Good ol' Stonehenge, is there any other like it?

I mean if there was something similar, they could compare the context of that to Stonehenge and finally get some answers. Something that bright archaeological minds would have thought of already, so ARE there any others like it?

There are over 900 stone circles and other megalithic sites in the UK:

http://www.megalith.ukf.net/bigmap.htm

Whoa, cheers, so if there are so many, why is Stonehenge the most famous?

Because it is the largest, and in the best condition.

Something similar in what way? As per the last post there are hundreds just in the UK, with hundreds more in Ireland, and lots and lots all over europe. Is there anything just like Stonehenge, I don’t think there is anything that is set up the same, but then again there are many different types of megalithic sites.

If you’re talking about lineing up with the sun there are a few different places there as well. At Newgrange the sun comes up on the winter soltice. At Carrowkeel, I think, the sun sets on the summer soltice. I’ve been there for it and it’s quite amazing.

There in lies the problem, you didn’t really say what you’re looking for.

It has the biggest stones, which are very regular, plus it’s very well preserved (considering) and has intact trilithons.

As I always tell people who are going to visit the U.K., after seeing Stonehenge, or even instead of seeing Stonehenge, go see Avebury. Unlike Stonehenge, you can walk right up to the stones at Avebury. There are more of them and they’re spread over a larger area.

I agree Avebury is much more impressive than Stonehenge, albeit in a different way. It’s so big it has an entire village inside it.

I was once at Avebury when a tour bus of American schoolkids arrived, and one charmer got out of the bus, looked at the stone circle and said the immortal words “It’s just a bunch of rocks.”

Not the biggest or best preserved but the circles at Castlerigg in Cumbria are something to be seen.

To sit on those “rocks” knowing that 1000s of years ago some guy did the exact same thing is awesome.

So regarding the significance of the majority of the other megalithic sites, have their contexts been explained?

Stonehenge is impressive but suffers from its location a lot. Ever since the fence went up a lot of the impact is lost. I’d second Avebury though, if you just want to be a day trip from London,

If you are at all interested in stones, and are prepared for a bit of a journey, may I recommendThe Ring of Brodgar on Orkney*, or Callanish on Lewis?

*I’d recommend Orkney anyway, it’s a stunning place - and oddly the most astonishing thing on the Islands is about 60 years old…

wow-neat word. Ya learn sumpfin’ new every day.

(now, will all other dopers who have never used the word “trilithon” in their entire life please raise their hands? Man, I love this place)

They’re only intact because they were re-erected in the 1950’s.

(I know trilithons, menhirs, dolmens, and cairns, but I teach art history. . .)
Contexts? Astronomy, seasons, planting, religion, all that mixed together. Not so mysterious. Are you asking about aliens or keeping razor blades sharp or ancient batteries or something like that?

That’s a bit misleading - there were excavations in the first half of the twentieth century, but almost all of the upright stones have been there for centuries.

jjimm writes:

> I was once at Avebury when a tour bus of American schoolkids arrived . . .

That’s one impressive bus trip. For the biggest trip of my entire school career, a week after graduation our senior class went to a theme park less than a hundred miles away (and we had to pay for it). I’d like to know at what American school they load the kids on the bus and say, “Today, kids, we’re going to be going to Avebury. You do all have your lunches packed, right? Because it will take all day for us to get there and back.”

The fact that last June I was one of the tourists on board a tour bus of North Americans touring Northern Ireland doesn’t mean we got on the tour bus in North America! :smiley:

Since Avebury has already been mentioned, I’ll just add a link to a picture of the village within a ring of stone: http://www.sacredsites.com/europe/england/images/361.jpg

I used to have a postcard very like this, purchased when I visited Avebury about 15 years ago.

If you are interested in megalithic sites, I would recommend the alignments of Carnac in French Brittany. I was lucky enough to stay in Brittany for a few weeks some years ago, and took a weekend drive down there: Miles and miles of aligned megalithic stones, set in rows about ten feet apart. Though not as well-known as STonehenge, it is well worth a visit if you’re interested in the same kind of awe/wonder you feel at Stonehenge.

Well, I suspect they might have transferred to an airplane first, then to a British coach. Not sure how many long-distance submarine coaches there are in the US educational establishment.

(On the offchance that you’re disputing the existence of US school trips to the UK, I suggest you might be a trifle misinformed…)