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Highlights of Stonehenge
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Stonehenge – Britain’s greatest ancient temple, dating from about 3000 to 1600 BC.

Today, visitors experience Stonehenge as a wonder of ancient achievement and an enduring symbol of mystery. But Stonehenge was built as a temple – a place of ceremony, of burial and of celebration. The first Stonehenge was simple – just a circular ditch and bank – and was constructed about 5000 years ago, in the period of prehistory known as the Neolithic or New Stone Age.

Highlights of Stonehenge

Золотые украшения для волос 2400 г. до н.э., одни из самых древних золотых предметов, обнаруженных на Британских островах. Найдены в захоронении «Лучника из Эймсбери», недалеко от Стоунхенджа.

By about 2500 BC timber structures had been built and rotted away and the first stones had started to arrive. Huge sarsen stones came from north Wiltshire and smaller bluestones from west Wales. This marked the beginning of over 800 years of construction and alteration stretching into the period known as the Bronze Age, when the first metal tools and weapons were made. By this time Stonehenge was the greatest temple in Britain, its banks, ditches and standing stones arranged in sophisticated alignments to ark the passage of the sun and the changing seasons. But Stonehenge was just one part of a remarkable ancient landscape. Hundreds of burial mounds clustered on the surrounding hilltops, while smaller temples and other ceremonial sites were built nearby. Stonehenge and these other ancient structures form an archaeological landscape so rich that it is classified as a World Heritage Site.

Highlights of Stonehenge

Вид на Стоунхендж; на переднем плане – Жертвенный камень, который на самом деле никогда не использовался для жертвоприношений - это просто упавшая каменная опора на входе.

Stonehenge has inspired people to study and interpret it for centuries. Medieval writers used magic as an explanation of how it was created; antiquaries, like William Stukeley in the early XVIII century, guessed – wrongly – that the Druids had built it. Archaeology provides the best hope of answering some of these fundamental questions about Stonehenge: how and when it was built, who built it and, perhaps most difficult of all, why it was built. But even with the evidence that archaeology and modern science provide, not all these questions can be answered. Stonehenge will always keep some of its secrets.

Highlights of Stonehenge

Although Stonehenge today is a hugely impressive ruin, it would have looked very different when it was first built. At first there were no central stones, only an earth ditch and banks and some small wooden posts or stone pillars. When stones were put up in the centre some remained in place but others were rearranged in different ways. The position of the stones today reflects only the last of these settings, and in the XX century after thousands of years of decay, some stones were also re-erected.

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