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Stonehenge is the most famous prehistoric, mysterious circle of upright stones in southern England. Construction of the great monument began 5,000 years ago; the famous stones that still stand today were put in place about 4,000 years ago.
The great age, massive scale and mysterious purpose of Stonehenge draw over 800,000 visitors per year, and several thousand gather on the summer solstice to watch the sunrise at this ancient and mystical site. The stones are aligned almost perfectly with the sunrise on the summer solstice.
Stonehenge was built as a spectacular place of worship.
The current site is only part of the original Stonehenge. The original construction has suffered great from both weather damage and human pillage of its rock over the millennia. Stonehenge has been the subject of much archaeological and scientific inquiry and research, especially in the last century.
Archaeologists believe the construction of the site was carried out in three main stages, which have been labeled Stonehenge I, Stonehenge II and Stonehenge III.
Stonehenge stands in a grassy field in the Wiltshire countryside, and must have been a highly atmospheric site
Today people wonder how these vast stones were transported so far and erected. Over the years many theories have appeared and people continue to present their versions.
One speculation is that its builders were sun-worshippers and that the monument was a temple to the Sun. On the other hand, many scientists believe that it was used as a calendar to establish a fixed point in the year from which the annual calendar could be counted. Howerever, the most interesting theory is that of Professor Gerald Hawkins. He filmed the sunrise and showed that the sun rose exactly over the Altar Stone. He also proved that the stone circle could contain other exact astronomical measurements.