America’s Stonehenge - History and Facts | History Hit

America’s Stonehenge

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About America’s Stonehenge

Affectionately referred to as America’s Stonehenge, 19-foot high granite monuments called the Georgia Guidestones were built in 1980. Both a display of the local Georgia granite and an astronomical calendar, they were a popular tourist attraction.

On 6 July 2022, they were destroyed by an explosion, and were later fully dismantled.

History of Georgia Guidestones

In 1979, a man called Robert C. Christian approached granite cutting company Elberton Granite Finishing located in Elberton, Georgia, US. Elberton is known as the ‘Granite Capital of the World’, so Christian asked that the blocks of granite be cut on a scale that was larger than anything the county had seen before.

The slabs had inscriptions written in English, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi and Swahili. The inscriptions displayed a 10-part message which acts as a guide for humanity. The inscriptions proved controversial, and were accused of everything from originating from a cult to being a work of Satanism.

The Guidestones were also an astronomical calendar: every day at noon the sun shone through a narrow hole in the structure which illuminated an engraving of the day’s date. The words ‘Let these stones guide us to an age of reason’ were inscribed on the side in Babylonian cuneiform, Classical Greek, Sanskrit and Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

To situate the Guidestones, Christian bought a two-hectare property and granted the former owner the right to graze his cattle there forever. He then gifted it to Elbert County in the hope that they would protect the Guidestones. The stones were inaugurated on March 22, 1980, and began to attract visitors from all over the world.

Georgia Guidestones today

The 19-foot high monument formerly attracted tourists and locals alike. The deed of ownership forbade charging a fee to visit the Guidestones as well as the construction of permanent buildings on the land.

Conspiracies raged around the stones: it is unclear who exactly Robert C. Christian actually is, since all documents connected to the stones’ purchase were destroyed after it was built. It is also unclear who the original sponsors for the stones were.

On Wednesday 6 July, the Georgia Guidestones were largely, but not wholly destroyed by an explosive device. Online conspiracy theorists have claimed that the stones were struck down as an act of God. The stones were later fully dismantled the same day.

Getting to Georgia Guidestones

The location where the stones once stood isn’t far from the city of Atlanta, Georgia. From Elberton, the site is just 15 minutes away from Lake Hartwell, and is located just off Guidestone Road in Elberton.