Deposits in the bottom of the ditch included antler picks, which were used to dig the ditch itself, as well as bones of cattle and deer that were already centuries old when they were placed there.The circular enclosure had two entrances: the main access on the northeast and a narrower entrance on the south.The first proper archaeological excavation was conducted in 1901 by William Gowland.

Stonehenge, prehistoric stone circle monument, cemetery, and archaeological site located on Salisbury Plain, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.

It was built in six stages between 30 Stonehenge has long been the subject of historical speculation, and ideas about the meaning and significance of the structure continued to develop in the 21st century.

(Of an estimated 150–240 cremation burials at Stonehenge, 64 had been excavated by the first decade of the 21st century.) The great majority of the burials were of adult males, and pieces of unburned human bone were also found scattered around Stonehenge.

The area surrounding the Aubrey Holes was used as a place of burial from roughly 3000 to 2300 Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2009, it consisted of about 25 Welsh bluestones and may have been used for cremating and removing the flesh from the bodies whose remains were buried and scattered at Stonehenge.

It was unusual for prehistoric hunter-gatherers to build monuments, and there are no comparable structures from this era in northwestern Europe.

Within a 3-mile (5-km) radius of Stonehenge there remain from the Neolithic Period at least 17 long barrows (burial mounds) and two cursus monuments (long enclosures), all dating to the 4th millennium Aubrey Holes, named after John Aubrey, who identified them in 1666.

English antiquarian John Aubrey in the 17th century and his compatriot archaeologist William Stukeley in the 18th century both believed the structure to be a Druid temple.

This idea has been rejected by more-recent scholars, however, as Stonehenge is now understood to have predated by some 2,000 years the Druids recorded by Julius Caesar.

The Heelstone, a large unworked sarsen outside the northeastern entrance, also may have been erected during the first stage of Stonehenge, if not earlier.

In addition, rows of timber-post holes within the northeastern entrance to the circular enclosure are thought to date to this period; the posts that they contained may have served to mark the movement of the moon toward its northern major limit.sarsen stones were brought from the Avebury area of the Marlborough Downs, about 20 miles (32 km) to the north.

The results of their work were not fully published until 1995, however, when the chronology of Stonehenge was revised extensively by means of carbon-14 dating.