Stonehenge, possibly the most famous prehistoric site in Europe, is the centre of one of the world's earliest cultures. The monument consists of a megalithic stone circle featuring a number of massive trilithons (two vertical stones capped by a horizontal lintel) on an isolated part of the Salisbury plain. The stone circle of Stonehenge was started 5000 years ago, although it was 1500 years latter that the trilithons that make Stonehenge instantly recognizable were erected. While the larger Sarsen stones were brought from 19 miles away, the smaller Bluestones were from the mystical Preseli Mountains of Wales, 240 miles away. Estimates of the manpower needed to build Stonehenge put the total effort involved at millions of men-hours of work.
Avebury has a much larger circle (348-meter diameter), erected in between the two construction periods of Stonehenge. The standing stones, which are smaller, are not as densely concentrated. Instead they are set in a number of pastures surrounding the village. Unlike at Stonehenge, visitors can roam freely around the stones.
The prehistoric sites of Stonehenge and Avebury form a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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