Archaeoastronomy: The study of stones and stars


Stonehenge may be the most well-known of the prehistoric standing stone sites, though it is not the oldest or the biggest. Built between 3000 B.C.E. and 2000 B.C.E, the monument consists of concentric rings of standing stones surrounded by a ditch (or “henge”).

One of the unique things about this site is that the stones have lintels, or giant stones placed across their tops. The circle entrances are aligned to the sunrise of the summer solstice and the sunset of the winter solstice.

picture by garethwiscombe, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia
Trilithon lintels omitted for clarity. Holes that no longer, or never, contained stones are shown as open circles. Stones visible today are shown coloured. Drawn by Adamsan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
picture by Ion Tichy, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia

“Ask the old gray standing stones that show the sun its way to bed.”

–Jethro Tull, Cup of Wonder

Click here to to visit the official Stonehenge site..

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