About 64 cremations have been found, and perhaps as many as 150 individuals were originally buried at Stonehenge, making it the largest late Neolithic cemetery in the British Isles.In about 2500 BC the stones were set up in the centre of the monument.Two types of stone are used at Stonehenge – the larger sarsens and the smaller ‘bluestones’.
At this time, when much of the rest of southern England was largely covered by woodland, the chalk downland in the area of Stonehenge may have been an unusually open landscape.It is possible that this is why it became the site of an early Neolithic monument complex.This complex included the causewayed enclosure at Robin Hood’s Ball, two cursus monuments or rectangular earthworks (the Greater, or Stonehenge, and Lesser Cursus), and several long barrows, all dating from the centuries around 3500 BC.The presence of these monuments probably influenced the later location of Stonehenge.A stone (gneiss) macehead and bone pins found associated with cremated human remains in the Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge, evidence that very early in its development Stonehenge was a cemetery © English Heritage, with permission from Salisbury Museum but the earliest known major event was the construction of a circular ditch with an inner and outer bank, built about 3000 BC.
This enclosed an area about 100 metres in diameter, and had two entrances. Within the bank and ditch were possibly some timber structures and set just inside the bank were 56 pits, known as the Aubrey Holes.There has been much debate about what stood in these holes: the consensus for many years has been that they held upright timber posts, but recently the idea has re-emerged that some of them may have held stones.Within and around the Aubrey Holes, and also in the ditch, people buried cremations. It may not display all the features of this and other websites.To improve security and online experience, please use a different browser or update Internet Explorer.Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument.