THE STONEHENGE CURSUS
Let's look at one more cursus. This one is about 9,090 ft. long (1.75
miles) and runs in the same general direction as the Dorset Cursus --
As you can see it is half-a-mile north of Stonehenge, and there was
considerable building activity in the area. The dots are round 'barrows'.
Many of them have scenic settings. Some are in lines or crescents,
much like modern housing in subdivisions. Such 'barrows' were also
constructed in Brittany (northern France). But the round barrows are
later, so the two at the west end of the cursus were probably built there
long after the cursus had ceased to be used for whatever its purpose
This cursus close to Stonehenge was built in the same way as the
Dorset Cursus: a ditch dug into chalk, and an embankment placed
beside it, the two parallel lines about 300 feet apart.
And there's more to it than that: Look at the upper left corner of this
next map, and you'll see another "lesser" cursus -- most of it has
apparently been lost through
plowing over thousands of years.
There seems to have been some connection between the greater
cursus and Stonehenge because
from the air in our day we can see the outline of the only apparent exit
from Stonehenge pointing in a straight line directly towards the eastern
part of the cursus.
So there were at least two cursuses in the Stonehenge area about
4,500 years ago. We will probably never understand what the cursuses were for if we
don't know something about the other constructions in the area that
were contemporary with them. So let's start with Stonehenge.