What is Stonehenge?

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What is Stonehenge? Blog Image

Overview:

Activists in the United Kingdom are coming together to stop the construction of a two-mile road tunnel close to the great circle of Stonehenge by the government.

About Stonehenge

  • It is a massive stone circle monument located on Salisbury Plain in southern England. 
  • It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site of outstanding universal value in 1986.
  • When was Stonehenge built?
    • Work started on this super stone circle around 5,000 years ago in the late Neolithic Age, but it took over 1,000 years to build in four long stages.
    • Archaeologists believe the final changes were made around 1,500 BC, in the early Bronze Age.
  • Stones Used:
    • The bigger stones at Stonehenge, known as sarsens, weigh 25 tons on average and are widely believed to have been brought from Marlborough Downs, 32 kilometers to the north.
    • Most of the monument's smaller stones, referred to as "bluestones" (as they have a bluish tinge when wet or freshly broken), weigh between 2 and 5 tons and came from quarries in the Preseli Hills in west Wales, about 225 km away from Stonehenge.
    • Scientists are still unsure exactly how prehistoric people moved the stones over such long distances.
  • Purpose:
    • Though there is no definite evidence as to the intended purpose of Stonehenge, it was presumably a religious site and an expression of the power and wealth of the chieftains, aristocrats, and priests who had it built.
    • It is just one part of a larger sacred landscape that contained many other stone and wooden structures, as well as burials. 
    • It was aligned with the Sun and possibly used for observing the Sun and Moon and working out the farming calendar. 

Q1) What is the Neolithic Age?

Neolithic, also called New Stone Age, is the final stage of cultural evolution or technological development among prehistoric humans. The starting point of the Neolithic is generally thought to have occurred sometime about 10,000 BCE. The term Neolithic is most frequently used in connection with agriculture, which is the time when cereal cultivation was introduced. It was characterized by stone tools shaped by polishing or grinding, dependence on domesticated plants or animals, settlement in permanent villages, and the appearance of such crafts as pottery and weaving. 

Source: Heritage under threat: Stonehenge, an iconic archaeological site with mysterious theories