What is Stonehenge? Facts & a Brief History of Stonehenge

The world’s most famous stone circle, Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, visited by more than a million people per year. This monument was built by Neolithic people. It was constructed in six stages between 3000 and 1520 bce, especially during the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. It is made up of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide with a weight of around 25 tons.

Archaeologists believe that this ancient circle of standing stones was constructed anywhere from 3000 to 2000 B.C.

One of the best-known landmarks in the United Kingdom is Stonehenge, considered as a British cultural icon. It has been a legally protected planned historical monument since 1882 when legislation to protect historical monuments was first successfully launched in Britain.

In first stage – The most ancient part of the Stonehenge monument was constructed in thirtieth century (3000 to 2935 bce) as a bank and ditch enclosing a ring of pits, called the Aubrey Holes, which held standing stone. Aubrey Holes, named after John Aubrey, who acknowledged them in 1666.

In second stage –  There is no evidence of the activity between Stonehenge’s first and second stages of construction. The number of postholes dating from the early third millennium BC indicates that a form of wood structure was built within the enclosure during this period.

In third stage – in this stage, stones begin to arrive. Stonehenge’s third period (2470–2280 BCE) was the longest and hold the most changes of all the periods. The first the bluestones, imported all the way from Wales for reasons still unknown to us. Radiocarbon dating indicates that between 2470 and 2280 BCE period, the side ditches and banks of a ceremonial avenue almost 2 miles long were dug from Stonehenge to the River Avon. It is possible that during Stonehenge’s second stage of construction, the avenue traces the path of the bluestones that were moved from the Aubrey Holes and Bluestonehenge to the Q and R holes.

In forth stage – Stonehenge’s construction of this stage took place between 2280 and 2030 BCE, in which bluestones were reorganized to form a circle and an inner oval.

In fifth stage – During fifth stage of Stonehenge, between 2030 and 1750 BCE, a ring of pits known as the Z Holes was dug outside the sarsen circle.

In sixth stage – During sixth stage of Stonehenge, between 1640 and 1520 BCE, A second ring of pits, called the Y Holes, was dug.

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