Saturday, May 7, 2022—Part II, Stonehenge

From Bath, our travels took us through the English countryside with it slightly rolling hills, grazing sheep and cattle, and rape seed fields shining golden in the green landscape.

We arrived in Stonehenge about mid-afternoon. We were told to be underwhelmed: it was a bunch of big rocks in a field. However, we were quite impressed. The experience was amazing and interesting, and left us wanting to see more.

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wilshire, England. It consists of an outer ring of vertical sarsen standing stones, each about 13 feet high, seven feet wide, and weighing around 25 tons, topped by connecting horizontal lintel stones. Inside is a ring of smaller bluestones. Inside these are free-standing trilithons, two bulkier vertical Sarsens joined by one lintel. The following photos are from a complete walk around the ancient monument.

The whole monument, now ruinous, is aligned towards the sunrise on the summer solstice.

What is really intriguing is that Stonehenge is only one of many monuments in the complex, i.e. the stones are set within earthworks in the middle of the densest complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Stonehenge was the only one we visited.

Archaeologists believe that Stonehenge was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. It is one of the most famous landmarks in the United Kingdom, if not the entire world. The site and its surroundings were added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986.

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