|Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites*|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|State Party||United Kingdom|
|Criteria||i, ii, iii|
|Inscription||1986 (10th Session)|
|* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.|
† Region as classified by UNESCO.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about 3. Stonehenge Avebury and Associated Sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Wiltshire, England. A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex As of 2008 there are a total of 878 World Heritage Sites located in 145 "State Parties" The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe. Asia Minor, Cyprus, all of the Aegean Islands, the Canaries A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Etymology The county formerly 'Wiltonshire' or 'Wiltunscir' (9th century is named after the former county town of Wilton (itself named after the River Wylye 2 kilometres (2. 0 mi) west of Amesbury and 13 kilometres (8. Amesbury is a Town and Civil parish in the English county of Wiltshire, eight miles north of Salisbury. 1 mi) north of Salisbury. Salisbury (ˈsɒlzbri ˈsɔːlzbri ('Solzbry' or ˈzɔːwzbri ('Zawzbry' — moving from RP to local dialect) is a cathedral city in the One of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones. Stone Age Paleolithic See also Paleolithic, Recent African Origin, Early Homo sapiens, Early human migrations "Paleolithic" In Archaeology, earthworks are artificial changes in land level often known as lumps and bumps. Standing stones, orthostats, liths or more commonly Megaliths ' because of their large and cumbersome size are solitary stones set vertically in the Archaeologists believe that the standing stones were erected around 2200 BC and the surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek grc ἀρχαιολογία archaiologia – grc ἀρχαῖος archaīos The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 in a co-listing with Avebury henge monument, and it is also a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. Stonehenge Avebury and Associated Sites is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Wiltshire, England. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on November 16 A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a site (such as a Forest, Mountain, Lake, Desert, Monument, Building, complex Avebury is the site of a large Henge and several Stone circles in the English county of Wiltshire surrounding the village of Avebury Archaeologists use the term henge monument to describe a site where a Henge is combined with other features such as Stone circles Standing stones In the United Kingdom, a Scheduled Monument is a 'nationally important' Archaeological site or historic building given protection against unauthorised change Stonehenge itself is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage while the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust. Throughout the Commonwealth realms The Crown is an abstract metonymic concept which represents the legal authority for the existence of any government English Heritage is a Non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom government ( Department for Culture Media and Sport) with a broad remit of The Stonehenge Landscape is a property of The National Trust, located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organization in England, Wales 
New archaeological evidence found by the Stonehenge Riverside Archaeological Project indicates that Stonehenge served as a burial ground from its earliest beginnings.  The dating of cremated remains found that burials took place as early as 3000 B. C, when the first ditches were being built around the monument. Burials continued at Stonehenge for at least another 500 years when the giant stones which mark the landmark were put up. According to Professor Michael Parker Pearson, head of Stonehenge Riverside Archaeological Project:
"Stonehenge was a place of burial from its beginning to its zenith in the mid third millennium B. C. The cremation burial dating to Stonehenge's sarsen stones phase is likely just one of many from this later period of the monument's use and demonstrates that it was still very much a domain of the dead. " -Pearson, May 2008
Christopher Chippindale's Stonehenge Complete gives the derivation of the name Stonehenge as coming from the Old English words "stān" meaning "stone", and either "hencg" meaning "hinge" (because the stone lintels hinge on the upright stones) or "hen(c)en" meaning "hang" or "gallows" or "instrument of torture". Christopher Chippindale (born 1951 is a British Archaeologist, most well-known for his work on Stonehenge. A hinge is a type of bearing that connects two solid objects typically allowing only a limited angle of Rotation between them A gallows is a frame typically wooden used for execution by Hanging. Medieval gallows consisted of two uprights with a lintel joining them, resembling Stonehenge's trilithons, rather than looking like the inverted L-shape more familiar today. A trilithon (or trilith) is a structure consisting of two large vertical stones (posts supporting a third stone set horizontally across the top (lintel
The "henge" portion has given its name to a class of monuments known as henges. henge is a prehistoric Architectural structure. In form it is a nearly circular or oval-shaped flat area over 20 Metres (65 feet) in diameter Archaeologists define henges as earthworks consisting of a circular banked enclosure with an internal ditch. As often happens in archaeological terminology, this is a holdover from antiquarian usage, and Stonehenge is not truly a henge site as its bank is inside its ditch. An antiquarian or antiquary is one concerned with Antiquities or things of the past Despite being contemporary with true Neolithic henges and stone circles, Stonehenge is in many ways atypical. The Neolithic (from Greek νεολιθικός — neolithikos from νέος neos, "new" + λίθος lithos A stone circle is an ancient monument Such a monument is not always precisely circular and often forms an ellipse or a setting of four stones laid on an arc of a circle For example, its extant trilithons make it unique. Stonehenge is only distantly related to the other stone circles in the British Isles, such as the Ring of Brodgar. The British Isles (Irish variously Na hOileáin Bhriotanacha, Oileáin Iarthair Eorpa, Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór; Ellanyn Goaldagh Eileanan The Ring of Brodgar (or Brogar) is a Neolithic Henge and Stone circle in Orkney, Scotland.
The Stonehenge complex was built in several construction phases spanning at least 3000 years, although there is evidence for activity both before and afterwards on the site, perhaps extending its time frame to 6500 years.
Dating and understanding the various phases of activity at Stonehenge is not a simple task; it is complicated by poorly kept early excavation records, surprisingly few accurate scientific dates and the disturbance of the natural chalk by periglacial effects and animal burrowing. Chalk (ʧɔːk is a soft white porous Sedimentary rock, a form of Limestone composed of the Mineral Calcite. Periglacial is an adjective referring to places in the edges of glacial areas normally those related to past Ice ages rather than those in the modern era The modern phasing most generally agreed by archaeologists is detailed below. Features mentioned in the text are numbered and shown on the plan, right, which illustrates the site as of 2004. The plan omits the trilithon lintels for clarity. Holes that no longer, or never, contained stones are shown as open circles and stones visible today are shown coloured.
Some archaeologists have found four (or possibly five, although one may have been a natural tree throw) large Mesolithic postholes which date to around 8000 BC nearby, beneath the modern tourist car-park. A tree throw or tree hole is a bowl-shaped cavity or depression created in the Subsoil by a Tree. The Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age was a period in the development of human technology in between the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age and the Neolithic or New Stone Age In Archaeology a posthole is a cut feature used to hold a surface timber or stone Parking lot (called a car park in Australia and the UK) is a cleared area that is more or less level and is intended for Parking vehicles These held pine posts around 0. This article is about the tree For other uses of the term "pine" see Pine (disambiguation. 75 metres (2. 5 ft) in diameter which were erected and left to rot in situ. Three of the posts (and possibly four) were in an east-west alignment and may have had ritual significance; no parallels are known from Britain at the time but similar sites have been found in Scandinavia. A ritual is a set of actions often thought to have Symbolic value the performance of which is usually prescribed by a Religion or by the Traditions Terminology and usage As a cultural term "Scandinavia" has no official definition and is subject to usage by those who identify with the culture in question as well At this time, Salisbury Plain was still wooded but four thousand years later, during the earlier Neolithic, a cursus monument was built 600 metres (2,000 ft) north of the site as the first farmers began to clear the forest and exploit the area. Salisbury Plain is a Chalk Plateau in central southern England covering. Cursus (plural 'cursūs' or 'cursuses' was a name given by early British Archaeologists such as William Stukeley to the large parallel lengths of banks with external Several other early Neolithic sites, a causewayed enclosure at Robin Hood's Ball and long barrow tombs were built in the surrounding landscape. Causewayed enclosures are a type of large prehistoric earthworks common to the early Neolithic Europe. Robin Hood’s Ball is a Neolithic Causewayed enclosure located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England. A long barrow is a prehistoric monument dating to the early Neolithic period
The first monument consisted of a circular bank and ditch enclosure made of Late Cretaceous (Santonian Age) Seaford Chalk, (7 and 8) measuring around 110 metres (360 ft) in diameter with a large entrance to the north east and a smaller one to the south (14). Late Cretaceous (100mya - 65mya refers to the second half of the Cretaceous Period, named after the famous white Chalk cliffs of southern England The Santonian is a Faunal stage of the Late Cretaceous Epoch. Chalk (ʧɔːk is a soft white porous Sedimentary rock, a form of Limestone composed of the Mineral Calcite. It stood in open grassland on a slightly sloping but not especially remarkable spot. Grasslands (also called greenswards) are areas where the Vegetation is dominated by Grasses ( Poaceae) and other Herbaceous (non-woody The builders placed the bones of deer and oxen in the bottom of the ditch as well as some worked flint tools. A deer is a Ruminant Mammal belonging to the family Cervidae. Oxen (singular ox) are Cattle trained as draft animals. Often they are adult castrated males Flint (or flintstone) is a hard sedimentary Cryptocrystalline form of the Mineral Quartz, categorized as a variety of Chert The bones were considerably older than the antler picks used to dig the ditch and the people who buried them had looked after them for some time prior to burial. The ditch itself was continuous but had been dug in sections, like the ditches of the earlier causewayed enclosures in the area. The chalk dug from the ditch was piled up to form the bank. This first stage is dated to around 3100 BC after which the ditch began to silt up naturally and was not cleared out by the builders. Within the outer edge of the enclosed area was dug a circle of 56 pits, each around 1 metre (3. 3 ft) in diameter (13), known as the Aubrey holes after John Aubrey, the seventeenth century antiquarian who was thought to have first identified them. The Aubrey holes are a ring of 56 pits at Stonehenge named after the seventeenth century Antiquarian, John Aubrey. "How these curiosities would be quite forgott did not such idle fellowes as I am putt them down An antiquarian or antiquary is one concerned with Antiquities or things of the past The pits may have contained standing timbers, creating a timber circle although there is no excavated evidence of them. In Archaeology, timber circles are circular arrangements of wooden posts interpreted as being either complexes of freestanding Totem poles or as the supports for large A small outer bank beyond the ditch could also date to this period.
Evidence of the second phase is no longer visible. It appears from the number of postholes dating to this period that some form of timber structure was built within the enclosure during the early 3rd millennium BC. Further standing timbers were placed at the northeast entrance and a parallel alignment of posts ran inwards from the southern entrance. The postholes are smaller than the Aubrey Holes, being only around 0. 4 metres (16 in) in diameter and are much less regularly spaced. The bank was purposely reduced in height and the ditch continued to silt up. At least twenty-five of the Aubrey Holes are known to have contained later, intrusive, cremation burials dating to the two centuries after the monument's inception. Cremation is the act of reducing a Corpse by burning, generally in a crematorium furnace or crematory fire It seems that whatever the holes' initial function, it changed to become a funerary one during Phase 2. Thirty further cremations were placed in the enclosure's ditch and at other points within the monument, mostly in the eastern half. Stonehenge is therefore interpreted as functioning as an enclosed cremation cemetery at this time, the earliest known cremation cemetery in the British Isles. Enclosed cremation cemetery is a term used by Archaeologists to describe a type of Cemetery found in north western Europe during the late Neolithic A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. Fragments of unburnt human bone have also been found in the ditch fill. Late Neolithic grooved ware pottery has been found in connection with the features from this phase providing dating evidence. Grooved ware is the name given to a pottery style of the British Neolithic.
Archaeological excavation has indicated that around 2600 BC, timber was abandoned in favour of stone and two concentric crescents of holes (called the Q and R Holes) were dug in the centre of the site. Again, there is little firm dating evidence for this phase. The holes held up to 80 standing stones (shown blue on the plan) 43 of which, the bluestones (dolerite, a holocrystine igneous rock), were thought for much of the 20th century to have been transported by humans from the Preseli Hills, 250 kilometres (160 mi) away in modern day Pembrokeshire in Wales. Bluestone is the name given to several stones (1 a feldspathic sandstone in the U Sacred and historic sites Sacred and historic sites of the Preseli Mountains includeBeddyrafanc 51|56|48|N|4|46|25|W|regionGB-PEM_typemountain|display=title}}[[CategoryMountains Geography Pembrokeshire is a maritime County, bordered by the sea on three sides by Ceredigion (Cardiganshire to the northeast and by A newer theory is that they were brought from glacial deposits much nearer the site, which had been carried down from the northern side of the Preselis to southern England by the Irish Sea Glacier. It is known that during the Ice Age, probably on more than one occasion a huge Glacier referred to as "The Irish Sea Glacier " flowed southwards from  Other standing stones may well have been small sarsens, used later as lintels. The stones, which weighed about four tons, consisted mostly of spotted Ordovician dolerite but included examples of rhyolite, tuff and volcanic and calcareous ash. The Ordovician is a geologic period and system, the second of six of the Paleozoic era, and covers the time between 488 Diabase (ˈdaɪəbeɪs or Dolerite is a Mafic, Holocrystalline, Igneous rock equivalent to Volcanic Basalt or plutonic This page is about a volcanic rock For the ghost town see Rhyolite Nevada, and for the satellite system see Rhyolite/Aquacade. Tuff (from the Italian "tufo" is a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption Each measures around 2 metres (6. 6 ft) in height, between 1 m and 1. 5 m (3. 3-4. 9 ft) wide and around 0. 8 metres (2. 6 ft) thick. What was to become known as the Altar Stone (1), is derived from either South Pembrokeshire or the Brecon Beacons and may have stood as a single large monolith. The Altar Stone is a central Megalith at Stonehenge in England, dating to Stonehenge phase 3i around 2600 BC South Pembrokeshire was one of six local government districts of Dyfed, Wales from 1974 to 1996 The Brecon Beacons (Bannau Brycheiniog is a Mountain range located in the south-east of Wales. A monolith is a geological feature such as a Mountain, consisting of a single massive stone or rock or a single piece of rock placed as or within a monument
The north eastern entrance was also widened at this time with the result that it precisely matched the direction of the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset of the period. Midsummer may simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice Sunrise is the instant at which the upper edge of the Sun appears above the Horizon in the East. The winter solstice occurs at the instant when the Sun 's position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane from the Sunset, also called sundown in some American English Dialects is the instant when the trailing edge of the Sun 's disk disappears below This phase of the monument was abandoned unfinished however, the small standing stones were apparently removed and the Q and R holes purposefully backfilled. Even so, the monument appears to have eclipsed the site at Avebury in importance towards the end of this phase. Avebury is the site of a large Henge and several Stone circles in the English county of Wiltshire surrounding the village of Avebury
The Heelstone (5), a Tertiary sandstone, may also have been erected outside the north eastern entrance during this period although it cannot be securely dated and may have been installed at any time in phase 3. The Heelstone is a single large block of Sarsen stone standing within the Avenue outside the entrance of the Stonehenge earthwork close to the main road The chuprichondira geological time interval covers roughly the time span between the demise of the non- avian Dinosaurs and beginning of the most recent Ice Age, approximately At first, a second stone, now no longer visible, joined it. Two, or possibly three, large portal stones were set up just inside the north eastern entrance of which only one, the fallen Slaughter Stone (4), 4. Forecourt In Archaeology, a forecourt is the name given to the area in front of certain types of Chamber tomb. 9 metres (16 ft) long, now remains. Other features loosely dated to phase 3 include the four Station Stones (6), two of which stood atop mounds (2 and 3). The Station Stones are elements of the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge. The mounds are known as 'barrows' although they do not contain burials. The Avenue, (10), a parallel pair of ditches and banks leading 3 kilometres (1. British Archaeologists refine the general archaeological use of avenue to denote a long parallel-sided strip of land measuring up to about 30m in width open at either end and 9 mi) to the River Avon was also added. The River Avon is a River in the counties of Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset in the south of England, sometimes distinguished Two ditches similar to Heelstone Ditch circling the Heelstone, which was by then reduced to a single monolith, were later dug around the Station Stones. Heelstone Ditch is a roughly circular earthwork having steep sloping sides which end at a narrow flat base being approximately 4 ft (1
The next major phase of activity at the tail end of the 3rd millennium BC saw 30 enormous Oligocene-Miocene sarsen stones (shown grey on the plan) brought from a quarry around 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Stonehenge, on the Marlborough Downs. The 3rd millennium BC spans the Early to Middle Bronze Age. It represents a period of time in which Imperialism, or the desire to conquer grew to prominence The Oligocene is a geologic epoch of the Paleogene period and extends from about 33 The Miocene is a geological epoch of the Neogene period and extends from about 23 Sarsen stones are stone blocks found in quantity on Salisbury Plain, the Marlborough Downs, in Kent, and in smaller quantities in Berkshire, The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB is located in the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire The stones were dressed and fashioned with mortise and tenon joints before 30 were erected as a 33 metres (110 ft) diameter circle of standing stones, with a ring of 30 lintel stones resting on top. Simple and strong the mortise and tenon joint has been used for millennia by Woodworkers around the world to join pieces of Wood, usually when the pieces The lintels were fitted to one another using another woodworking method, the tongue and groove joint. Tongue and groove or T&G is a method of fitting similar objects together edge to edge used mainly with Wood: Flooring, Parquetry, panelling Each standing stone was around 4. 1 metres (13 ft) high, 2. 1 metres (6. 9 ft) wide and weighed around 25 tons. Each had clearly been worked with the final effect in mind; the orthostats widen slightly towards the top in order that their perspective remains constant as they rise up from the ground while the lintel stones curve slightly to continue the circular appearance of the earlier monument. Forecourt In Archaeology, a forecourt is the name given to the area in front of certain types of Chamber tomb. The sides of the stones that face inwards are smoother and more finely worked than the sides that face outwards. The average thickness of these stones is 1. 1 metres (3. 6 ft) and the average distance between them is 1 metre (3. 3 ft). A total of 74 stones would have been needed to complete the circle and unless some of the sarsens were removed from the site, it would seem that the ring was left incomplete. Of the lintel stones, they are each around 3. 2 metres (10 ft), 1 metre (3. 3 ft) wide and 0. 8 metres (2. 6 ft) thick. The tops of the lintels are 4. 9 metres (16 ft) above the ground.
Within this circle stood five trilithons of dressed sarsen stone arranged in a horseshoe shape 13. A trilithon (or trilith) is a structure consisting of two large vertical stones (posts supporting a third stone set horizontally across the top (lintel Sarsen stones are stone blocks found in quantity on Salisbury Plain, the Marlborough Downs, in Kent, and in smaller quantities in Berkshire, 7 metres (45 ft) across with its open end facing north east. These huge stones, ten uprights and five lintels, weigh up to 50 tons each and were again linked using complex jointings. They are arranged symmetrically; the smallest pair of trilithons were around 6 metres (20 ft) tall, the next pair a little higher and the largest, single trilithon in the south west corner would have been 7. 3 metres (24 ft) tall. Only one upright from the Great Trilithon still stands; 6. 7 metres (22 ft) is visible and a further 2. 4 metres (7. 9 ft) is below ground.
The images of a 'dagger' and 14 'axe-heads' have been recorded carved on one of the sarsens, known as stone 53. Further axe-head carvings have been seen on the outer faces of stones known as numbers 3, 4, and 5. They are difficult to date but are morphologically similar to later Bronze Age weapons; recent laser scanning work on the carvings supports this interpretation. The laser scanning at Stonehenge of the Bronze Age dagger and axes inscribed on the Sarsens there was undertaken in 2003 by a team from Wessex Archaeology The pair of trilithons in north east are smallest, measuring around 6 metres (20 ft) in height and the largest is the trilithon in the south west of the horseshoe is almost 7. 5 metres (25 ft) tall.
This ambitious phase is radiocarbon dated to between 2600 and 2400 BC. Radiocarbon dating is a Radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring Radioisotope Carbon-14 (14C to determine the age of The 26th century BC is a Century which lasted from the year 2600 BC to 2501 BC The 24th century BC is a Century which lasted from the year 2400 BC to 2301 BC This is slightly before two sets of burials discovered 3 miles to the west in Amesbury (the Amesbury Archer found in 2002, and the Boscombe Bowmen discovered in 2003) as well as the Stonehenge Archer whose body was discovered in the outer ditch of the monument in 1978. The Amesbury Archer is an early Bronze Age man whose grave was discovered in Amesbury during excavations at the site of a new housing development The Boscombe Bowmen is the name given by Archaeologists to a group of early Bronze Age individuals found in a shared burial at Boscombe Down near Stonehenge The Stonehenge Archer is the name given to a Bronze Age man whose body was discovered in the outer ditch of Stonehenge.
Later in the Bronze Age, the bluestones appear to have been re-erected for the first time, although the exact details of this period are still unclear. They were placed within the outer sarsen circle and at this time may have been trimmed in some way. A few have timber working-style cuts in them like the sarsens themselves, suggesting they may have been linked with lintels and part of a larger structure during this phase.
This phase saw further rearrangement of the bluestones as they were placed in a circle between the two settings of sarsens and in an oval in the very centre. Some archaeologists argue that some of the bluestones in this period were part of a second group brought from Wales. All the stones were well-spaced uprights without any of the linking lintels inferred in Stonehenge 3 III. The Altar Stone may have been moved within the oval and stood vertically. Although this would seem the most impressive phase of work, Stonehenge 3 IV was rather shabbily built compared to its immediate predecessors, as the newly re-installed bluestones were not at all well founded and began to fall over. However, only minor changes were made after this phase. Stonehenge 3 IV dates from 2280 to 1930 BC.
Soon afterwards, the north eastern section of the Phase 3 IV Bluestone circle was removed, creating a horseshoe-shaped setting termed the Bluestone Horseshoe. This mirrored the shape of the central sarsen Trilithons and dates from 2270 to 1930 BC. This phase is contemporary with the famous Seahenge site in Norfolk. Seahenge or Holme I is a Bronze Age monument discovered in 1998 just off the coast of the English county of Norfolk at Holme-next-the-Sea Norfolk (ˈnɔrfək is a low-lying county in East Anglia, England, United Kingdom.
The last known construction at Stonehenge was about 1600 BC, and the last known usage of it was likely during the Iron Age. This article is about the archaeological period known as the Iron Age for the mythological Iron Age see Ages of Man. Roman coins and medieval artefacts have all been found in or around the monument but it is unknown if the monument was in continuous use throughout prehistory and beyond - or exactly how it would have been used. Notable is the late 7th-6th century BC large arcing Scroll Trench which deepens E-NE towards Heelstone, and the construction of the massive Iron Age hillfort Vespasian's Camp built alongside the Avenue near the Avon. Scroll Trench, also called Arc Trench, is a 25 ft (76m long by 9 ft (2 A hill fort is a fortified refuge or defended settlement Vespasian's Camp is an Iron Age Hillfort in the town of Amesbury, Wiltshire, England. The burial of a decapitated 7th Century Saxon man was excavated from Stonehenge. For their language see Anglo-Saxon language. Anglo-Saxon is the term usually used to describe the invading Tribes in the south The site was known by scholars during the Middle Ages and since then it has been studied and adopted by numerous different groups.
Stonehenge was produced by a culture with no written language, and at great historical remove from the first cultures that did leave written records. Stonehenge has been subjected to many theories about its origin ranging from the academic worlds of Archaeology to explanations from Mythology and Many aspects of Stonehenge remain subject to debate. This multiplicity of theories, some of them very colourful, is often called the "mystery of Stonehenge. "
There is little or no direct evidence for the construction techniques used by the Stonehenge builders. Over the years, various authors have suggested that supernatural or anachronistic methods were used, usually asserting that the stones were impossible to move otherwise. However, conventional techniques using Neolithic technology have been demonstrably effective at moving and placing stones this size.  Proposed functions for the site include usage as an astronomical observatory, or as a religious site. Other theories have advanced supernatural or symbolic explanations for the construction.
The Heel Stone was once known as "Friar's Heel". The Heelstone is a single large block of Sarsen stone standing within the Avenue outside the entrance of the Stonehenge earthwork close to the main road A folk tale, which cannot be dated earlier than the seventeenth century, relates the origin of the name of this stone:
The Devil bought the stones from a woman in Ireland, wrapped them up, and brought them to Salisbury plain. History The concept of folklore developed as part of the 19th century ideology of Romantic nationalism, leading to the reshaping of oral traditions to serve modern ideological The Devil is the One of the stones fell into the Avon, the rest were carried to the plain. The River Avon is a River in the counties of Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset in the south of England, sometimes distinguished The Devil then cried out, "No-one will ever find out how these stones came here!" A friar replied, "That’s what you think!," whereupon the Devil threw one of the stones at him and struck him on the heel. The stone stuck in the ground and is still there.
Some claim "Friar's Heel" is a corruption of "Freyja's He-ol" or "Freyja Sul", from the Nordic goddess Freyja and the Welsh word for way or Sunday, respectively, or the name may simply imply that the stone heels, or leans. Freyja (sometimes anglicized as Freya) is a major goddess in Norse Paganism, a subset of Germanic Paganism. The name is not unique; there was a monolith with the same name recorded in the 19th century by antiquarian Charles Warne at Long Bredy in Dorset. Long Bredy is a village in west Dorset, England, situated in a small valley seven miles west of Dorchester.
Stonehenge is also mentioned within Arthurian legend. King Arthur is a legendary British leader who according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against the Saxon invaders Geoffrey of Monmouth said that Merlin the wizard directed its removal from Ireland, where it had been constructed on Mount Killaraus by Giants, who brought the stones from Africa. Geoffrey of Monmouth ( Gruffudd ap Arthur or Sieffre o Fynwy) (c The Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network ( MERLIN) is an Interferometer array of Radio telescopes spread across England and the Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world Mount Killaraus is a Legendary Mountain in Ireland, most famous for being the source of the stones of Stonehenge in Arthurian legend The Mythology and Legends of many different Cultures include monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength After it had been rebuilt near Amesbury, Geoffrey further narrates how first Ambrosius Aurelianus, then Uther Pendragon, and finally Constantine III, were buried inside the ring of stones. Ambrosius Aurelianus, called Aurelius Ambrosius in the Historia Regum Britanniae and elsewhere was a war leader of the Romano-British Constantine III (died 411 by September 18) was a Roman general who declared himself Western Roman Emperor in 407 abdicating in 411 (and being killed In many places in his Historia Regum Britanniae Geoffrey mixes British legend and his own imagination; it is intriguing that he connects Ambrosius Aurelianus with this prehistoric monument, seeing how there is place-name evidence to connect Ambrosius with nearby Amesbury. The Historia Regum Britanniae ( English: The History of the Kings of Britain) is a pseudohistorical account of British history Toponymy refers to the scientific study of place-names ( toponyms) their origins meanings use and Typology.
According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the rocks of Stonehenge were healing rocks which Giants brought from Africa to Ireland for their healing properties. These rocks were called The Giant's Dance. Aurelius Ambrosias (5th Century), wishing to erect a memorial to the nobles (3000) who had died in battle with the Saxons and were buried at Salisbury, chose (at Merlin's advice) Stonehenge to be their monument. So the King sent Merlin, Uther Pendragon (Arthur's father), and 15,000 knights to Ireland to retrieve the rocks. They slew 7,000 Irish. As the knights tried to move the rocks with ropes and force, they failed. Then Merlin, using "gear" and skill, easily dismantled the stones and sent them over to Britain, where Stonehenge was dedicated. Shortly after, Aurelius died and was buried within the Stonehenge monument, or "The Giants' Ring of Stonehenge".
Stonehenge has changed hands on several occasions since King Henry VIII acquired Amesbury Abbey and its surrounding lands. Solstices occur twice a year when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most oriented toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun to reach its northernmost and southernmost extremes Events 524 - Godomar, King of the Burgundians defeats the Franks at the Battle of Vézeronce. Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The recent history of Stonehenge is the period from the nineteenth century onwards when widespread Literacy, affordable mass travel and a growing body of Archaeological Henry VIII (28 June 1491 &ndash 28 January 1547 was King of England and Lord of Ireland, later King of Ireland and claimant to the Kingdom of Amesbury is a Town and Civil parish in the English county of Wiltshire, eight miles north of Salisbury. In 1540 he gave the estate to the Earl of Hertford, and it subsequently passed to Lord Carleton and then the Marquis of Queensbury. The titles of Earl of Hertford and Marquess of Hertford have been created several times in the Peerages of England and Great Britain. Marquess of Queensberry (often spelled after the French as the Marquis of Queensbury is a title in the peerage of Scotland. The Antrobus family of Cheshire bought the estate in 1824, but sold it in 1915 after the last heir was killed in France. The auction was held by Knight Frank & Rutley estate agents in Salisbury on the 21 September, and included "Lot 15. Knight Frank LLP is a UK headquartered global property consultancy firm Events 1217 - The Estonian tribal leader Lembitu of Lehola was killed in a battle against Teutonic Knights. Stonehenge with about 30 acres, 2 ro[o]ds, 37 perches of adjoining downland. ROOD jong in de SP ( Dutch for RED young in the SP) is a Dutch youth wing linked to the Socialist Party. " Cecil Chubb bought Stonehenge for £6,600 and then gave it to the nation three years later. Sir Cecil Herbert Edward Chubb 1st Baronet ( 14 April 1876 – 22 September 1934) was the last private owner of Stonehenge, which Although it has been speculated that he purchased it at the suggestion of - or even as a present for - his wife, he in fact bought it on a whim as he believed a local man should be the new owner.
In the late 1920's a nation-wide appeal was launched to save Stonehenge from the encroachment of modern buildings that had begun to appear around it. During World War 1 an aerodrome had been built on the down just west of the circle, and in the dry valley at Stonehenge Bottom a main road junction had appeared, with several cottages and a cafe. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All An aerodrome is an area on land or water (including any buildings installations and equipment used for the arrival and departure of aircraft In 1928 the land around the stones was purchased with the appeal donations, and given to the National Trust in order to preserve it. The buildings were removed (although the roads were not), and the land returned to agriculture. Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants and fungi and the raising of domesticated Animals The study of agriculture More recently the land has been part of a grassland reversion scheme, returning the surrounding fields to native chalk grassland. Calcareous grassland (or alkaline grassland) is an Ecosystem associated with thin basic Soil, such as that on Chalk and Limestone
As motorised traffic increased the setting of the monument began to be affected by the proximity of the two roads on either side of it - the A344 to Shrewton on the north side, and the A303 to Winterbourne Stoke to the south. The A344 is an A road in the English county of Wiltshire. It runs from its junction with the A303 road at Stonehenge north west to The A303 is a Trunk road in England. It is the main road between Basingstoke in Hampshire and Honiton in Devon. Plans to upgrade the A303 and remove it from the view of the stones have been considered since it became a World Heritage Site, but the controversy surrounding expensive re-routings of a road have led to the scheme being cancelled on multiple occasions. The Stonehenge road tunnel was a controversial Tunnel in Wiltshire, England proposed by the Highways Agency to upgrade the A303 road On 06 December 2007 it was announced that the most recent plans had been cancelled. Events 1060 - Béla I of Hungary is crowned king of Hungary 1240 - Mongol invasion of Rus: Kiev Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. 
Stonehenge is a place of pilgrimage for neo-druids, and those following pagan or neo-pagan beliefs. In Religion and Spirituality, a pilgrimage is a long journey or Search of great Moral significance Neo-druidism or neo-druidry (referred to simply as Druidry by some adherents is a form of modern Spirituality or Religion that promotes Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller rustic" is a word used to refer to various religions and religious beliefs from across the world Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is an Umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements particularly those influenced by historical The midsummer sunrise began attracting modern visitors in the 1870s, with the first record of recreated Druidic practices dating to 1905 when the Ancient Order of Druids enacted a ceremony. The Ancient Order of Druids (AOD was founded in England in 1781 as a Secret society, rather similar to the Freemasons The tradition in the Order Despite efforts by archaeologists and historians to stress the differences between the Iron Age Druidic religion and the much older monument, Stonehenge has become increasingly, almost inextricably, associated with British Druidism, Neo Paganism and New Age philosophy. A druid was a member of the priestly and learned class in the ancient Celtic societies After the Battle of the Beanfield in 1985 this use of the site was stopped for several years, and currently ritual use of Stonehenge is carefully controlled. The Battle of the Beanfield took place over several hours on the afternoon of Saturday June 1, 1985 when Wiltshire Police prevented a vehicle convoy
When Stonehenge became open to the public it was possible to walk amongst and even climb on the stones. However this ended in 1977 when the stones were roped off as a result of serious erosion . Visitors are no longer permitted to touch the stones, but merely walk around the monument from a short distance. English Heritage does however permit access during the summer and winter solstice, and the spring and autumn equinox. Additionally, visitors can make special bookings to access the stones throughout the year .
Throughout recorded history Stonehenge and its surrounding monuments have attracted attention from antiquarians and archaeologists. An antiquarian or antiquary is one concerned with Antiquities or things of the past Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek grc ἀρχαιολογία archaiologia – grc ἀρχαῖος archaīos John Aubrey was one of the first to examine the site with a scientific eye in 1666, and recorded in his plan of the monument the pits that now bear his name. "How these curiosities would be quite forgott did not such idle fellowes as I am putt them down The Aubrey holes are a ring of 56 pits at Stonehenge named after the seventeenth century Antiquarian, John Aubrey. William Stukeley continued Aubrey’s work in the early 18th Century, but took an interest in the surrounding monuments as well, identifying (somewhat incorrectly) the Cursus and the Avenue. The Rev Dr William Stukeley FRS, FRCP FSA ( November 7, 1687 &ndash March 3, 1765) was an English antiquary who pioneered He also began the excavation of many of the barrows in the area, and it was his interpretation of the landscape that associated it with the Druids. A druid was a member of the priestly and learned class in the ancient Celtic societies Stukeley was in fact so fascinated with Druids that he originally named Disc Barrows as Druids Barrows. A disc barrow is a type of Tumulus or Round barrow, a variety of Fancy barrow identified in English Heritage 's Monument Class Descriptions
William Cunnington was the next to tackle the area in the early 19th Century, excavating some 24 barrows before digging in and around the stones, discovering charred wood, animal bones, pottery and urns. William Cunnington (1754&ndash 31 December, 1810) was a pioneering English Antiquarian and Archaeologist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth He also identified the hole in which the Slaughter Stone once stood. At the same time Richard Colt Hoare began his activities, excavating some 379 barrows on Salisbury Plain before working with Cunnington and William Coxe on some 200 in the area around the Stones. Salisbury Plain is a Chalk Plateau in central southern England covering. William Coxe ( March 17, 1747 - June 8, 1828) English Historian, son of Dr To alert future diggers to their work they were careful to leave initialled metal tokens in each barrow they opened.
In 1877 Charles Darwin dabbled in archaeology at the stones, experimenting with the rate at which remains sink into the earth for his book The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms. Charles Robert Darwin (February 12 1809 &ndash April 19 1882 was an English naturalist, who realised and demonstrated that all Species of life This is a partial list of the writings of Charles Darwin, including his main works
William Gowland oversaw the first major restoration of the monument in 1901 – the straightening and concrete setting of a sarsen in danger of falling - and took the opportunity to further excavate the stones at the same time. William Gowland (1842 – 9 June 1922) was a English mining Engineer most famous for his Archaeological work at Stonehenge The most scientific dig to date, it revealed more about the erection of the stones than the previous 100 years of work. During the 1920 restoration William Hawley, who had excavated nearby Old Sarum, excavated the base of six stones being restored as well as the outer ditch. Lieutenant-Colonel William Hawley (1851&ndash1941 was a British Archaeologist who most famously undertook pioneering Excavations at Stonehenge Old Sarum is the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury, in England. He also located a bottle of port in the slaughter stone socket left by Cunnington, helped to rediscover Aubrey's pits inside the bank and located the Y and Z holes (concentric circular holes outside the Sarsen Circle). Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Oporto, Porto, and often simply Port) is a Portuguese, Fortified  Richard Atkinson, Stuart Piggott and John F. S. Stone re-excavated much of Hawley's work in the 40s and 50s, and discovered the carved axes and daggers on the Sarsen Stones. Alternative meaning Richard Atkinson (educator Richard John Copland Atkinson CBE ( 20 January 1920 &ndash Stuart Ernest Piggott CBE ( 28 May, 1910 &ndash 23 September, 1996) was a British Archaeologist most well known for his work John Frederick Smerdon Stone (b 1891? - d 1957 was a British archaeologist most famous for his work in and around Wiltshire, especially at Stonehenge Atkinson's work was instrumental in the understanding of the three major phases of the monument's construction.
In 1958 the stones were restored again, using concrete settings to re-erect three of the standing sarsens. Year 1958 ( MCMLVIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The very last restoration was carried out in 1963 when a sarsen fell over and was once more re-erected, and the opportunity taken to concrete three more stones. Later archaeologists, including Christopher Chippindale of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge and Brian Edwards of the University of the West of England campaigned to give the public more knowledge of the various restorations and in 2004 English Heritage included pictures of the works in progress in its new book Stonehenge: A History in Photographs. Christopher Chippindale (born 1951 is a British Archaeologist, most well-known for his work on Stonehenge. The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge houses the University's collections of local antiquities together with archaeological and ethnographic Brian or Bryan Edwards may refer to Brian Edwards (soccer, American soccer player Brian Edwards (New Zealand, New Zealand 
Excavations were once again carried out in 1978 by Atkinson and John Evans during which they discovered the remains of the Stonehenge Archer from the outer ditch, and in 1979 rescue archaeology was needed alongside the Heel Stone after a cable-laying ditch was mistakenly dug on the roadside, revealing a new stone hole next to the Heel Stone. The Stonehenge Archer is the name given to a Bronze Age man whose body was discovered in the outer ditch of Stonehenge. Rescue archaeology, sometimes called "preventive" or "salvage" archaeology is archaeological survey and excavation carried out in areas threatened by or revealed by
More recent excavations include Mike Parker Pearson's Stonehenge Riverside Project - an ongoing series of digs in the landscape around the stones examining the relationship between them and other nearby monuments, notably Durrington Walls where another ‘Avenue’ leading to the river Avon was discovered. Mike Parker Pearson is a professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in England. The Stonehenge Riverside Project is a major AHRC -funded archaeological research study interested in the development of the Stonehenge landscape in Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain Durrington Walls is the site of a Neolithic village and later Henge enclosure located in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. The River Avon is a River in the counties of Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset in the south of England, sometimes distinguished In April 2008 Professor Tim Darvill of the University of Bournemouth and Professor Geoff Wainwright of the Society of Antiquaries began another dig inside the Stone circle to retrieve dateable fragments of the original bluestone pillars. Bournemouth University is a University in and around the large south coast town of Bournemouth, UK (although its main campus is actually situated in It is hoped this will establish a more precise date for the first stone circle and help identify its purpose.