The word Stonehenge is though to have originated from the Anglo-Saxon period – the old English word’henge’ means hanging or gibbet. So the word Stonehenge would mean’hanging stones’ However, nowadays the word henge has a specific archeological meaning: a circular enclosure surrounding settings of stones and timber uprights, or pits. Stonehenge is thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago.
Before Stonehenge was built, there used to be a forest of pines. Stonehenge was built in three phases. Thefirst phase consisted of a circle of timbers surrounded by a ditch and a bank enclosing a ring of 56 pits.
Later these pits were named the Aubrey Holes after the 17th century antiquarian, John Aubrey who discovered them around 1666. The holes were dug to hold wooden posts. The ditch would have been dug by hand using animal bones. In recent excavations, archeologists have recovered animal bones such as deer antlers. The deer antlers were used to loosen up the underlying chalk. Thisfirst stage was built around 5,050 years ago.
The second phase was built around 4,000 years ago. Though this time it was rebuilt with bluestones. These bluestones were smaller than the ones you see in the pictures. Still each of them weighed around 5 tons. They were brought all the way from the Presceli Mountains in Pembroke, South Wales, which is 245 miles away. They would be dragged down to the sea, floated across the sea on huge rafts, brought up the river Avon, and finally into land where they are today.
The third phase began around 2,000 BC.
The second phase was not completed, work had stopped and was abandoned. That’s when the third phase began. Which is what we see today. This one was built with Sandstones not Bluestones. These Sandstones weighed over 25 tons each and were brough from Marlborough Downs, which is 20 miles away. It consists of 30 stones which are positioned in a circle and capp…