The Construction

Constructed without the use of draft animals and shaped by stone tools, Stonehenge was erected many miles from the quarry from which the stones came. It is an amazing feat of engineering. Other then that, the two main materials of the Stonehenge, the bluestone and the sarsens, were difficult to obtain. The bluestone is a mixture of rocks found on the Preseli Mountains in SW Wales. The most widely accepted theory regards the arrival of the bluestones on Salisbury Plain as the result of human effort, with the route being partly overland and partly by water. Sarsen stones are hard-grained sandstone with with a silaceous cement. They were probably brought to the site from the Marlborough Downs, about 30 km to the north of Stonehenge.

Current archaeological research shows that this site was constructed and modified on various phases, spanning several centuries:

PRE-STONEHENGE (9th-8th millennium BC): at least 4 mesolithic pits which originally contained big pine posts, in a line about 200m from the present henge site.


Phase I

Stonehenge 1 (from 3100 BC): 

Phase II

Stonehenge 2 (from 2550 BC): 

Phase III

 

Stonehenge 3 (from 2100 BC): sequence of stone-related structures. A close dating is not possible, but the sequence was probably as follows: