Stonehenge is one of the greatest enigmas in the world. It is an ancient megalithic monument in Wiltshire, England believed to have been built around 2500 BC. Stonehenge consists of massive earth monuments arranged in a circular shape. It is located among other stone sites dating back to the Bronze and Neolithic Ages. Archeologists are not in full agreement as to how old the site really is. Some argue that the earliest earthworks were placed at the site as far back as 3000 BC. Apparently Stonehenge had been used as a burial ground from the beginning as well.
Some Sizes and Dimensions of Stonehenge
When viewed from afar, Stonehenge looks smaller than it really is. The tallest monument is 6.7 meters or 22 feet tall. A part of it is buried in the ground measuring at 2.4 meters or 8 feet.
The exterior part of Stonehenge is called the “Avenue.” It covers 530 meters or 3 kilometers of land heading from the Avon River towards the Bottom or northeastern opening of Stonehenge. The Avenue has a pair of channels about 12 meters away from each other. It is believed to be as old as the circle of stones in the center.
The Heel Stone
Standing by the entrance is an unrefined rock known as Heel Stone. It its thinnest areas it measures 2.4 meters thick and is about 4.7 meters tall. As foundation, another 2 meters lie underground. Archeological findings suggest that there might have been a second Heel Stone in the past.
Beyond Heel Stone is a formation made up of an inner bank and ditch. It is about 1.8 meters tall. Inside is a roughly shaped structure known as the Slaughter Stone, called so perhaps because of the red stains on it. In actuality the blood-like hue is due to water acting upon the iron content in the stone.
The well-known arrangement of stones is in the very heart of Stonehenge. The outer circle of sarsen stones were originally 30 in number. Each monument was about 4.1 meters in height, 1.1 meters thick, 2.1 meters in width and weighed about 25 tons. The structures formed a circle measuring 33 meters in diameter. 74 of these sarsens would have stood to form the full circle. The lantels on top measure 3.2 meters long, .8 meters thick and 1 meter wide.
A World Treasure
Stonehenge was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in history. When people come to England, it is very likely Stonehenge will be on their itinerary.