UNESCO Pre-Historic World Heritage Sites

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UNESCO Pre-Historic Heritage Sites

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UNESCO World Heritage was founded in 1975 to protect a place such as a building, city, complex, desert, forest, island, lake, monument, or mountain that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as being of special cultural or physical significance. Prehistoric sites are of great importance as with new technologies emerging these sites may still have valuable clues to discover.

Stonehenge, Avebury and its associated sites were incribed onto the World Heritage list in 1986. “Stonehenge and Avebury, in Wiltshire, are among the most famous groups of megaliths in the world. The two sanctuaries consist of circles of menhirs arranged in a pattern whose astronomical significance is still being explored. These holy places and the nearby Neolithic sites are an incomparable testimony to prehistoric times.”

Read Full Stonehenge World Heritage Site Inscription.

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage site list in 1999. “The group of Neolithic monuments on Orkney consists of a large chambered tomb (Maes Howe), two ceremonial stone circles (the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar) and a settlement (Skara Brae), together with a number of unexcavated burial, ceremonial and settlement sites. The group constitutes a major prehistoric cultural landscape which gives a graphic depiction of life in this remote archipelago in the far north of Scotland some 5,000 years ago.”

Read Full Orkney World Heritage Site Inscription.




Avebury is a huge Neolithic henge monument that surrounds the present day village of Avebury. A henge is a circular ditch and bank and at Avebury the ditch and bank are a formidable 21 metres (69 ft) wide and 11 metres (36 ft) deep and date from about 3300–2630 BC. Inside this henge are 3 stone circles the outer of which, dating from around 2900 BC, has a massive diameter of 331.6 metres (1,088 ft) with stones that vary from 3.6 to 4.2 m high. From this henge runs the West Kennet Avenue which is an avenue of two parallel lines of stones 25m wide and 2.5 km in length. This leads to Silbury hill which is a man made neolithic monument 40 metres (131 ft) high[4] and covers about 5 acres (2 ha) which took an estimated took 18 million man-hours, or 500 men working for 15 years, to build. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Stone henge is one the most instantly recognisable monument in England . Situated north of Salisbury on an undulating plain, Stone henge is a ring of stones that stands at the centre of large area full of Neolithic burial mounds and monuments.



Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The earliest record of activity at Stonehenge dates from 8000 BC. Until recently it was believed that in 3100 BC the first monument on the Stonehenge site was built consisting of a round ditch inside of which were 56 holes that may have contained standing wooden posts. In 2014 excavations by the University of Buckingham using ground penetrating radar revealed that an area extending to 12 square kilometres around Stonehenge appear to have had as many as 17 monuments like the early stonehenge dating to 4,000BC.



Skara Brae Neolithic village photos, pictures & images

Sara Brae is a Neolithic village on the island of Orkney, Scotland, excavated in 1927. Today it is possible to walk around the village and look down into the houses. The scene is one of domestic comfort with features that are very familiar. The entrance to the rooms was by a low tunnel door which had a door which could be locked with a sliding wood bar. At the opposite end of the round room was a stone dresser where trinkets were found. On the right side of the room was a large bed and on the left a smaller one. Stone partitions surrounded the beds within which bracken and animal furs would have been laid.



Ring of Brodgar Neolithic stone circle photos

The Ring of Brodgar is part of a series neolithic monuments. Within 2 square miles (5.2 km2) there are the two circle henges, four chambered tombs, groups of standing stones, single stones, barrows, cairns, and mounds. The purpose of the Ring of Brodgar will probably never be known. It has always been assumed that the great Neolithic rings were centre of some sort of religious ritual. Because of the diverse geology of Orkney, geologists have been able to work out exactly where each of the stones originated from . This has shown that each stone is from a different part of the island suggesting that each stone may represent a clan. This may mean that the Ring of Brodgar was a meeting place for the island clans.


 


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