Friday, June 6, 2008

Stonehenge Found to be 500-Year Burial Site

Researchers conducting an important new dig at Stonehenge have concluded that the mysterious Neolithic site served as a burial ground from as early as 3000 B.C. and for the next 500 years.

“Stonehenge was a place of burial from its beginning to its zenith in the mid third millennium B.C.,” according to Parker Pearson, the archaeology professor from the University of Sheffield who’s heading up the project. “It’s now clear that burials were a major component of Stonehenge in all its main stages.”

Previously, Stonehenge was thought to be a burial site for only about a century, but the new radiocarbon datings of cremated bones unearthed there indicate it was most likely the burial ground for generations of the area’s ruling family. The cremated remains of an estimated 240 people were buried at Stonehenge, which could amount to around 30 generations of the family.

This new information was released this week as part of the large Stonehenge Riverside Archaeological Project funded by The National Geographic Society. Details of the nearby dig at Durrington Walls is discussed in my May 3 blog post below. More details are in this Washington Post article.

No comments: