Megalitter i England
Stonehenge er beliggende på Salisbury Plains i England ca. 137 km sydvest fra London.
Stonehenge er en stor dobbelt cirkel af sten. Indercirklen er bygget af mindre lokale
sten, mens de store ydersten er fragtet til stedet fra et stenbrud flere hundrede
kilometer væk. Mange af disse store megalitter vejer mange tons. Den menes at være
bygget for ca. 4000 år siden.
William Cunnington udførte de første kendte udgravninger på stedet i 1798. I april
2008 gennemførtes en omfattende udgravning af et 3x4 meter stort område inden for
kredsen af sten.
De 12 dage, hvor de mest spektakulære udgravninger foregik blev løbende fulgt og dokumenteret
af BBC's historieafdeling Timewatch. Det mest markante resultat af udgravninger
var en veldokumenteret teori og påvisning af Stonehenge som et centrum for helbredelse
evt. i form af healing, og de to eksperter antager, at stedet tiltrak såvel syge som
folk med evner til at helbrede. Samtidig lykkedes det også de to forskere at
datere opførelsen af Stonehenge til år 2300 før vor tidsregning.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) west of Amesbury and 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones and sits at the centre of the densest complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists had believed that the iconic stone monument was erected around 2500 BC, as described in the chronology below. However one recent theory has suggested that the first stones were not erected until 2400-2200 BC, whilst another suggests that bluestones may have been erected at the site as early as 3000 BC (see phase 1 below). The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 in a co-listing with Avebury henge monument, and it is also a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. Stonehenge itself is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage while the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust.
New archaeological evidence found by the Stonehenge Riverside Project indicates that Stonehenge served as a burial ground from its earliest beginnings. The dating of cremated remains found that burials took place as early as 3000 BC, when the first ditches were being built around the monument. Burials continued at Stonehenge for at least another 500 years when the giant stones which mark the landmark were put up. According to Professor Mike Parker Pearson, head of Stonehenge Riverside Project:
“ Stonehenge was a place of burial from its beginning to its zenith in the mid third millennium B.C. The cremation burial dating to Stonehenge's sarsen stones phase is likely just one of many from this later period of the monument's use and demonstrates that it was still very much a domain of the dead.
Stonehenge 1 (ca. 3100 BC)
Stonehenge 1. After Cleal et al.The first monument consisted of a circular bank and ditch enclosure made of Late Cretaceous (Santonian Age) Seaford Chalk, (7 and 8) measuring around 110 metres (360 ft) in diameter with a large entrance to the north east and a smaller one to the south (14). It stood in open grassland on a slightly sloping but not especially remarkable spot. The builders placed the bones of deer and oxen in the bottom of the ditch as well as some worked flint tools. The bones were considerably older than the antler picks used to dig the ditch and the people who buried them had looked after them for some time prior to burial. The ditch itself was continuous but had been dug in sections, like the ditches of the earlier causewayed enclosures in the area. The chalk dug from the ditch was piled up to form the bank. This first stage is dated to around 3100 BC after which the ditch began to silt up naturally and was not cleared out by the builders. Within the outer edge of the enclosed area was dug a circle of 56 pits, each around 1 metre (3.3 ft) in diameter (13), known as the Aubrey holes after John Aubrey, the seventeenth century antiquarian who was thought to have first identified them. The pits may have contained standing timbers, creating a timber circle although there is no excavated evidence of them. A recent excavation has suggested that the Aubrey Holes may have originally been used to erect a bluestone circle. If this were the case it would advance the earliest known stone structure at the monument by some 500 years. A small outer bank beyond the ditch could also date to this period.
Stonehenge 2 (ca. 3000 BC)
Evidence of the second phase is no longer visible. It appears from the number of postholes dating to this period that some form of timber structure was built within the enclosure during the early 3rd millennium BC. Further standing timbers were placed at the northeast entrance and a parallel alignment of posts ran inwards from the southern entrance. The postholes are smaller than the Aubrey Holes, being only around 0.4 metres (16 in) in diameter and are much less regularly spaced. The bank was purposely reduced in height and the ditch continued to silt up. At least twenty-five of the Aubrey Holes are known to have contained later, intrusive, cremation burials dating to the two centuries after the monument's inception. It seems that whatever the holes' initial function, it changed to become a funerary one during Phase 2. Thirty further cremations were placed in the enclosure's ditch and at other points within the monument, mostly in the eastern half. Stonehenge is therefore interpreted as functioning as an enclosed cremation cemetery at this time, the earliest known cremation cemetery in the British Isles. Fragments of unburnt human bone have also been found in the ditch fill. Late Neolithic grooved ware pottery has been found in connection with the features from this phase providing dating evidence.
Stonehenge 3 I (ca. 2600 BC)
Stonehenge from the heelstone in 2007 with the 'Slaughter Stone' in the foregroundArchaeological excavation has indicated that around 2600 BC, timber was abandoned in favour of stone, and two concentric arrays of holes (the Q and R Holes) were dug in the centre of the site. These stone sockets are only partly known (hence on present evidence are sometimes described as forming ‘crescents’), however they could be the remains of a double ring. Again, there is little firm dating evidence for this phase. The holes held up to 80 standing stones (shown blue on the plan) only 43 of which can be traced today. The bluestones (some of which are made of dolerite, an igneous rock), were thought for much of the 20th century to have been transported by humans from the Preseli Hills, 250 kilometres (160 mi) away in modern day Pembrokeshire in Wales. A newer theory is that they were brought from glacial deposits much nearer the site, which had been carried down from the northern side of the Preselis to southern England by the
Irish Sea Glacier. Other standing stones may well have been small sarsens, used later as lintels. The stones, which weighed about four tons, consisted mostly of spotted Ordovician dolerite but included examples of rhyolite, tuff and volcanic and calcareous ash; in total around 20 different rock types are represented. Each monolith measures around 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height, between 1 m and 1.5 m (3.3-4.9 ft) wide and around 0.8 metres (2.6 ft) thick. What was to become known as the Altar Stone (1), is almost certainly derived from either Carmarthenshire or the Brecon Beacons and may have stood as a single large monolith.
Plan of the central stone structure today. After Johnson 2008The north eastern entrance was also widened at this time with the result that it precisely matched the direction of the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset of the period. This phase of the monument was abandoned unfinished however, the small standing stones were apparently removed and the Q and R holes purposefully backfilled. Even so, the monument appears to have eclipsed the site at Avebury in importance towards the end of this phase.
The Heelstone (5), a Tertiary sandstone, may also have been erected outside the north eastern entrance during this period although it cannot be securely dated and may have been installed at any time in phase 3. At first, a second stone, now no longer visible, joined it. Two, or possibly three, large portal stones were set up just inside the north eastern entrance of which only one, the fallen Slaughter Stone (4), 4.9 metres (16 ft) long, now remains. Other features loosely dated to phase 3 include the four Station Stones (6), two of which stood atop mounds (2 and 3). The mounds are known as 'barrows' although they do not contain burials. Stonehenge Avenue, (10), a parallel pair of ditches and banks leading 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the River Avon was also added. Two ditches similar to Heelstone Ditch circling the Heelstone, which was by then reduced to a single monolith, were later dug around the Station Stones.
Stonehenge 3 II (2600 BC to 2400 BC)
The next major phase of activity saw 30 enormous Oligocene-Miocene sarsen stones (shown grey on the plan) brought to the site. They may have come from a quarry around 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Stonehenge, on the Marlborough Downs, or they may have been collected from a "litter" of sarsens on the chalk downs, closer to hand. The stones were dressed and fashioned with mortise and tenon joints before 30 were erected as a 33 metres (110 ft) diameter circle of standing stones, with a ring of 30 lintel stones resting on top. The lintels were fitted to one another using another woodworking method, the tongue and groove joint. Each standing stone was around 4.1 metres (13 ft) high, 2.1 metres (6 ft 11 in) wide and weighed around 25 tons. Each had clearly been worked with the final effect in mind; the orthostats widen slightly towards the top in order that their perspective remains constant as they rise up from the ground while the lintel stones curve slightly to continue the circular appearance of the earlier monument. The sides of the stones that face inwards are smoother and more finely worked than the sides that face outwards. The average thickness of these stones is 1.1 metres (3 ft 7 in) and the average distance between them is 1 metre (3 ft 3 in). A total of 74 stones would have been needed to complete the circle and unless some of the sarsens were removed from the site, it would seem that the ring was left incomplete. Of the lintel stones, they are each around 3.2 metres (10 ft), 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) wide and 0.8 metres (2 ft 7 in) thick. The tops of the lintels are 4.9 metres (16 ft) above the ground.
Within this circle stood five trilithons of dressed sarsen stone arranged in a horseshoe shape 13.7 metres (45 ft) across with its open end facing north east. These huge stones, ten uprights and five lintels, weigh up to 50 tons each and were again linked using complex jointing. They are arranged symmetrically; the smallest pair of trilithons were around 6 metres (20 ft) tall, the next pair a little higher and the largest, single trilithon in the south west corner would have been 7.3 metres (24 ft) tall. Only one upright from the Great Trilithon still stands; 6.7 metres (22 ft) is visible and a further 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) is below ground.
Graffiti on the sarsen stones. Below are ancient carvings of a dagger and an axeThe images of a 'dagger' and 14 'axe-heads' have been recorded carved on one of the sarsens, known as stone 53. Further axe-head carvings have been seen on the outer faces of stones known as numbers 3, 4, and 5. They are difficult to date but are morphologically similar to later Bronze Age weapons; recent laser scanning work on the carvings supports this interpretation. The pair of trilithons in north east are smallest, measuring around 6 metres (20 ft) in height and the largest is the trilithon in the south west of the horseshoe is almost 7.5 metres (25 ft) tall.
This ambitious phase is radiocarbon dated to between 2600 and 2400 BC. This is slightly before two sets of burials discovered 4.8 kilometres (3.0 mi) to the west in Amesbury (the Amesbury Archer found in 2002, and the Boscombe Bowmen discovered in 2003) as well as the Stonehenge Archer whose body was discovered in the outer ditch of the monument in 1978.
At a similar time a large timber circle and another avenue were constructed overlooking the River Avon 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) away at Durrington Walls. Opposing the solar alignments at Stonehenge, the circle was orientated towards the rising sun on the midwinter solstice, whilst the Avenue led from the river to the circle on an alignment to the setting sun on the summer solstice. Evidence of huge fires on the banks of the Avon between the two avenues also suggests that both circles were linked, and perhaps formed a procession route used on the longest and shortest days of the year. Parker Pearson speculates that the wooden circle at Durrington Walls was the centre of a 'land of the living', whilst the stone circle represented a 'land of the dead'. The Avon would have served as a journey between the two.
Stonehenge 3 III
Later in the Bronze Age, the bluestones appear to have been re-erected for the first time, although the exact details of this period are still unclear. They were placed within the outer sarsen circle and at this time may have been trimmed in some way. A few have timber working-style cuts in them like the sarsens themselves, suggesting they may have been linked with lintels and part of a larger structure during this phase.
Stonehenge 3 IV (2280 BC to 1930 BC)
This phase saw further rearrangement of the bluestones as they were placed in a circle between the two settings of sarsens and in an oval in the very centre. Some archaeologists argue that some of the bluestones in this period were part of a second group brought from Wales. All the stones were well-spaced uprights without any of the linking lintels inferred in Stonehenge 3 III. The Altar Stone may have been moved within the oval and stood vertically. Although this would seem the most impressive phase of work, Stonehenge 3 IV was rather shabbily built compared to its immediate predecessors, as the newly re-installed bluestones were not at all well founded and began to fall over. However, only minor changes were made after this phase. Stonehenge 3 IV dates from 2280 to 1930 BC.
Stonehenge 3 V (2280 BC to 1930 BC)
Soon afterwards, the north eastern section of the Phase 3 IV Bluestone circle was removed, creating a horseshoe-shaped setting termed the Bluestone Horseshoe. This mirrored the shape of the central sarsen Trilithons and dates from 2270 to 1930 BC. This phase is contemporary with the famous Seahenge site in Norfolk.
After the monument (1600 BC on)
The last known construction at Stonehenge was about 1600 BC (see 'Y and Z Holes' below), and the last known usage of it was likely during the Iron Age. Roman coins and medieval artefacts have all been found in or around the monument but it is unknown if the monument was in continuous use throughout prehistory and beyond — or exactly how it would have been used. Notable is the late 7th-6th century BC large arcing Scroll Trench which deepens E-NE towards Heelstone, and the construction of the massive Iron Age hillfort Vespasian's Camp built alongside the Avenue near the Avon. The burial of a decapitated 7th century Saxon man was excavated from Stonehenge. The site was known by scholars during the Middle Ages and since then it has been studied and adopted by numerous different groups.
Avebury is the site of a large henge and several stone circles in the English county of Wiltshire surrounding the village of Avebury. It is one of the finest and largest Neolithic monuments in Europe dating to around 5,000 years ago. It is older than the megalithic stages of Stonehenge, which is located about 32 kilometres (20 mi) to the south, although the two monuments are broadly contemporary overall. It lies approximately midway between the towns of Marlborough and Calne, just off the main A4 road on the northbound A4361 towards Wroughton. The henge is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a World Heritage Site.
Avebury is a National Trust property.
Part of the outer circle
Avebury Panorama (April, 2003)Most of the surviving structure consists of earthworks known as the dykes, consisting of a massive ditch and external bank henge 421 metres (1,381 ft) in diameter and 1.35 kilometres (0.84 mi) in circumference. The only known comparable sites of similar date (Stonehenge and Flagstones in Dorset) are only a quarter of the size of Avebury. The ditch alone was 21 metres (69 ft) wide and 11 metres (36 ft) deep, with its primary fill carbon dated to between 3400 and 2625 BC. A later date in this period is more likely although excavation of the bank has demonstrated that it has been enlarged, presumably using material excavated from the ditch. The fill at the bottom of the final ditch would therefore post-date any in an earlier, shallower ditch that no longer exists.
Within the henge is a great Outer Circle constituting prehistory's largest stone circle with a diameter of 335 metres (1,099 ft). It was contemporary with or built around four or five centuries after the earthworks. There were originally 98 sarsen standing stones some weighing in excess of 40 tons. They varied in height from 3.6 to 4.2 m as exemplified at the north and south entrances. Carbon dates from the fills of the stoneholes date between 2800 and 2400 BC.
Nearer the middle of the monument are two other, separate stone circles. The Northern inner ring measures 98 metres (322 ft) in diameter, although only two of its standing stones remain with two further, fallen ones. A cove of three stones stood in the middle, its entrance pointing northeast.
The stone avenueThe Southern inner ring was 108 metres (354 ft) in diameter before its destruction. The remaining sections of its arc now lie beneath the village buildings. A single large monolith, 5.5 metres (18 ft) high, stood in the centre along with an alignment of smaller stones until their destruction in the eighteenth century. There is an avenue of paired stones, the West Kennet Avenue, leading from the south eastern entrance of the henge and traces of a second, the Beckhampton Avenue lead out from the western one.
Aubrey Burl conjectures a sequence of construction beginning with the North and South Circles erected around 2800 BC, followed by the Outer Circle and henge around two hundred years later and the two avenues added around 2400 BC.
A timber circle of two concentric rings, identified through archaeological geophysics possibly stood in the northeast sector of the outer circle, although this awaits testing by excavation. A ploughed barrow is also visible from the air in the northwestern quadrant.
The henge had four entrances, two opposing ones on a north by northwest and south by southeast line, and two on an east by northeast and west by southwest line.
Despite being a man-made structure, it was featured on the 2005 TV programme Seven Natural Wonders as one of the wonders of the West Country because it consists of natural components.
This remarkable and quite atmospheric megalithic complex has so much to say for itself that entire books have been written on the place, dealing with its archaeology, folklore and ritual use.
As a result, it would be unwise of us to attempt supplying you with everything there is to be said about this arena. The Rollright complex today consists primarily of three sites: the Whispering Knight's portal dolmen, the King's Men stone circle, and the King Stone. Of these, it is the stone circle which draws most attention. Several alignments are connected with the com plex. The original ritual use of the place would have, primarily, involved rites of passage and death rituals. Women would have played a large part in the ritual use and possible geomantic layout of the original complex. It is likely that the stone circle was used as a moot spot, which may have been in use until medieval times. The recent discovery of the carving of a family crest, at least 500 years old, implies this.
Used as the prime base for what was known as the Dragon Project, a variety of electromagnetic anomalies were recorded here by the scientists and geomancers involved in the work over many years. Much of this was published in Paul Devereux's Places of Power - required reading for everyone who pretends an interest in megalithic sciences.
The King's Men is a near-perfect circle of oolitic limestone uprights. Thought for centuries to be the memorial site of some victory by the Danish King Rollo, they have been described by many historians, travellers and antiquarians from the 14th century upwards. Several early writers described a sort of "avenue" running from the circle, not unlike the one perceived at Stonehenge and elsewhere. Evidence for this cannot be fully disregarded, as there are some recumbent monoliths along the road beside the stone complex, known as the Jurassic Way. This was a prehistoric trade route and it is more likely than not that some other uprights would have been nearby.
Folklore ascribes that the number of stones in the complex cannot be counted (a motif found at other megalithic sites) and, intrigu ingly, of the surveys done here, no two agree. One early illustration of the circle shows 30 stones, nother describes 46, and one survey describes just 22 stones! As the twentieth century progressed the num bers increased dramatically, with surveys differing at 58, 60, 71, 72, 73, 77 and 105. The present-day 'guesstimate' is about 77. Weird!
Folklore tells that if you can count the stones three times in a row and get the same number, you may have any wish you choose. But recently this has become reversed and it is said to be a curse if you count three times the same. Intriguingly, modern visitors who allege no superstitious beliefs, will not count the stones a third time if the same number crops up twice.
The best-known folk tale of this place is of the King, his men and the knights, who "were once men who were changed into vast rocks and fossilised," as Camden first put it in 1586. The King's men sometimes go to drink at a well near Little Rollright, as does the king, but he only goes at certain times. At midnight however, on certain days, the King's Men have sometimes been known to come to life, join hands and dance in a circle. This sounds more like a folk remnant of ritual use here.
Faerie folk are said to live beneath the circle, in great caverns, some of which are linked up to the single monolith across the road. Ravenhill  described how local folk had sometimes seen the little people dancing around the circle by moonlight, but nobody has seen them of late.
Hadrian's Wall (Latin: perhaps Vallum Aelium, "the Aelian wall") is a stone and turf fortification built by the Roman Empire across the width of what is now northern England. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the middle of three such fortifications built across Great Britain, the first being from the River Clyde to the River Forth under Agricola and the last the Antonine Wall. All were built to prevent raids on Roman Britain by the Pictish tribes (ancient inhabitants of Scotland) to the north, to improve economic stability and provide peaceful conditions in Britain, and to mark physically the frontier of the Empire. Hadrian's Wall is the best known of the three because its physical presence remains most evident today.
The wall marked the northern limes in Britain and also the most heavily fortified border in the Empire. In addition to its use as a military fortification, it is thought that the gates through the wall would also have served as customs posts to allow trade taxation.
A significant portion of the wall still exists, particularly the mid-section, and for much of its length the wall can be followed on foot or by bicycle. It is the most popular tourist attraction in Northern England, where it is often known simply as the Roman Wall. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. English Heritage, a government organization in charge of managing the historic environment of England, describes it as "the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain".
Sections of Hadrian's Wall remain near Greenhead and along the route, though other large sections have been dismantled over the years to use the stones for various nearby construction projects.Hadrian's Wall was 80 Roman miles (73.5 statute miles or 117 kilometres) long, its width and height dependent on the construction materials which were available nearby. East of River Irthing the wall was made from squared stone and measured 3 metres (9.7 ft) wide and five to six metres (16–20 ft) high, while west of the river the wall was made from turf and measured 6 metres (20 ft) wide and 3.5 metres (11.5 ft) high. This does not include the wall's ditches, berms, and forts. The central section measured eight Roman feet wide (7.8 ft or 2.4 m) on a 10-foot (3.0 m) base. Some parts of this section of the wall survive to a height of 10 feet (3.0 m).
Map showing the location of Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's wall near HousesteadsHadrian's Wall extended west from Segedunum at Wallsend on the River Tyne to the shore of the Solway Firth. The A69 and B6318 roads follow the course of the wall as it starts in Newcastle upon Tyne to Carlisle, then on round the northern coast of Cumbria. The wall is entirely in England and south of the border with Scotland by 15 kilometres (9 mi) in the west and 110 kilometres (68 mi) in the east.
Purpose of construction
Hadrian's Wall was built following a visit by Roman Emperor Hadrian (AD 76–138) in AD 122. Hadrian was experiencing military difficulties in Roman Britain and from the peoples of various conquered lands across the Empire, including Egypt, Judea, Libya, Mauretania, and many of the peoples conquered by his predecessor Trajan, so he was keen to impose order. However the construction of such an impressive wall was probably also a symbol of Roman power, both in occupied Britain and in Rome.
Frontiers in the early empire were largely based on natural features or fortified zones with a heavy military presence. Military roads often marked the border, with forts and signal towers spread along them, and it was not until the reign of Domitian that the first solid frontier was constructed, in Germania Superior, using a simple fence. Hadrian expanded this idea, redesigning the German border by ordering a continuous timber palisade supported by forts behind it. Although such defences would not have held back any concerted invasion effort, they did physically mark the edge of Roman territory and went some way to providing a degree of control over who crossed the border and where. The wall was constructed primarily to prevent entrance by small bands of raiders or unwanted immigration from the north, not as a fighting line for a major invasion. They would have made cattle-raiding across the frontier extremely difficult.
Hadrian reduced Roman military presence in the territory of the Brigantes, who lived between the rivers Tyne and Humber, and concentrated on building a more solid linear fortification to the north of them. This was intended to replace the Stanegate road which is generally thought to have served as the limes (the boundary of the Roman Empire) until then.
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