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Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England, about 3 km west of Amesbury and 13 km north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists believe it was built between 3000 BC and 2000 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. Stonehenge was produced by a culture that left no written records. Many aspects of Stonehenge remain subject to debate. A number of myths surround the stones.

More recently two major new theories have been proposed. One has suggested that Stonehenge was a place of healing, due to the high number of burials in the area and for the evidence of trauma deformity in some of the graves. However this theory does concede that the site was probably multifunctional and used for ancestor worship as well.

On the other hand is a theory that suggests that Stonehenge was part of a ritual landscape and that Stonehenge was a domain of the dead. A journey along the river Avon to reach Stonehenge was part of a ritual passage from life to death, to celebrate past ancestors and the recently deceased.