The prehistoric monument may have been constructed as part of an annual winter solstice ritual.
Rather than being the product of a long slow construction process, Stonehenge may have been built during a number of large gatherings involving as many as 4,000 people at a time when the entire population of the country only numbered in the tens of thousands. In the annual event people from all over the British Isles are thought to have congregated and contributed to the construction of the monument.
"It is not so much a temple, it is a monument and it seems the big theme is unification ... Stonehenge gets visited at certain points, people build and then go away," said Prof Mike Parker Pearson. "It's something that's Glastonbury festival and a motorway building scheme at the same time. It's not all fun, there's work too."
"The vast stone structure has long been the subject of the debate among historians, who have variously described it as a pagan temple, or an astronomical calendar or observatory."
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