Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
MONDAY, 21 APR 2014
12:47 PM Beirut time
21 °C
Blom Index
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
New theory says Stonehenge was ancient celebration spot
Agence France Presse
A+ A-

LONDON: British researchers have unveiled a new theory for the origins of Stonehenge, saying the ancient stone circle was originally a graveyard and venue for mass celebrations. The findings would overturn the long-held belief that Stonehenge was created as a Stone Age astronomical calendar or observatory.

A team led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson of University College London said Stonehenge is both older and had a different function than previously thought.

The archaeologists carried out a decade of research that included excavations, laboratory work and the analysis of 63 sets of ancient human remains.

They said the original Stonehenge appeared to have been a graveyard for elite families built around 3,000 B.C., 500 years earlier than the site that is famous today. The remains of many cremated bodies were marked by the bluestones of Stonehenge.

Further analysis of cattle teeth from 80,000 animal bones excavated from the site suggest that around 2,500 B.C., Stonehenge was the site of vast communal feasts.

These would have been attended by up to one-tenth of the British population at one time in what Parker Pearson said resembled “Glastonbury festival and a motorway building scheme at the same time.”

“What we’ve found,” he said, “is that people came with their animals to feast at Stonehenge from all corners of Britain – as far afield as Scotland.” It appeared the “only time in prehistory that the people of Britain were unified.”

Archaeologists have long argued about its importance to the people who built Stonehenge, ranging from a place of astronomy to one of human sacrifice.

The researchers said their findings gave a clue as to why the monument stopped being used – another mystery that has baffled archaeologists.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 11, 2013, on page 16.
Home Art
United Kingdom

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Monday April 21, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS