Author Topic: Seeking the secrets of Stonehenge  (Read 3068 times)

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Seeking the secrets of Stonehenge
« on: September 07, 2006, 03:04:09 AM »
by Helen Thomas

Archaeologists have been digging ancient sites around Stonehenge to find clues about when they were first built. The dig, being conducted by archaeologists from several universities, is part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, which is investigating Woodhenge, Stonehenge Cursus and Durrington Walls, to learn more about their connection to the famous stone monument.

Joshua Pollard, senior lecturer in Archaeology in Bristol University, who is in charge of the dig at Woodhenge, where a timber circle once stood, said: "The timber is associated with the living and may have been used for feasting or linked with the solstice whereas stone is connected with the ancestors.

"The people in the Neolithic era often felt their day to day lives were just transitory but they put more effort into sacred monuments for their ancestors. The stone may be a version of the timber monuments."

The area at Woodhenge was last excavated in 1926 and concrete posts were put in the places where the timber used to stand, but the team has discovered other possible timber holes and also stone holes.

Other discoveries include pieces of flint, which were used for tools and weapons, and animal bones, possibly from feasts, which can be used by carbon dating technology to discover when the site might have been built within a 100-year timeframe.

Student James Thomson said: "We've had people from pagans to druids, local people who are just interested in what's going on here and others from all over the world."

Beatrice Greenfield, another archaeology student, explained they had been dispelling a popular myth about a grave on the site, believed to be that of a child who was sacrificed.

"We've been able to wipe out a local myth about the grave," she said.

Unfortunately, the truth will always remain something of a mystery because the bones were destroyed during the Second World War.


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Re: Seeking the secrets of Stonehenge
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2008, 10:50:11 AM »

This article is a bit contrary to the one above in that it states that Stonehenge was in fact used as ancient burial grounds.

Stonehenge Was Cemetery First and Foremost, Study Says
James Owen in London for National Geographic News May 29, 2008

Stonehenge stood as giant tombstones to the dead for centuries—perhaps marking the cemetery of a ruling prehistoric dynasty—new radiocarbon dating suggests. The site appears to have been intended as a cemetery from the very start, around 5,000 years ago—centuries before the giant sandstone blocks were erected—the new study says.  New analysis of ancient human remains show that people were buried at the southern England site from about 3000 B.C. until after the first large stones were raised around 2500 B.C. "This is really exciting, because it shows that Stonehenge, from its beginning to its zenith, is being used as a place to physically put the remains of the dead," said Mike Parker Pearson of England's University of Sheffield. "It's something that we just didn't appreciate until now." Parker Pearson heads the Stonehenge Riverside Project, a seven-year archaeological investigation of the Stonehenge area, supported by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.) Cremated Humans Analyzed The new finding supports the theory that Stonehenge represented the "domain of the dead" to ancestor-worshiping ancient Britons, Parker Pearson said. Previously it was believed that Stonehenge was a place of burial only between about 2700 and 2600 B.C., the new report says. But new radiocarbon dates spanning 500 years were obtained for three cremated humans unearthed in 1950s at Stonehenge and kept at the nearby Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum. The earliest cremation, a pile of burned bones and teeth, came from one of 56 pits called the Aubrey Holes.
These remains were dated to the monument's first phase, when a circular bank and ditch were created on Salisbury Plain.
The second cremation, from inside the ditch surrounding Stonehenge, is said to be that of an adult buried between 2930 to 2870 B.C. The latest burial studied, from the ditch's northern side, was identified as that of a woman in her twenties. It dates to 2570 to 2340 B.C.—the period when the huge sandstone blocks known as sarsen stones were put up.

"We're looking at a long-term use of the monument for burying the dead," Parker Pearson said.
It's estimated that up to 240 people are buried at Stonehenge in total, mainly in the Aubrey Holes. It is the largest known cemetery of its time in Britain.

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Re: Seeking the secrets of Stonehenge
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2008, 12:23:26 PM »
I saw a documentary where they proved that Stone Henge was originally a City for the Dead. They DID bury deceased individuals of great importance, from Shamans/Druids to Kings or Queens.
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Re: Seeking the secrets of Stonehenge
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 06:37:23 AM »
In case you didn't know, another Stone Henge was Peru.
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Re: Seeking the secrets of Stonehenge
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 11:49:46 AM »
If you had a link to your source for that infomation Hak I'd greatly appreciate it. . .
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Re: Seeking the secrets of Stonehenge
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 12:33:18 PM »
Ive found something here