henge

A henge is a prehistoric monument characterized by a circular or oval-shaped earthen enclosure with one or more entrances. The term “henge” is derived from the famous monument Stonehenge, located in England, which shares some features with this type of archaeological site. While Stonehenge is composed of large standing stones, most henges consist of an earthwork bank and ditch. Henges are found in various regions, including the British Isles and Europe, and date back to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. The purpose of henges remains a subject of debate among archaeologists, with theories ranging from ritual and ceremonial sites to astronomical observatories or markers of significant landscape features. Some henges may have served as gathering places or places of communal activities. The circular and often monumental nature of henges makes them unique archaeological features that offer insights into the spiritual and social practices of prehistoric societies. As with many prehistoric sites, understanding henges requires careful examination of the surrounding landscape, artifacts, and burial remains to reconstruct their historical significance and cultural context. Henges represent an important aspect of humanity’s early efforts to shape and interact with the environment for social, religious, and symbolic purposes.