Stonehenge and its Landscape

  • Clive L. N. Ruggles
Reference work entry


In the 1960s and 1970s, Stonehenge polarized academic opinion between those (mainly astronomers) who claimed it demonstrated great astronomical sophistication and those (mainly archaeologists) who denied it had anything to do with astronomy apart from the solstitial alignment of its main axis. Now, several decades later, links to the annual passage of the sun are generally recognized as an essential part of the function and meaning not only of Stonehenge but also of several other nearby monuments, giving us important insights into beliefs and actions relating to the seasonal cycle by the prehistoric communities who populated this chalkland landscape in the third millennium BC Links to the moon remain more debatable.


Summer Solstice Winter Solstice December Solstice June Solstice World Heritage Convention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Abbott M, Anderson-Whymark H, with Aspden D, Badcock A, Davies T, Felter M, Ixer R, Parker Pearson M, Richards C (2012) Stonehenge laser scan: archaeological analysis report. English Heritage, Swindon. Accessed 10 Oct 2012
  2. Albarella U, Serjeantson D (2002) A passion for pork: meat consumption at the British Late Neolithic site of Durrington Walls. In: Miracle P, Milner N (eds) Consuming passions and patterns of consumption. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge, pp 33–49Google Scholar
  3. Allen MJ (1995) Mesolithic features in the car park. In: Cleal RMJ, Walker KE, Montage R (eds) Stonehenge in its landscape: twentieth-century excavations. English Heritage, London, pp 43–47Google Scholar
  4. Atkinson RJC (1956) Stonehenge. Hamish Hamilton, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Atkinson RJC (1966) Moonshine on Stonehenge. Antiquity 40:212–216Google Scholar
  6. Burl HAW (1987) The Stonehenge people. Dent, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Burl HAW (1994) Stonehenge: slaughter, sacrifice and sunshine. Wilts Archaeol Nat Hist Mag 87:85–95Google Scholar
  8. Chippindale C (1983) Stonehenge complete. Thames and Hudson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Cleal RMJ, Walker KE, Montage R (1995) Stonehenge in its landscape: twentieth-century excavations. English Heritage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Cunnington ME (1929) Woodhenge. George Simpson, DevizesGoogle Scholar
  11. Darvill T (2005) Stonehenge world heritage site: an archaeological research framework. English Heritage and Bournemouth University, London/BournemouthGoogle Scholar
  12. Darvill T, Wainwright G (2009) Stonehenge excavations 2008. Antiq J 89:1–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Darvill T, Marshall P, Parker Pearson M, Wainwright G (2012) Stonehenge remodelled. Antiquity 86:1021–1040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. French C, Scaife R, Allen MJ (2012) Durrington walls to west Amesbury by way of Stonehenge: a major transformation of the Holocene landscape. Antiq J 92:1–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gaffney C, Gaffney V, Neubauer W, Baldwin E, Chapman H, Garwood P, Moulden H, Sparrow T, Bates R, Löcker K, Hinterleitner A, Trinks I, Nau E, Zitz T, Floery S, Verhoeven G, Doneus M (2012) The Stonehenge hidden landscapes project. Archaeological Prospection 19(2):147–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hawkins GS, White JB (1965) Stonehenge decoded. Doubleday, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Heggie DC (1981) Megalithic science: ancient mathematics and astronomy in northwest Europe. Thames and Hudson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. Hoskin MA (2001) Tombs, temples and their orientations. Ocarina Books, Bognor RegisGoogle Scholar
  19. Hoyle F (1966) Speculations on Stonehenge. Antiquity 40:262–276Google Scholar
  20. Parker Pearson M (2005) English Heritage book of Bronze Age Britain, revised edn. Batsford/English Heritage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Parker Pearson M (2012) Stonehenge: exploring the greatest Stone Age mystery. Simon and Schuster, LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Parker Pearson M, Ramilisonina (1998) Stonehenge for the ancestors: the stones pass on the message. Antiquity 72:308–326Google Scholar
  23. Parker Pearson M, Pollard J, Tilley C, Thomas J, Richards C, Welham K (2005) The Stonehenge Riverside project: interim report. Accessed 28 Jan 2013
  24. Parker Pearson M, Pollard J, Richards C, Thomas J, Tilley C, Welham K, Albarella U (2006) Materializing Stonehenge: the Stonehenge Riverside Project and new discoveries. Journal of Material Culture 11:227–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Parker Pearson M, Cleal RMJ, Marshall P, Needham S, Pollard J, Richards C, Ruggles CLN, Sheridan S, Thomas J, Tilley C, Welham K, Chamberlain A, Chenery C, Evans J, Knüsel C, Linford N, Martin L, Montgomery J, Payne A, Richards M (2007) The age of Stonehenge. Antiquity 81:617–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Parker Pearson M, Pollard J, Thomas J, Welham K (2010) Newhenge. Br Archaeol 110. Accessed 2 Jan 2013
  27. Pásztor E, Juhász A, Dombi M, Roslund C (2000) Computer Simulation of Stonehenge. In: Barceló JA, Forte M, Sanders DH (eds) Virtual reality in archaeology. Archaeopress, Oxford, pp 111–113, BAR International Series 843Google Scholar
  28. Pitts MW (1981) The discovery of a new stone at Stonehenge. Archaeoastronomy Bull Center Archaeoastronomy 4(2):16–21Google Scholar
  29. Pollard J (1995) The Durrington 68 timber circle: a forgotten Late Neolithic monument. Wilts Archaeol Nat Hist Mag 88:122–125Google Scholar
  30. Pollard J, Ruggles CLN (2001) Shifting perceptions: spatial order, cosmology, and patterns of deposition at Stonehenge. Camb Archaeol J 11(1):69–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pollard J, Robinson D, Wickstead H (2007) South of Woodhenge: an interim report on the 2007 excavations. Art Archaeol. Accessed 2 Jan 2013
  32. RCHME (1979) Stonehenge and its environs. Edinburgh University Press, EdinburghGoogle Scholar
  33. Richards JC (1991) English Heritage book of Stonehenge. Batsford/English Heritage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  34. Richards JC, Whitby M (1997) The engineering of Stonehenge. In: Cunliffe BW, Renfrew AC (eds) Science and Stonehenge. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 231–256Google Scholar
  35. Ruggles CLN (1997) Astronomy and Stonehenge. In: Cunliffe BW, Renfrew AC (eds) Science and Stonehenge. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 203–229Google Scholar
  36. Ruggles CLN (1999) Astronomy in prehistoric Britain and Ireland. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  37. Ruggles CLN (2006) Interpreting solstitial alignments in Late Neolithic Wessex. Archaeoastronomy J Astron Culture 20:1–27Google Scholar
  38. Ruggles CLN (2014a) The orientation of the Stonehenge avenue and its implications. In: Parker Pearson M (ed) The Stonehenge Riverside Project, vol 1. Research papers series. Prehistoric Society, London (in press)Google Scholar
  39. Ruggles CLN (2014b) The orientation and astronomical potential of the timber monuments at Durrington Walls and south of Woodhenge. In: Parker Pearson M (ed) The Stonehenge Riverside Project, vol 2. Research papers series. Prehistoric Society, London (in press)Google Scholar
  40. Souden D (1997) Stonehenge: mysteries of the stones and landscape. English Heritage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  41. Thom A, Thom AS, Thom A (1975) Stonehenge as a possible lunar observatory. J Hist Astron 6:19–30ADSGoogle Scholar
  42. Wainwright GJ, Longworth IH (1971) Durrington Walls: excavations 1966–1968. Society of Antiquaries, LondonGoogle Scholar
  43. Young C, Chadburn A, Bedu I (2009) Stonehenge world heritage site management plan 2009. English Heritage, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Archaeology and Ancient HistoryUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

Personalised recommendations