Late neolithic-era monuments

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It’s funny the way a Zeitgeist — the spirit of the world — gets a hold of the collective consciousness and suddenly lots of people are doing the same thing — even when it’s exceptionally difficult or expensive.

by natgeomaps

Something momentous was in the air in the south of Britain about 4,500 years ago during the dying days of the Neolithic era, the final chapter of the Stone Age. Whatever it was—­religious zeal, bravura, a sense of impending change—it cast a spell over the inhabitants and stirred them into a frenzy of monu­ment building.

In an astonishingly brief span of time—perhaps as little as a century—people who lacked metal tools, horsepower, and the wheel erected many of Britain’s huge stone circles, colossal wooden palisades, and grand avenues of standing stones. In the process they robbed forests of their biggest trees and moved millions of tons of earth.