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Stonehenge

7 6 the Stonehenge LandScape the remains on the plain Stonehenge forms the centrepiece of a rich heritage, the remains of the socalled Wessex Culture, centred on Salisbury Plain. Within a few miles of the monument, the traveller may discover various types of barrow, marked o opposite, two unexplained cursusses long rectangular swathes of land enclosed by embanked sides, Woodhenge see page 32, many single standing stones, an 1800 foot long embanked avenue leading from Stonehenge, and not a few large postholes. The impressive Stonehenge cursus is over two miles long and averages 420 feet in width, enclosing over 100 acres of land. It has variously been described as a UFO runway, tornado strip or jousting arena. It was probably none of these, although why would anyone wish to construct such a strange alignment, especially so near to Stonehenge itself Stukeleys 1740 engraving of the cursus is shown opposite below. Stonehenge also appears curiously and not ideally sited on sloping ground. Because of this, the perfectly level ring of elevated lintels required their massive supporting stones to be of varying height. The bulk of these stones, the socalled sarsen stones, some weighing 50 tons, had to be transported over 20 miles from their quarry, a stone littered valley on Fyfield Down near Avebury. The smaller bluestones came from Wales, over 135 miles away. This eloquently informs us that the architects chose the location of the site with great forethought.
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