Rolla Stonehenge, Missouri

photo by Andy Lahr, used with permission

photo by Andy Lahr, used with permission

On the campus of the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri, stands a half-scale partial reconstruction of Stonehenge, built of granite that was cut with high pressure water jets. The monument was suggested by Dr. Joseph Marchello, who had helped to found the Center for Archaeo-Astronomy at the University of Maryland before he moved to the Missouri school.

It was built with the help of a civil engineer and astronomer as well as a high pressure waterjet group (who knew there were such things?), so, fittingly for a science and technology campus, it is a demonstration of the science aspect of Stonehenge rather than a work of art. Impressively, the website [link] says, “The Rolla replica of Stonehenge incorporates many of the features of the original and includes two capabilities that the original did not possess.” Click on the links to the right of the page to read the explanations.

Score: 6½ druids. Some great functions here and we’re impressed by them, but it doesn’t capture whatever it is that made Stonehenge an icon.

You can see it on Google Street View here.

Foamhenge, the U.K. version

foamhenge

Foamed polystyrene, often known by one of its brand names, Styrofoam, makes an attractive material for Stonehenge replicas. It is light and can be formed into any shape. Lintels no doubt help to keep the light uprights in place.

We know of two Foamhenges. One is in Virginia in the States (to be covered later), and one was a temporary construction, built on the Wiltshire Downs by Channel 5 TV in the U.K., and then sold on Ebay. This was a full-sized careful reconstruction of the monument at its height, rather better-looking than many because the real shapes and irregularities of the stones were taken into account. Is the odd pink cast meant to be the colour of the megaliths when they were first cut?  We welcome any information that would shed light on the mystery of the flesh-coloured stones!

foamhenge

Many thanks to brilliant photographer Pete Glastonbury for permission to use his pictures. Permission to use them elsewhere must be given by him. Our original score for this henge replica was a solid (well, as solid as they can be, made of carpet tubes and polystyrene) 8 druids, but recent conversation has caused us to reconsider and this entry’s score has been increased to 9, with a future possibility. Very nice!

Just found this: a Youtube video [link] showing the research done at this Foamhenge. Brilliant! Stonehenge has always represented midwinter to us, and this bears that intuition out.

Stonehenge Aotearoa, New Zealand

new-zland

We just post them–we don’t try to pronounce them.

This is one of the big permanent Stonehenge replicas scattered about the globe. The original press release said: “A modern day version of the 4000-year-old English monument as it might have been, had it been built in the Southern hemisphere, Stonehenge Aotearoa, is backed by the New Zealand Government and Royal Society of the New Zealand, and is the brain child of members of the Phoenix Astronomical Society.”

New Zealand publisher Mary Varnham says in its defense, “I’ve been to both it and the original Stonehenge in Britain and there’s no contest: Stonehenge Aotearoa is by far the most interesting experience.” We can’t say, as we’ve only been to the original, but it no doubt depends on what you’re interested in.

Kudos to its builders for attention to astronomy and for a neat, clean presentation. For what it actually is, it could hardly be better, but as we rate things as Stonehenge replicas on this blog, and it skips the inner trilithons and many other aspects of the original, we’re giving it six druids. If we were Kiwis, though, we would definitely plan a visit!