At this time, when much of the rest of southern England was largely covered by woodland, the chalk downland in the area of Stonehenge may have been an unusually open landscape.It is possible that this is why it became the site of an early Neolithic monument complex.Four of the sarsens at Stonehenge were adorned with hundreds of carvings depicting axe-heads and a few daggers.They appear to be bronze axes of the Arreton Down type, dating from about 1750–1500 BC.
The Normanton Down Barrows lie on the crest of a low ridge just to the south of Stonehenge.
This complex included the causewayed enclosure at Robin Hood’s Ball, two cursus monuments or rectangular earthworks (the Greater, or Stonehenge, and Lesser Cursus), and several long barrows, all dating from the centuries around 3500 BC.
The presence of these monuments probably influenced the later location of Stonehenge.
Probably at the same time that the stones were being set up in the centre of the monument, the sarsens close to the entrance were raised, together with the four Station Stones on the periphery.
About 200 or 300 years later the central bluestones were rearranged to form a circle and inner oval (which was again later altered to form a horseshoe).
Excavation of these early Bronze Age barrows has produced several rich finds, including beads and other personal ornaments The stone settings at Stonehenge were built at a time of great change in prehistory, just as new styles of ‘Beaker’ pottery and the knowledge of metalworking, together with a transition to the burial of individuals with grave goods, were arriving from the Continent.