The History of Stonehenge for Kids: Stonehenge for Children – FreeSchool

You’re watching FreeSchool! Deep in the heart of England, by the side
of a road, stands a massive stone monument that has mystified visitors for millennia. It is called Stonehenge, and it is an ancient
stone circle, older than the pyramids of Giza. What little is known about its history has
been pieced together by archaeologists, because it is so old that there is no written record
of its construction, or of its original purpose. Stonehenge is probably between 4,000 and 5,000
years old, and its construction was spread across hundreds or even thousands of years. It was used, among other things, as a place
of burial. Some think it may also have been used as a
calendar, or as a place to study the movements of the stars and worship the Sun and Moon. Although we may never know exactly why Stonehenge
was built, most believe it was used for religious ceremonies. The earliest versions of Stonehenge were made
of earthworks and ditches dug with tools made of antlers. This was eventually replaced by some kind
of wooden structure, which was replaced in turn by circles of massive standing stones. The stones at Stonehenge were brought there
over a period of several hundred years. The largest stones, called sarsens, measure
up to 30 feet or 9 meters tall and weigh an average of 25 tons. These stones were probably transported 20
miles or 32 kilometers to Stonehenge. Some of the smaller stones, called bluestones,
are believed to have been brought from Wales, more than 140 miles or 225 kilometers away. Although they are smaller than the massive
sarsens, the bluestones still weigh an average of 4 tons each, and archaeologists are baffled
as to how they were transported so far without modern technology – or even the wheel! Some people think the stones were rolled on
tree trunks, or dragged in huge baskets pulled by oxen. Others believe they were moved by boat, with
the help of the nearby river Avon. However the stones were moved, they were placed
with incredible precision. Certain stones in the ancient circle line
up with the midsummer sunrise and the winter solstice sunset, marking the longest and shortest
days of the year. Today Stonehenge is a carefully protected
World Heritage Site visited by about a million people each year, and many people still visit
Stonehenge at midsummer and midwinter to view the ancient phenomena that marks the rising
and the setting of the sun, and wonder at the mysteries Stonehenge still hides. I hope you enjoyed learning about Stonehenge
today. Goodbye till next time!

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