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LET'S EXPLORE British history

Why was Stonehenge built?

Stonehenge todayStonehenge todayStonehenge was built on Salisbury Plain in southern England about 4500 years ago. It consists of two circles of 82 standing stones. One circle lies inside the other. Large capping stones, called lintels, rest on top of the standing stones. Surrounding the stone circles is a circular ditch with banks made of earth. Many of the stones at Stonehenge still stand today.

 

A modern reconstruction of a hengeA modern reconstruction of a henge

A circular henge

In about 3100 BC, a circular ditch with both an inner and outer bank made of earth, was dug. It enclosed an area measuring about 100 metres (330 feet) across. This sacred site was called a henge. Here, people buried the ashes of family members who had been cremated after they had died. 

 

Building Stonehenge

Four of the sarsens at Stonehenge are covered with hundreds of carvings depicting mostly axe-heads as well as a few daggers. They were probably made in about 1750–1500 BC.

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