Stonehenge is the most famous stone circle in the world. It can be found on the Salisbury Plain in England.
Stonehenge is made up of two circles surrounding two semi-circles. The large outer circle, which is about 98 feet in diameter, consists of 30 sandstone blocks. These are the sarsen stones which can go up to 14 feet high. Lentils - a continuous circle of 30 stones - run across the sarsen stones, which are held by mortices, tenons and toggle joints. The second circle surrounded by the outer circle is made up bluestones, which are much smaller.
The first of the semi-circles are the tall sandstones, followed by the shorter bluestones. Inside them is a huge sandstone called the Altar Stone. Then the last stone is the Heel Stone which is situated 80 yards east of the Altar Stone. It is used to mark the sunrise and moonrise during the summer and winter solstices. But other than this use, no other usage has been determined.
It was first built in around 3500B.C. by the semi-nomadic peoples that lived in the Salisbury Plain. In the beginning it was a ditch and mound shaped in a circle with 56 holes surrounding it. 80 blocks f bluestone was brought here from almost 200 miles away only 200 years later. It is assumed that the bocks were put on rafts and brought along the Welsh Coast, up rivers that dragged by land to Stonehenge. These stones were used to make two concentric circles. But during a certain period the bluestones were then moved into the circle and the huge stones were put in. These can weigh up to 26 tons. It is still unknown how these stones could have been erected by supposedly primitive people.
A possible use for Stonehenge, as astronomer Gary Hawkins surmised, could be to study the heavens. It could have been used to predict eclipses and track heavenly bodies across the sky. But whether this is it's true use, it has not been determined.
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