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Stonehenge

53 52 Stonehenge dwarfed Avebury, the worlds largest stone circle The huge sarsen stone circle at Avebury has a perimeter two thirds of a mile around, using stones up to 60 tons in weight. Now ruinous, and once part of an immense neolithic complex centred on the source of the Stonehenge sarsen stones, Avebury lies 17 miles due north of its younger cousin. The centre of the Avebury henge is located at a latitude precisely 3607 degrees. Stukeleys famed serpent engraving of 1743 is shown below. The main stone circle once consisted of 99 stones, and fed two long stone avenues. Nearby one may still find Europes largest artificial earthen mound, the magnificent Silbury Hill, long barrows see page 55, and a wonderfully intact neolithic landscape. Like Stonehenge, Avebury may also be used to provide a calendar. In eight years, the Sun, Moon and Venus repeat their cycles, within a day or two, after 99 lunations. The two internal circles, 340 feet in diameter, are both larger than Stonehenge. They once counted 27 and 29 stones, totalling 56 and strongly suggesting the two lunar monthly cycles of 27.3 and 29.5 days.
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