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About 64 cremations have been found, and perhaps as many as 150 individuals were originally buried at Stonehenge, making it the largest late Neolithic cemetery in the British Isles.In about 2500 BC the stones were set up in the centre of the monument.The earliest surviving written references to Stonehenge date from the medieval period, and from the 14th century onwards there are increasing references to Stonehenge and drawings and paintings of it.

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The earthwork Avenue was also built at this time, connecting Stonehenge with the river Avon.

One of the last prehistoric activities at Stonehenge was the digging around the stone settings of two rings of concentric pits, the so-called Y and Z holes, radiocarbon dated by antlers within them to between 18 BC.

In the early Bronze Age many burial mounds were built nearby.

Today, along with Avebury, it forms the heart of a World Heritage Site, with a unique concentration of prehistoric monuments.

Perhaps these axes were a symbol of power or status within early Bronze Age society, or were related in some way to nearby round barrow burials.

A mid-14th-century manuscript illustration showing the wizard Merlin building Stonehenge.

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.

It is possible that this is why it became the site of an early Neolithic monument complex.

There has been much debate about what stood in these holes: the consensus for many years has been that they held upright timber posts, but recently the idea has re-emerged that some of them may have held stones.

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