10 Strange Facts About Stonehenge

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Trivial Diversions

10 Strange Facts About Stonehenge

10 Strange Facts About Stonehenge

The mysterious prehistoric monument, known as Stonehenge, is located on the Salisbury Plain in central southern England and has fascinated man for many, many generations. It’s unknown how the huge stone structures got to their location and what the site was used for, but many theories abound. Here are a few other facts about the amazing, iconic structure.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Bank and ditch

The first phase of Stonehenge didn’t involve large stones at all — a ditch was dug around 3100 BC, and the chalk (a sedimentary rock) that was dug up was used to form a bank.

Postholes

Although the second phase left behind no visible evidence, postholes dating to around 3000 BC indicate there was some form of a timber structure built within the enclosure.

Aubrey Holes

There were also 56 pits found within the outer edge of the enclosed circle, which contained the cremated remains of men, women and children. They are called the Aubrey Holes, after John Aubrey, who is thought to have been the first to identify them in the 17th century.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Cremation cemetery

There is other evidence of cremated human remains in the enclosure’s ditch and other parts of the monument, giving rise the theory that Stonehenge is the first cremation cemetery located within the British Isles.

Bluestones

80 bluestones, each weighing around 2 tons apiece, were put into place in two areas inside the enclosure. They were later removed.

25 tons

The stones that make up the large iconic circle which we’re all familiar with each weigh around 25 tons. They were put into place approximately between 2600 and 2400 BC.

Pixabay

Pixabay

Trilithons

Within the outer, connected stone circle, you’ll find five trilithons, which are arranged in a horseshoe shape. Each stone weighs around 50 tons each.

Return of the bluestones

The bluestones appear to have been placed again within the structure between 2400 BC and 2280 BC.

dannysullivan/Flickr

dannysullivan/Flickr

Roped off

Visitors were originally allowed to walk among, touch and even climb on the remains of the structure, but in 1977, access to Stonehenge was limited by ropes that guide you around the site.

Summer and winter solstice

The stones, however, are accessible during the summer and winter solstice for ritual use.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Related topics British history, England, Stonehenge
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