

It is interesting to note that southwest of this heel stone stands a simulation of an ancient computer in proximity to one of the most modern computer facilities available.
 
Erected by University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology)

UM-Rolla Stonehenge image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
3. UM-Rolla Stonehenge
.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyCommunicationsEnvironment.
 
Location. 37° 57.391′ N, 91° 46.57′ W. Marker is in Rolla, Missouri, in Phelps County. Marker is on Bishop Avenue (U.S. 63) 0.1 miles south of Vichy Road (County Highway 232), on the left when traveling south. Marker and monument are northwest of McNutt Hall, on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1400 North Bishop Avenue, Rolla MO 65401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rolla Stonehenge: A Vision Made In Stone (here, next to this marker); Lunar Eclipse Predictions (within shouting distance of this marker); The Polaris Window (within shouting distance of this marker); The Analemma (within shouting distance of this marker); Pine Street and Downtown Rolla (approx. 0.4 miles away); "White" USO (approx. 0.4 miles away); Scott's Drugs (approx. half a mile away); Grant Hotel (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rolla.
 
Also see . . .
1. Missouri S&T Stonehenge, ‘tis a magic place…’. (Submitted on October 4, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. STONEHENGE (English Heritage). (Submitted on October 4, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
UM-Rolla Stonehenge Equinoctial Sunrise Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
4. UM-Rolla Stonehenge Equinoctial Sunrise Marker
One of several markers on the appropriate stones

3. Stonehenge (National Geographic). (Submitted on October 4, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
UM-Rolla Stonehenge Equinoctial Sunset Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
5. UM-Rolla Stonehenge Equinoctial Sunset Marker
One of several markers on the appropriate stones
UM-Rolla Stonehenge Summer Sunrise Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
6. UM-Rolla Stonehenge Summer Sunrise Marker
One of several markers on the appropriate stones
UM-Rolla Stonehenge Summer Sunset Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
7. UM-Rolla Stonehenge Summer Sunset Marker
One of several markers on the appropriate stones
UM-Rolla Stonehenge Winter Sunrise Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
8. UM-Rolla Stonehenge Winter Sunrise Marker
One of several markers on the appropriate stones
UM-Rolla Stonehenge Winter Sunset Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
9. UM-Rolla Stonehenge Winter Sunset Marker
One of several markers on the appropriate stones
UM-Rolla Stonehenge Acknowlegements Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
10. UM-Rolla Stonehenge Acknowlegements Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 4, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on October 4, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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Oct. 24, 2020