| || Rising out of the Salisbury plain in southern England are the impressive remains of Stonehenge (“hanging stones”), built in several phases between 2800 and 1900 B.C. The monument was originally made up of about 125 monoliths arranged in four concentric circles, of which only the first two survive. These blocks of sandstone, weighing up to 30 tons and as tall as 23 feet (7 m), came from diverse regions, some even hundreds of miles aways. The site was constructed so that the sun rises in the axis of the main doorway on the morning of the summer solstice. In addition to its role as an astronomical calendar, Stonehenge might have been the center of religious cults, of which we have lost all traces. Along with the site of Avebury, also in Wiltshire, Stonehenge was named UNESCO world heritage site in 1986. These witnesses of European prehistory have survived through the ages, but retaining part of their mystery.
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