Stonehenge

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Учитель английского языка О. М. Свенцицкая

In some parts of Britain one can see a number of huge stones standing in a circle. These are the monuments left by the earliest inhabitants of the country. The best-known stone circle named Stonehenge dates from between 1900 and 1600 BC. It is made from any upright stones, standing in groups , 8,5 meters high. They are joined on the top by other flat stones, each weighing about tons. No one can tell how these large stones were moved, or from what places they were brought. Stonehenge is still a mystery. What was it used for? - As a burial-place or a sacred place where early men worshipped the sun?

Some of the stones bear the remains of carvings of a bronze dagger and of numerous bronze axe-heads, but we do not know, whether these are religious symbols or something else. In recent years many suggestions have been made about the possible use of Stonehenge as an astronomical observatory, to record the movement of the rising and setting sun and moon along the horizon. Unfortunately, there can be no certainty.

Many of its stones are now missing, probably because they were broken up for building stone in the Middle Ages, perhaps after being deliberately pulled down. It is even possible that in Roman times some of the stones were broken up and scattered in fragments, to discourage nationalist sentiments amongst the conquered British population.

Many legends were told about Stonehenge. One stone is called Heel Stone or Friar's Heel. The legend tells that Stonehenge was built by the Devil. One friar tried to stop him. The stone thrown by the Devil hit the friar on the heel, but he was inharmed.

  1. Why is Stonehenge so famous?
  2. When and by whom was is made?
  3. What material was used to make it?
  4. What figure do the stones form there?
  5. What was Stonehenge used for? Name different points of view and tell what do you think.