Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England, near the cities of Amesbury and Salisbury. It is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks and one of the most famous ancient sites in the world. It lies in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England.
Archaeologists have not reached agreement as to when it was built. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC, whilst another theory suggests that bluestones may have been raised at the site as early as 3000 BC. However, the earliest phase of the monument -this is, the surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, has been dated to about 3100 BC.
Stonehenge is protected by a number of institutions, the most important of them being the UNESCO World Heritage program. The site and its surroundings were added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1986, along with Avebury Henge and other nearby sites. It is also a national legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Throughout history, the monument’s use and purpose have remained unknown. Archaeological evidence found in 2008 indicates that Stonehenge could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings. This possibility is backed by the dating of cremated remains found on the site indicate. This evidence shows that deposits contain human bone from as early as 3000 BC, when the ditch and bank were first dug. Such deposits continued at Stonehenge for at least another 500 years.
Nowadays, Stonehenge is one of the most visited sites by English and foreign tourists alike. It is a very popular spot for those who visit London, since it’s roughly 130 kilometers away and it can be reached by car or as a part of a guided tour.