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Posts tagged "stonehenge"

Some of the most high-status pieces of prehistoric “bling”, prized by Stonehenge’s Bronze Age social elite, are likely to have been made by children, according to new research.

An analysis of intricately decorated objects found near the ancient stone circle shows that the craftwork involved such tiny components that only children – or extremely short-sighted adults – would have been able to focus closely enough on the ultra-fine details to make them.

The research into the human eyesight optics of micro-gold-working in the Bronze Age has considerable implications for understanding society in Western Europe 4,000 years ago. Read more.

Archaeologists have unveiled the most detailed map ever produced of the earth beneath Stonehenge and its surrounds.

They combined different instruments to scan the area to a depth of three metres, with unprecedented resolution.

Early results suggest that the iconic monument did not stand alone, but was accompanied by 17 neighbouring shrines.

Future, detailed analysis of this vast collection of data will produce a brand new account of how Stonehenge’s landscape evolved over time.

Among the surprises yielded by the research are traces of up to 60 huge stones or pillars which formed part of the 1.5km-wide “super henge” previously identified at nearby Durrington Walls. Read more.

It is a mystery which has intrigued archaeologists for centuries: did the huge Neolithic stones which make up Stonehenge form a complete circle?

Now the puzzle has been answered after the dry summer revealed the faint outline of the missing megaliths.

Usually the ground is watered by stewards, to keep the earth moist and the grass healthy.

But this year, the hose they used was too short to reach the whole site. By chance, the incomplete section of the inner stone circle was left to dry out.

When archaeological features have been buried in the ground for a long time, they affect the rate that grass grows above them, even long after they have disappeared. Read more.

Stonehenge has always held plenty of mystery for researchers. For starters, what was the roughly 5,000-year-old site built for? And how were the 4-8 tonne bluestones that created it transported almost 300 km from Wales?

Now the four-year Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project has revealed there may have been much more going on at the monument than we previously thought.

Led by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, the study used non-destructive radar and 3D laser scanning to image the ground within a 10 km2 radius of Stonehenge, and has revealed 15 previously hidden monuments. Read more.

Five Neolithic houses have been recreated at Stonehenge to reveal how the ancient monument’s builders would have lived 4,500 years ago.

The single-room, 5m (16ft) wide homes made of chalk and straw daub and wheat-thatching, are based on archaeological remains at nearby Durrington Walls.

Susan Greaney, from English Heritage, said the houses are the result of “archaeological evidence, educated guess work, and lots of physical work.”

The houses open to the public, later.

The “bright and airy” Neolithic homes are closely based on archaeological remains of houses, discovered just over a mile away from Stonehenge. Read more.

New research has revealed that the landscape around Stonehenge has been continuously occupied for  around 10,000 years.The findings – a series of radiocarbon dates from a site 1.5 miles east of the famous prehistoric  monument – strengthens  the likelihood that the area was of considerable political significance  for literally thousands of years before Stonehenge and its neighbouring monuments were built.

The earliest definitive evidence of human activity in the area – dating from around 8000 BC – is from a site 100 metres north of Stonehenge. But now a new series of 11 radiocarbon dates reveal that an area 1.5 miles east of the site of Stonehenge was inhabited between 7600 and 4700 BC, during the pre-agricultural ‘Mesolithic’ period. Read more.

A new study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, suggests that the site researchers had previously thought was the starting place of many of Stonehenge’s rocks may not have been the source after all. Instead, it looks like the rocks actually come from a different site three kilometres away.

The findings, bring into question the long-standing theory that people transported the rocks from Wales to Wiltshire in order to build the monument.

The research focused on the smaller stones at Stonehenge, called bluestones. The chemistry of these rocks varies, but they all originate from the Preseli Hills in Wales and are thought to have been transported to the Stonehenge site over 4000 years ago. Read more.

Golden treasures from prehistoric Britain’s Stonehenge era, most of which have never previously been on public display, are today being unveiled at a small provincial museum.

The exhibition is the largest collection of early Bronze-Age gold ever put on public display in England.

It was impossible to exhibit most of the gold treasures before because of security concerns. Up until now the closest the public got to them was by seeing photographs.

Housed in a new, high-security and humidity-controlled series of galleries inside the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, 15 miles north of Stonehenge, the gold treasures and other objects are being used to reveal the remarkable cultural story behind the world famous prehistoric stone monument. Read more.