The famous Stonehenge monument in Wiltshire, England.

Stonehenge is not the only prehistoric monument that has been moved - but it is still unique

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It’s also possible that the bluestones were put up somewhere on Salisbury Plain before they arrived at Stonehenge. For example, one of the bluestones never quite made it to Stonehenge and was dug out in 1801 from the top layer of a Neolithic burial mound called  Boles Barrow, near Warminster , also in Wiltshire.

Bluestones at Carn Menyn in Wales

Bluestones at Carn Menyn in Wales ( public domain )

Although this tomb was first built around 3700BC, it seems to have gone through modifications, of which adding a layer of large stones (mostly local sarsen stones and this one bluestone) happened at the end of its use. So we don’t know precisely when it got there but it may have been set up as a burial marker before the rest of the bluestones were erected at Stonehenge.

Rebuilding tombs and other megalithic structures as second-hand monuments is only now turning out to be recognised in various parts of western Europe as archaeologists start to look more closely at the detailed aspects of construction. Simple expediency of finding suitable stone does not explain sites such as Stonehenge and the Table des Marchand – they were most likely incorporating aspects of the past which had rich historical resonance for them.

Featured Image:  The famous Stonehenge monument in Wiltshire, England.  Howard Ignatius/ Flickr

The article ‘ Stonehenge isn’t the only prehistoric monument that’s been moved – but it’s still unique ’ by Mike Parker Pearson was originally published on The Conversation and has been republished under a Creative Commons license.

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