Stonehenge was occupied by humans 5,000 years EARLIER than we thought
Human beings were occupying Stonehenge thousands of years earlier than previously thought, according to archaeologists.
Research at a site around a mile from Stonehenge has found evidence of a settlement dating back to 7500BC, 5,000 years earlier than previous findings confirmed.
And carbon-dating of material at the site has revealed continuous occupation of the area between 7500BC and 4700BC, it is being revealed on BBC One’s The Flying Archaeologist tonight.
I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising since humans were basically living all over the place. Still more of this ‘Aerial Archaeologist’ show!
An article in The Independent covers the laser-scan survey of the iconic British monument, revealing 72 previously undiscovered carvings, of which 71 show axe-heads and 1 a dagger, all dating to the Bronze Age.
In some ways a rather more interesting discovery is that the giant sarsens that make up the vast circular arrangement of stones were dressed by working parallel to the long sides, whilst the interior horseshoe stones were dressed by working at right-angles to the stones. The suggestion presented in the article is that the difference in dressing techniques may indicate that the horseshoe was constructed at a slightly earlier date to the great circle.
Other revelations are also covered in the article – if you’re interested in Stonehenge and the related Wessex monuments and geography this is well worth a read.
All in all, a good advert for laser-scan surveys.
Also on The Guardian website.
After 10 Years of Research Archaeologists Solve The Mystery of Stonehenge
After the largest program of archaeological research ever mounted at Stonehenge, researchers have concluded that Stonehenge was built as a monument to unify the peoples of Britain, after a long period of conflict and regional difference between eastern and western Britain.
Its stones are thought to have symbolized the ancestors of different groups of earliest farming communities in Britain, with some stones coming from southern England and others from west Wales.
Then there’s this: Parker Pearson and the SRP team firmly reject ideas that Stonehenge was inspired by ancient Egyptians or extra-terrestrials.
That’s good to know.
At Stonehenge, but. . . . .with a local (to me) connection! Salford scientists reveal the ’sound of Stonehenge’
We are nowhere nearer cracking the mystery of the monument as a result; but who would want to be? Apart from all the mountains of remaindered books of theories, a puzzle solved is never as gripping as a conundrum still under way.
But the four-year project by Dr Bruno Fazenda and colleagues at Huddersfield and Bristol universities, has established how the shouts, speeches, songs or sacrificial screams would have sounded, whatever material they may have contained. The method has been a painstaking piece of ‘archaeoacoustics’, a relatively new discipline which reveals the sound quality of buildings from the past.
Interesting as it is, I’m not sure of the point of it. There’s a video at the link with sounds of a drum beat recorded at different locations, which is interesting, but unclear as to what it really means. They used the Maryhill Stonehenge monument here in Washington for the measurements, but even that, IMO, is suspect because that structure is made of smooth concrete surfaces, not the rougher stones of the real place.
One of these days I’ll get to that thing. . . .(both of them)
Swedish Stonehenge? Ancient stone structure spurs debate
Ancient Scandinavians dragged 59 boulders to a seaside cliff near what is now the Swedish fishing village of Kaseberga. They carefully arranged the massive stones — each weighing up to 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms) — in the outline of a 220-foot-long (67-meter) ship overlooking the Baltic Sea.
Archaeologists generally agree this megalithic structure, known as Ales Stenar (“Ale’s Stones”), was assembled about 1,000 years ago, near the end of the Iron Age, as a burial monument. But a team of researchers now argues it’s really 2,500 years old, dating from the Scandinavian Bronze Age, and was built as an astronomical calendar with the same underlying geometry as England’s Stonehenge.
I dunno, this sounds like one of those crank hypotheses, but I suppose there’s no reason the astronomical alignments can’t still be there.
Stonehenge inspired by illusions, archaeologist suggests
Theories about the purpose of Stonehenge range from a secular calendar to a place of spiritual worship. Now, an archaeologist suggests that the Stonehenge monument in southern England may have been an attempt to mimic a sound-based illusion.
If two pipers were to play in a field, observers walking around the musicians would hear a strange effect, said Steven Waller, a doctoral researcher at Rock Art Acoustics USA, who specializes in the sound properties of ancient sites, or archaeoacoustics. At certain points, the sound waves produced by each player would cancel each other out, creating spots where the sound is dampened.
It’s this pattern of quiet spots that may have inspired Stonehenge, Waller told an audience Thursday (Feb. 16) in Vancouver, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Well, I’m not going to comment on this. Seems a bit. . . . .obtuse. Although his comments on the ignoring of sound is, despite my general skepticism that particular designs were derived directly from or for their sonic properties, well taken.
Sent by a reader. I’m a tad reluctant to link because it looks like a blog entry that copied another source in its entirety.
Scientists discover source of rock used in Stonehenge’s first circle
Scientists have succeeded in locating the exact source of some of the rock believed to have been used 5000 years ago to create Stonehenge’s first stone circle.
By comparing fragments of stone found at and around Stonehenge with rocks in south-west Wales, they have been able to identify the original rock outcrop that some of the Stonehenge material came from.
The work – carried out by geologists Robert Ixer of the University of Leicester and Richard Bevins of the National Museum of Wales – has pinpointed the source as a 70 metre long rock outcrop called Craig Rhos-y-Felin, near Pont Saeson in north Pembrokeshire.
As they mention, they still don’t know if they were transported from there by people or dumped by a glacier, but at least they’ll know where to look for signs of quarrying.
Birmingham archaeologists uncover secrets of Stonehenge
Two previously undiscovered pits have been found at Stonehenge, shedding new light on the monument’s association with the sun, archaeologists said today.
The pits are positioned on celestial alignment at the landmark and could have contained tall stones, wooden posts or fires to mark the rising and setting of the sun, academics believe.
An international archaeological survey team discovered the pits as part of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, which began in summer 2010.
UPDATE: More the The Beeb.
Woodhenge: Is this one of the greatest discoveries of archaeology…or a simple farmer’s fence?
The discovery of a wooden version of Stonehenge – a few hundred yards from the famous monument – was hailed as one of the most important archaeological finds for decades.
But now experts are at loggerheads after claims that what was thought to be a Neolithic temple was a rather more humble affair – in fact the remains of a wooden fence.
One leading expert on Stonehenge criticised the announcement of the ‘remarkable’ find in July as ‘hasty’ and warned it could become a ‘PR embarrassment’.
I’m not. . .hhhmph. I was going to say that if it was shown on an ordnance map, it could have been showing the original henge posts, but those would have long since decayed. I dunno, just the fact that it’s shown on a map seems to me to. . . . .hmmmm. I imagine both a fence and a henge could have been there.