Identifying the Stones
Favorite thing: Stonehenge is not a single structure but consists of a series of earth, timber, and stone structures that were revised and re-modelled over a period of more than 1400 years. The earliest portion of the complex dates to approximately 2950-2900 BCE (Middle Neolithic). It comprises of a circular bank of about 330 feet in diameter. Just inside the earth bank is a circle of the 56 Aubrey holes that held wooden posts.
The Sarsen Circle, is 108 feet in diameter, comprised of 30 upright sandstone blocks, only 17 are now standing. The Sarsen Circle with its lintels is perhaps the most remarkable feature of Stonehenge in terms of design, precision stonework, and engineering. They are hard-grained sandstone with a silaceous cement. The Trilithons are ten upright stones arranged as five freestanding pairs each with a single horizontal lintel. Only three are now complete with their lintels. The other two both have only one standing stone with the second stone and lintel lying on the ground.
The term "Bluestone" refers to various types of mostly igneous rocks including dolerites, rhyolites, and volcanic ash. It also includes some sandstones.
The Slaughter Stone located on the north-east side in a break in the bank-and-ditch in what is regarded as the main entrance of the monument.
At this time was also laid out an earthwork known as the Avenue that extends north-east from the break in the bank-and-ditch.
The Heel Stone is approximately 16 feet high The stone now leans out of vertical but most likely once stood upright.
The Altar Stone, is a large dressed block of sandstone that lies embedded in the Two fallen stones now lie across it. The stone is believed to be Cosheston Beds Sandstone from south Wales, and is the only example of this type of stone at Stonehenge. It is 16 feet long.This information and more can be found at www.witcomb.bcpw.sbc.edu
- Historical Travel
STONEHENGE (The Circle of Stones)
Favorite thing: Stonehenge sits on the Salisbury Plain 10 miles north of the village of Salisbury and mystifies those who see it. How did it get there - no one really knows. Most believe it was used by the Druids for their cultic rituals. There are other circles of stones in other parts of the world and one is north of Stonehenge at Amesbury. Still more of these type stones can be seen in the western part of France in Brittany.
Fondest memory: Seeing Stonehenge in the mist seems surreal, it makes you feel you are back in an ancient time in history.
- Historical Travel
See the stones
Favorite thing: Stonehenge dates back 5000 years and is shrouded in Celtic mystery.
Since 1978 it has been forbidden for visitors to approach the stones due to damage.
There are two rings of stones, the central bluestones are the oldest.
A little history
Favorite thing: During the 19 and early 20 centuries, prehistorians attributed Stonehenge and other stone rings to Egyptian and Mycenean travelers who were thought to have infused Europe with Bronze Age culture.
With the development of Carbon-14 dating techniques, the infusion-diffusion conception of British Neolithic history was abandoned and the megalithic monuments of Britain were shown to predate those of the eastern Mediterranean, Egyptian, Mycenean, and Greek cultures.
The archaeological community generally assumed that function to be concerned with the ritual activities and territorial markings of various Neolithic chiefdoms....
It boggles the mind to see...
Favorite thing: It boggles the mind to see something that has been standing there for well over 2000 years. It makes one wonder whether the history we know of the world is really what happened. The huge stones, reminiscent of the large dolmens found in France, are probably of Celtic origin (because of the similarities) but this, too, is uncertain.
It's a bit windy
Favorite thing: Stonehenge tends to be a bit windy, so even if it is a warm day, you may want to bring a jacket with you.
- Budget Travel