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11 10 Stonehenge cuLture artefacts from the past What little we know about the people who built Stonehenge has traditionally come from archaeology. Accurate radiocarbon dating techniques have greatly assisted this process. Local museums in Salisbury and Devizes display wonderful treasures taken from the earth here. Fine gold artefacts, polished maces, riveted swordhafts, flint arrowheads and elegant pottery contrast with crude stone maul hammers, arthritic bones and low life expectancy. Polished mace and axeheads below date from 2500 BC and are often made from semiprecious stones. Fine flatbottomed beaker folk pottery circa 2300 BC, finely knapped arrowheads and an exquisitely decorated ceremonial bronze axehead from 2000 BC all illustrated opposite reveal a culture whose functional priorities were matched by artistic expertise. These people were not savages It is worthwhile imagining how such people could equip, feed and organise the labourers who undertook Dr Gerald Hawkins estimated twelve million manhours needed to construct Stonehenge, their finest artefact.
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