Radiocarbon dating benefits
At this time, when much of the rest of southern England was largely covered by woodland, the chalk downland in the area of Stonehenge may have been an unusually open landscape.
This enclosed an area about 100 metres in diameter, and had two entrances. Within the bank and ditch were possibly some timber structures and set just inside the bank were 56 pits, known as the Aubrey Holes.
This complex included the causewayed enclosure at Robin Hood’s Ball, two cursus monuments or rectangular earthworks (the Greater, or Stonehenge, and Lesser Cursus), and several long barrows, all dating from the centuries around 3500 BC.
The presence of these monuments probably influenced the later location of Stonehenge.
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The earliest structures known in the immediate area are four or five pits, three of which appear to have held large pine ‘totem-pole like’ posts erected in the Mesolithic period, between 85 BC.