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How old is Stonehenge?

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The major stone construction was built around 4,500 years ago. See related links.

The construction phase information of Stonehenge is somewhat complex and under active discussion as a result of recent work by the Stonehenge Riverside Project and the S.P.A.C.E.S. project, but the indications are that the enclosing bank and ditch date to c3000BC, with the 56 Aubrey Holes around the inside of the bank coming very soon after - though whether these were occupied by timber posts or Bluestones (generally 2m tall, 4 tons in weight, from Preseli in South Wales) is still a matter of debate.

A number of timber constructions within this enclosure date to around this time, with the first Sarsens (these are the large stones - the biggest being over 9m long and weighing over 45 tons, probably from the Marlborough Downs) arriving and being erected as the 5 central Trilithons and the surrounding lintelled Sarsen Circle around 2,500BC.

It appears that the 'double arc' of Q&R holes, which held Bluestones, may have been contemporaneous with this Sarsen phase instead of pre-dating it as a temporary feature.

Around 2,200BC, the best examples of the Bluestones were re-arranged into an oval within the central Trilithon horseshoe and the remaining examples were set up in a ring just inside the Sarsen Circle.

Around 1,600BC the Z and then Y holes were dug outside the Sarsen Circle, but appear not to have ever held either posts or stones before they were back-filled.

Some time later (possibly as late as Roman times), the Bluestone oval was opened at the NE to form a horseshoe shape like that of the Trilithons, with which it shares the NE-SW (midsummer/midwinter solstice) orientation.
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