Parts of Stonehenge May Have Been In Place Long Before Humans


One of the mysteries of Stonehenge is why its giant stones were dragged to an unremarkable hillside instead of being erected where they were originally found. One archaeologist might have an answer—some of the stones were already there. (Science Alert)

Learn a little more about the stones of Stonehenge, and test yourself with our 5-question Quick Quiz!

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit.

The Heelstone, foreground, sits slightly outside the main semi-circles at Stonehenge.
Photograph courtesy The Stones of Stonehenge. CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0

Discussion Ideas

  • New research investigates the possible origins of at least two stones at Stonehenge. What is Stonehenge?
    • What we know:
      • Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain, in the county of Wiltshire, in southwest England. Archaeologists think it was constructed over the course of more than 1,000 years, between the Neolithic (~3000 BCE) and Bronze Age (~1500 BCE).
      • Stonehenge consists of concentric circles and semi-circles of earthen ditches and mounds, standing timbers (now eroded), and upright carved stones. Some stones were freestanding, while others were topped by lintels. The largest stones reach 4 meters (13 feet) high, 2.1 meters (7 feet) wide, and weigh about 25 tons.
      • Stonehenge’s central “avenue” is aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice and the sunrise of the summer solstice.
      • The Stonehenge site includes hundreds ritual burial mounds, called barrows, as well as cremated remains.
        • Many of those buried at Stonehenge did not come from England. Archaeologists have unearthed remains of people from Wales, Brittany (on France’s Atlantic coast), the Alps, and even the Mediterranean.
    • What we don’t know:
      • Archaeologists and historians don’t know exactly what Stonehenge was used for, although almost all agree it was a multi-function site that served many purposes. Some ideas:


  • The Stonehenge stones that were analyzed are called sarsens. What are sarsens?


This lovely diagram of Stonehenge circles the Heelstone and Stone 16 in red.
Illustration by Adamsan, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0




Science Alert: An Archaeologist Says Parts of Stonehenge Were There Long Before Any Humans

British Archaeology: Stonehenge Without Borders

Nat Geo: Stonehenge Quick Quiz

The Stones of Stonehenge

English Heritage: History of Stonehenge

UNESCO World Heritage: Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites

Nat Geo: New Discovery Solves a Mystery at Stonehenge

Nat Geo: Stonehenge and the Roots of Monotheism

7 thoughts on “Parts of Stonehenge May Have Been In Place Long Before Humans

  1. Clear your mind of all you have learnt about Stonehenge and start again.
    What do we know of it ? It is there on salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England. 51.1789°N latitude.
    When is it first found in historic records ? The earliest English record I can find is about 1100, Geoffrey of Monmouth mentions it.
    But could it be written about in 3,400 BC ? In the Book of Enoch ? ‘ When the sun rises in heaven he comes forth through that fourth portal. Are these portals the trilothons of Stonehenge ? Further reading’ And it returns to the East and enters into the sixth portal…….on that day the day becomes longer than the night and the day becomes double the night. The day becomes twelve parts and the night six.’
    A reading of the Book of Enoch shows that he was somewhere about 51°N and studied the apparent motion of the sun and moon for a year or more in an observatory with several portals or windows. Stonehenge sits at 51.1789°N where on the summer solstice the sun rises at 45° NE and sets at 45 NW and daylight is 16 hours to 8 hours dark. Where else could Enochhhh have been but Stonehenge ?
    The date of 3,400 BC is taken from the Ussher timescale but I suggest it is far older and pre-dates the cosmic cataclysm that destroyed many ancient sites around the world. Built by the Annunaki or Sumerians It was a magnificent structure of dressed stones with mortice and tenons on the lintels and dovetails locking them together.What we see now is the distorted remains left by the plasma event.

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