07 Oct 2009

Bluehenge Discovered

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Daily Mail illustration

Evidence of the former existence smaller stone circle by the Avon River at the end of an avenue leading to Stonehenge has given support to a new theory of the entire site constituting an enormous funerary complex. I had not been aware that Stonehenge was surrounded by an enormous prehistoric cemetery.


The Guardian
:

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of what they believe was a second Stonehenge located a little more than a mile away from the world-famous prehistoric monument.

The new find on the west bank of the river Avon has been called “Bluestonehenge”, after the colour of the 25 Welsh stones of which it was once made up.

Excavations at the site have suggested there was once a stone circle 10 metres in diameter and surrounded by a henge – a ditch with an external bank, according to the project director, Professor Mike Parker Pearson, of the University of Sheffield.

The stones at the site were removed thousands of years ago but the sizes of the holes in which they stood indicate that this was a circle of bluestones, brought from the Preseli mountains of Wales, 150 miles away.

The standing stones marked the end of the avenue that leads from the river Avon to Stonehenge, a 1¾-mile long processional route constructed at the end of the Stone Age.

CNN:

Neolithic peoples would have come down river by boat and literally stepped off into Bluestonehenge, Pollard said. They may have congregated at certain times of the year, including the winter solstice, and carried remains of the dead from Bluestonehenge down an almost two-mile funeral processional route to a cemetery at Stonehenge to bury them.

“It could be that Bluestonehenge was where the dead began their final journey to Stonehenge,” said Mike Parker Pearson, an archaeologist at the University of Sheffield who co-directed the project with Pollard.

“Not many people know that Stonehenge was Britain’s largest burial ground at that time,” he said. “Maybe the blue stone circle is where people were cremated before their ashes were buried at Stonehenge itself.”


Daily Mail illustration

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