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It can be easy to imagine prehistoric people as living in isolated introverted communities, and that multicultural communities are a relatively recent phenomenon. Yet the history of Stonehenge proves that this is far from the case. Many experts and historical enthusiasts like Fiyaz Mughal know that the construction and survival of that spectacular monument has only been possible due to different communities working together across early Britain and Europe.

The Construction

The famous bluestones were quarried from the Preseli hills over 140 miles away from Wiltshire in Wales.

While today Preseli and Wiltshire are part of a single UK, ancient Britain had no such political or cultural unity. The earliest evidence of the British ethno-political landscape comes from the Romans in the 1st century AD and depicts a fractious patchwork of distinctly independent tribes. The Neolithic was much earlier and less advanced; it’s therefore safe to assume the bluestones would have had to cross many tribal-ethnic borders on their journey to Salisbury plain.

As modern experiments have shown it would have taken a large team to move the stones. Every tribal culture they passed through must have supported the stone transporting teams by providing food, shelter and, due to the small prehistoric population, maybe even extra manpower. There must therefore have been many different groups contributing to the construction of a multi-tribal, multicultural Stonehenge.

Nucleus of a Multicultural Network

While Stonehenge’s design is unique, it’s actually just one of many Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments across Britain. Stone circles, barrows and dykes spread all the way to Scotland. By the 1st century BC, Julius Caesar describes Druids travelling from Britain all the way to southern France.

Stonehenge stood at the centre of a vast multicultural exchange of ideas. The success of these ideas gave the builders of Stonehenge incredible knowledge of science and astronomy, which is how they were able to align the stones with the summer and winter solstices.

Later Use

Archaeology indicates that, as new cultures came to Britain, they each visited and contributed to Stonehenge. Excavations at Stonehenge have shown a plethora of Roman artefacts. Roman citizens, hailing from as far away as Africa, must have been spellbound by Stonehenge and possibly even contributed to its survival.


As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stonehenge inspires people from around the globe to this day. Every summer solstice the monument is opened and people of all cultures and beliefs are welcomed to come and enjoy the spellbinding spectacle of Stonehenge.

Far from just being some isolated stones in a field, since 7,000 BC Stonehenge has stood as a peaceful and distinctly multicultural monument.