Image: Woodhenge

20 Questions Quiz: English Prehistory

Test your knowledge of English prehistory with our 20 questions quiz.

  • 1. Prehistory in England covers the time up to which event?

    Answer: The Roman invasion in AD 43

    Prehistory is the period before written records existed. The earliest known humans arrived in these lands around 900,000 years ago. Prehistory stretches from then until the Roman invasion in AD 43. We're able to piece together the lives of people in prehistoric England from artefacts discovered by archaeologists along with sites still visible today, such as henges, hill forts and burial sites.

  • 2. Can you name the three periods into which the Stone Age is divided?

    Answer: Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic

    These periods refer to the old, middle and new Stone Ages. However, referring to the Stone, Bronze and Iron ages – named after the main technologies used at the time – is seen as a outdated approach by some archaeologists, who prefer to use more specific terms.

  • 5. Answer

    Answer: Woodhenge in Wiltshire

    Woodhenge is a Neolithic site close to Stonehenge. Probably built about 2500 BC, it was originally believed to be the remains of a burial mound but it is now thought that it could have been a form of timber temple, where rituals took place and offerings were deposited.

  • 6. Where is the largest stone circle in Britain?

    Answer: Avebury

    Avebury henge and stone circles were built and much altered during the Neolithic period, roughly between 2850 BC and 2200 BC. The henge survives as a huge circular bank and ditch. Within it is the largest stone circle in Britain, which originally comprised about 100 stones.


  • 7. Answer

    Answer: About 30 tonnes

    The Heel Stone is a large unworked natural sarsen, weighing about 30 tonnes, that stands at the end of the Avenue, which leads into the earthwork enclosure at Stonehenge. It was once surrounded by a small circular ditch and may have been the earliest stone at Stonehenge.

  • 9. Answer

    Answer: A Neolithic Flint Mine

    This grassy lunar landscape of 400 pits was first named Grim’s Graves by the Anglo-Saxons. It was not until one of them was excavated in 1870 that they were identified as flint mines dug more than 5,000 years ago.

  • 11. Bronze is an alloy of which two metals?

    Answer: Copper and tin

    In about 2300 BC the first metal weapons and jewellery began to arrive in Britain. At first, the metal used was copper but by about 2200 BC bronze was being worked in Britain. During the middle and late Bronze Age, landscapes were divided up by great field systems and people built permanent roundhouses, often grouped into villages such as Grimspound in Devon. 

  • 12. Answer

    Answer: Old Sarum in Wiltshire

    An Iron Age hill fort may have been established at Old Sarum in about 400 BC. It was then occupied shortly after the Roman conquest, when it became known as Sorviodunum, and later housed a royal castle and cathedral, although neither were occupied for long. In 1226 the cathedral was moved to Salisbury, although the castle remained an administrative centre into the 14th century.  

  • 14. Answer

    Answer: Communal burial sites

    Long barrows were constructed during the early Neolithic period, between about 4000 and 3000 BC. They represent the burial places of the earliest farming communities in Britain, and are among the oldest surviving prehistoric monuments. It is probable that they acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time.

  • 16. Where, in 2003, was Britain’s only known Ice Age cave art discovered?

    Answer: Creswell Crags in Derbyshire

    More than 80 engravings and reliefs were identified in caves at Creswell Crags in 2003. The engravings are thought to be around 13,000–15,000 years old and depict deer, bison, horses, and what may be birds or bird-headed people. It has been suggested that some were intended to be seen by firelight.


  • 17. Answer

    Answer: Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire

    Situated 170 metres to the north-east of an Iron Age hill fort in Oxfordshire – and visible from a distance of several miles – is the striking chalk-cut figure of a horse. It measures 111 metres from the tip of its tail to its ear and has been dated to the later Bronze Age or Iron Age, between 1740 and 210 BC. Its function is not certain although it may have been a territorial marker or a fertility symbol.