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Posts tagged "stonehenge"

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.

Visitors will be welcomed at a new visitor building, located 2.1km (1.5 miles) to the west of Stonehenge. For the first time ever at the site, they will be able to learn more about this complex monument in a stunning, museum-quality permanent exhibition curated by English Heritage experts.

A 360-degree virtual, immersive experience will let visitors ‘stand in the stones’ before they enter a gallery presenting the facts and theories surrounding the monument through various displays and nearly 300 prehistoric artefacts.

The archaeological finds on display are on loan from the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, the Wiltshire Museum, and the Duckworth Collection, University of Cambridge. Read more.

Scientists have uncovered a portion of an ancient path that may have led to Stonehenge.

While dismantling a modern road that runs near Stonehenge, the archaeologists uncovered two ditches found to be remnants of an ancient pathway called the avenue. Archaeologists have known of the avenue and suspected it led directly to the monument, but the modern road had cut the delicate pathway in two, obscuring its purpose. The new discovery confirms the avenue’s role as an ancient pathway to the site.

"We found the bottoms, the truncated ditches, that belong to the feature known as the avenue, which is the processional leading up to Stonehenge," said archaeologist Heather Sebire, a property curator for English Heritage, which manages Stonehenge. Read more.