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Stonehenge celebrates the summer solstice

June 21, 2014 - UNITED KINGDOM

Druids, neo-pagans, Wiccans, partygoers and others - some 20,000 visitors in all -- are expected at Stonehenge on 21 Jun 2014 to mark the Summer solstice and to see the sunrise above the ancient circle of stones.

Stonehenge, erected between 3000 BC and 1600 BC on the Salisbury Plain in England, is one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. The visitors' 2014 experience will be enhanced by the monument's new visitor centre. The facility can't answer why the stones were erected -- the builders took that answer to the grave. Archaeological evidence hints that the site was originally an ancient hunting and feasting site and that the stones were raised to celebrate the bounty. Hundreds of locally unearthed artefacts are on display, as is the reconstructed bust of a 5,500-year-old man whose remains were found near the megaliths. A new reconstructed Stone Age village should be open just next to the centre in time for the solstice visitors. It is aimed at showing how Stonehenge's architects likely lived. A major prehistoric village was unearthed nearby in 2007, and the settlement is believed to have housed the builders of the monument.

Stonehenge web (English Heritage)

Stonehenge Settlement Found: Builders' Homes, "Cult Houses" (National Geographic 30 Jan 2007)

Stonehenge: 7 Reasons the Mysterious Monument Was Built (LiveScience 21 Mar 2014)

Date written/update: 2014-05-11