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A basic henge is simply a, roughly, circular space, enclosed by a ditch and bank earthwork, with an entrance, or entrances, leading to the centre.As a rule (there are, of course, exceptions), the bank is built up on the outside of the ditch – an arrangement usually regarded as being unsuitable for defensive purposes.
Considerable progress has, however, been made in unravelling Stonehenge's history, and, thanks to Radiocarbon Dating, answering a third important question: ‘the when’.
In about 2500BC, a circle (30 metres in diameter) of thirty sarsen uprights (standing approximately 4 metres above ground level), topped off by a continuous circuit of sarsen lintels, was erected around a horseshoe arrangement (the open end pointing in a The first appearance of bluestones in the middle of the henge – indeed, their first definite appearance anywhere on site – was in a concentric double arc setting.
The evidence for this placement is provided by the, so-called, , which lie between the sarsen circle and trilithon horseshoe settings.
Stone circles (where a space is enclosed by standing stones), presumably fulfilling a similar role, were also constructed.
Some henges combine a ditch and bank with a stone circle – including the two most famous (and magnificent), Stonehenge and Avebury, both in Wiltshire.