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Stonehenge

21 20 Around 2600 BC the famous Sarsen Circle was constructed, with its unique level circle of raised sarsen stone lintels, together with the five massive inner trilithons, of which three stand today. As the trilithon stones do not fit through the gaps in the Sarsen Circle, one must assume that these beasts were erected first. The sarsens were brought from Fyfield Down, 17 miles directly to the north of Stonehenge. The Sarsen Circle was dressed on the stones inner faces, and once supported a complete circle of thirty lintels about 15 feet above the ground. The trilithons were more finely dressed, yet curiously one of each pair of uprights was left rough. The five trilithons varied in height from 17 to 25 feet. The diameter of the Sarsen Circle through the centreline of the lintels is 100.8 feet. The elliptical trilithon horseshoe measures 40 by 70 feet. Sarsen is a sandstone several times harder than granite, and was dressed on site using sarsen mauls, weighing up to 63lb. Over 1800 of these have been excavated, many used as backfill after the upright stones had been placed into their positions. Before this mammoth undertaking the earlier bluestone henge was dismantled and afterwards rearranged within the Sarsen Circle as an inner circle of 59 or 60 stones, 75 feet in diameter, together with a 39 foot horseshoe of nineteen slender examples, each stone standing about 7 feet high. Finally, the dressed 13 foot high altar stone completed the edifice see plan on page 47. SarSenS trILIthonS prehistoric monsters from a neolithic past
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