The site that I think was the most important/exciting that we discussed was Stonehenge. Prior to the class I knew of the site, but truly knew none of the details or anything. The only thing I knew was that it was a bunch of stones in a circle. However to much more than that.
I learned that they werent just any stone most of them were blue stones while some were made out of sandstone. The most the important thing was that it just wasnt the stones that made Stonehenge magnificent. The 56 Avebury holes that surround the site. Along with the huge embankments that go around the Avebury holes. There is also an amazing cursus that is approximately 3 kilometers long.
Off to the northeast of Stonehenge is a place called Woodhenge. Woodhenge is a place where wood post create circles. It was said that Woodhenge was the land of the living while Stonehenge was the land of the Dead. Barrows were a major feature to the sight as well with 100’s of them within the near area. Some barrows were unique by being so close together naturally called barrow groups.
Avebury is a small little town not far from Stonehenge that has an enormous stone circle with earthworks embankment. The large circle has ditches bigger than the site of Stonehenge does. The immediate area of Stonehenge is the most spectacular in all of Europe.
The actual creation of Stonehenge is mostly a mystery with some abstract guesses. It is most likely that it was built by the Druids members of the priestly class. The construction of the site started way back in 800 B.C. This was the first stage in construction called preconstruction lasting from 8,000 to 3,000 B.C. During this time the post hole were dug, Robinhoods ball was created and the Stonehenge Cursus was formed.
Second stage of Construction around 3100 B.C. there was some ditch construction. By phase 4 Stonehenge look the way we know it as. Had all the large blue stones and the horseshoe like center ring. After this phase little construction was done to the site.
The purpose of the magnificent structure is that it served as an astronomical observatory at some point in time. It aligned with the summer solstice. To this day many people still visit the site on the summer solstice and its the only day it is open to the public. In the winter it served as a religious center. Stonehenge mostly has seasonal importance.
Professor Watrall explained to us that Stonehenge itself is part of a much larger landscape which are all apart of a system.