Early Europeans

Ancient Astronomy

Everything you could possible want to know about henges.

What is a henge?

A Henge is simply defined as... 'A circular earthen bank and ditch enclosing an area of varying diameter' .

The earth used to build the banks was taken from the ditches and the central area flattened (Except for the Ring O' Bookan on the Orkneys, which is suggested to have once contained a mound similar to the nearby Maes Howe).

Henges are only known to occur in Britain and Northern Ireland. They are commonly found in 'groups', each separated by hundreds of miles. Most Henges never originally contained stone-circles

Watch each of the videos below

Henges: Stonehenge, Woodhenge, Avebury & Stanton Drew
Stonehenge Astronomical Observatory
Secrets of Stonehenge
Neil deGrasse Tyson On Manhattanhenge


Return to the Edmodo Assignment and answer the following questions on that. Answer the following questions in COMPLETE sentences. Include the question for clarification.
  1. What are henges? What are some patterns that exist? What structures are common among them?
  2. How old are the henges? Who was responsible for their existence?
  3. What are some of the believed purposes of the henges?
  4. How does Stonehenge (and other henges) possibly act as an astronomical observatory to mark important date through celestial events?
  5. How many other henge sites exist? Where are they located?
  6. On what day does the sun rise over the heel stones of Stonehenge?
  7. How were these structures possibly used in religious and practical ways?
  8. What unanswered questions remain about the henges? What do we still not understand?