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What was Stonehenge made for?

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This British landmark has been repurposed many times throughout its long history.

Asked by: Amilie Kendal, age 10, Prestwich

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We can’t know for sure because the people who built it didn’t leave any written records. But Stonehenge isn’t one thing. It is a sacred site that has been continually added to and rearranged for over 5,000 years. The earliest construction in 2900 BC was a circular bank and ditch, with an inner ring of large timber posts.

Three hundred years later, a ring of standing stones was added, using stones dragged from Wales, 240km away. Then a hundred years later, the ‘trilithons’ (standing stones with lintels) were added. Even after that, there is evidence that the arrangement of the stones changed several more times.

Like the O2 arena, or Trafalgar Square, Stonehenge was probably used for several purposes at the same time. It was a festival venue, temple, burial ground and astronomical calendar.

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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