Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Allan S. Gilbert


  • Mike Parker PearsonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4409-0_108


Stonehenge is the world’s most famous stone circle, dating from the later prehistoric period (the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Early Bronze Age). It was built in five chronologically distinct stages, dated by statistical modeling of radiocarbon dates on antler picks deposited in construction contexts associated with each of the stages (Darvill et al., 2012).

Stonehenge is located on the chalk uplands of Salisbury Plain in southern Britain on high ground about a mile northwest of the River Avon. These chalk uplands never developed the dense canopy of postglacial forest found elsewhere in Britain, and Stonehenge’s first stage was built within a largely treeless landscape during the interval 3000–2755 cal BC. At this time, Stonehenge consisted of a circular bank and ditch enclosing a ring of 56 pits known as Aubrey Holes, named after the seventeenth century antiquary John Aubrey who surveyed the site. More than 300 postholes found within the center of the monument, within the...

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  1. Bevins, R. E., Ixer, R. A., and Pearce, N. J. G., 2014. Carn Goedog is the likely major source of Stonehenge doleritic bluestones: evidence based on compatible element geochemistry and principal components analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science, 42, 179–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK