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Stonehenge
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Stonehenge

by Bernard Cornwell
Three brothers are the mighty pillars around which this epic novel is constructed. Bernard Cornwell transports the reader back to a time...
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Copyright © 1996-2001
C. Tabita (E-mail)

15054
The building of Stonehenge can be divided into four periods spanning approximately 2,000 years.

Phase I
Phase I began in approximately 3,100 B.C., and it consists of a circle with an approximately 320 foot diameter, consisting of a low outer bank surrounding a ditch with another bank about 6 feet high within this ditch. Inside the inner bank are the Aubrey Holes.

Phase II
Phase II began around 2,100 B.C., and it is believed that this phase was conducted by the Beaker culture, who were named so because of the form and style of their pottery. The Avenue was built, an earthwork approach road leading to the entrance of the bank and ditch. It included the addition of 80 bluestones in two rings in the center. These bluestones are believed to have come from the Preseli Mountains in south-west Wales, 130 miles away. However, water travel alleviated much of the hassle of moving stones that great of a distance so that only a short land journey remained, from Amesbury to Stonehenge along the Avenue.

Phase III
Phase III lasted from about 2,000 B.C. to 1,100 B.C., and consisted of the removal of the bluestone circle and the erection of a ring of 30 sarsen-stone uprights, linked by stone lintels. The ring is about 16 feet high and was approximately 30.5 meters (100 feet) in diameter. Inside are five taller trilithons. The sarsen-stones came from the Marlborough Downs, a 30 kilometer (20 mile) distance away. Lastly the bluestones were re-erected in the center in an oval structure that contained at least two miniature trilithons, and the rest were to be set in two concentric circles (in the Y & Z holes) around the sarsen circle. The plan was later abandoned, and in approximately 1,550 B.C. the bluestones were rearranged again in the circle and horseshoe.

Phase IV
Phase IV (1,100 B.C.) involved the extending of the Avenue to the River Avon, 2 km (1.25 miles) from Stonehenge.


Professor Gerald Hawkins, author of Stonehenge Decoded, has estimated that Stonehenge took about 1,500,000 working days* to construct, and that it involved about 1,000 workers at a time.

*-Working days - number of workers number of days worked (i.e. 1000 workers working for 2 days amounts to 2000 working days)