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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.
The earliest structures known in the immediate area are four or five pits, three of which appear to have held large pine ‘totem-pole like’ posts erected in the Mesolithic period, between 85 BC.
It is not known how these posts relate to the later monument of Stonehenge.
They may have been intended for a rearrangement of the stones that was never completed.
Since 1897, when the Ministry of Defence bought a vast tract of land on Salisbury Plain for army training exercises, the activities of the military have had an impact on the area.Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument.It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC.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.