Scientists claim to have solved the mystery of Stonehenge’s location

Scientists claim to have solved the mystery of Stonehenge’s location

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Archaeologists who have been undertaking excavation work in the surrounding area of Stonehenge have claimed to have solved the mystery as to why the large circle of standing stones was constructed in the position it is in. However, it seems rather premature to be popping open the champagne bottles just yet as the evidence is far from conclusive.

The team of scientists working in Amesbury, a short distance from where the landmarks sits on a hillside, believe the discovery of a ‘warm’ water spring provides all the answers they were looking for. It is claimed that Ice Age man was drawn to the nearby pools which never froze over and settled in the area to have access to the water.

The pools are fed by a spring which keeps the water at a constant 11 degrees, even in winter. Scientists visited the area in minus ten degree temperatures and found that the pools had not frozen over.

“The belief has always been that Stonehenge would not have been built here without there being something special about the area, said Andy Rhind-Tutt, chairman of the Amesbury Museum and Heritage Trust. “We believe the answer lies in the springs which feed the River Avon.”

The reason for Stonehenge’s location has remained one of the great unsolved mysteries of British prehistory, with no one theory accepted as correct. While the latest finding is interesting, it certainly appears too superficial to explain all the other evidence relating to Stonehenge’s location – were the warm springs a big enough motivation for Mesolithic settlers to drag megalithic blocks over 240 kilometres? Is the fact that it sits perfectly on a solstice axis now considered insignificant?

Hopefully scientists don’t believe this research is enough to close the file on the mysteries of Stonehenge.

    Have Scientists Finally Unraveled the 60-Year Mystery Surrounding Nine Russian Hikers’ Deaths?

    In February 1959, university student Mikhail Sharavin made an unexpected discovery on the slopes of the Ural Mountains.

    Dispatched as a member of a search party investigating a group of nine experienced hikers’ disappearance, Sharavin and his fellow rescuers spotted the corner of a tent peeking out beneath the snow, as he told BBC News’ Lucy Ash in 2019. Inside, they found supplies, including a flask of vodka, a map and a plate of salo (white pork fat), all seemingly abandoned without warning. A slash in the side of the tent suggested that someone had used a knife to carve out an escape route from within, while footprints leading away from the shelter indicated that some of the mountaineers had ventured out in sub-zero temperatures barefoot, or with only a single boot and socks.

    Perplexed, the search party decided to toast to the missing group’s safety with the flask found in their tent.

    “We shared [the vodka] out between us—there were 11 of us, including the guides,” Sharavin recalled. “We were about to drink it when one guy turned to me and said, ‘Best not drink to their health, but to their eternal peace.’”

    Over the next several months, rescuers recovered all nine hikers’ bodies. Per BBC News, two of the men were found barefoot and clad only in their underwear. While the majority of the group appeared to have died of hypothermia, at least four had sustained horrific—and inexplicable—injuries, including a fractured skull, broken ribs and a gaping gash to the head. One woman, 20-year-old Lyudmila Dubinina, was missing both her eyeballs and her tongue. The wounds, said a doctor who examined the bodies, were “equal to the effect of a car crash,” according to documents later obtained by the St. Petersburg Times.

    Memorial honoring the nine victims of the Dyatlov Pass Incident (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

    Today, the so-called Dyatlov Pass Incident—named after the group’s leader, 23-year-old Igor Dyatlov—is one of Russia’s most enduring mysteries, spawning conspiracy theories as varied as a military cover-up, a UFO sighting, an abominable snowman attack, radiation fallout from secret weapons tests and a clash with the indigenous Mansi people. But as Robin George Andrews reports for National Geographic, new research published in the journal Communications Earth and Environment points toward a more “sensible” explanation, drawing on advanced computer modeling to posit that an unusually timed avalanche sealed the hikers’ fate.

    “We do not claim to have solved the Dyatlov Pass mystery, as no one survived to tell the story,” lead author Johan Gaume, head of the Snow and Avalanche Simulation Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, tells Live Science’s Brandon Specktor. "But we show the plausibility of the avalanche hypothesis [for the first time]."

    In 2019, Russian authorities announced plans to revisit the incident, which they attributed not to a crime, but to an avalanche, a snow slab or a hurricane. The following year, the inquiry pinned the hikers’ deaths on a combination of an avalanche and poor visibility. As the state-owned RIA news agency reported in July 2020, the official findings suggested that a torrent of snow slabs, or blocky chunks, surprised the sleeping victims and pushed them to seek shelter at a nearby ridge. Unable to see more than 50 feet ahead, the hikers froze to death as they attempted to make their way back to their tent. Given the official findings’ lack of “key scientific details,” as well as the Russian government’s notorious “lack of transparency,” however, this explanation failed to quell the public’s curiosity, per National Geographic.

    Critics of the slab avalanche theory cite four main counterarguments, says Gaume to Live Science: the lack of physical traces of an avalanche found by rescuers the more than nine-hour gap between the hikers building their camp—a process that required cutting into the mountain to form a barrier against the wind—and their panicked departure the shallow slope of the campsite and the traumatic injuries sustained by the group. (Asphyxiation is a more common cause of death for avalanche victims.)

    Gaume and co-author Alexander M. Puzrin, a geotechnical engineer at ETH Zürich, used historical records to recreate the mountain’s environment on the night of the Dyatlov incident and attempt to address these seeming inconsistencies. Then, the scientists write in the study, they simulated a slab avalanche, drawing on snow friction data and local topography (which revealed that the slope wasn’t actually as shallow as it had seemed) to prove that a small snowslide could have swept through the area while leaving few traces behind.

    The authors theorize that katabatic winds, or fast-flowing funnels of air propelled by the force of gravity, transported snow down the mountain to the campsite.

    “[I]t was like somebody coming and shoveling the snow from one place and putting it on the slope above the tent,” Puzrin explains to New Scientist’s Krista Charles.

    Eventually, the accumulating snow became too heavy for the slope to support.

    “If they hadn’t made a cut in the slope, nothing would have happened,” says Puzrin in a statement. “[But] at a certain point, a crack could have formed and propagated, causing the snow slab to release.”

    The researchers unraveled the final piece of the puzzle—the hikers’ unexplained injuries—with the help of a surprising source: Disney’s 2013 film Frozen. According to National Geographic, Gaume was so impressed by the movie’s depiction of snow that he asked its creators to share their animation code with him. This simulation tool, coupled with data from cadaver tests conducted by General Motors in the 1970s to determine what happened to the human body when struck at different speeds, enabled the pair to show that heavy blocks of solid snow could have landed on the hikers as they slept, crushing their bones and causing injuries not typically associated with avalanches. If this was the case, the pair posits, those who had sustained less serious blows likely dragged their injured companions out of the tent in hopes of saving their lives.

    Configuration of the Dyatlov group's tent, installed on a flat surface after making a cut in the slope below a small shoulder (Gaume / Puzrin)

    Jim McElwaine, a geohazards expert at Durham University in England who wasn’t involved in the study, tells National Geographic that the slabs of snow would have had to be incredibly stiff, and moving at a significant speed, to inflict such violent injuries.

    Speaking with New Scientist, McElwaine adds that the research “doesn’t explain why these people, after being hit by an avalanche, ran off without their clothes on into the snow.”

    He continues, “If you’re in that type of harsh environment it’s suicide to leave shelter without your clothes on. For people to do that they must have been terrified by something. I assume that one of the most likely things is that one of them went crazy for some reason. I can’t understand why else they would have behaved in that way unless they were trying to flee from someone who’s been tracking them.”

    Gaume, on the other hand, views the situation rather differently.

    As he tells Live Science, “When [the hikers] decided to go to the forest, they took care of their injured friends—no one was left behind. I think it is a great story of courage and friendship in the face of a brutal force of nature.”

    Stonehenge mystery solved, says breakthrough scientific study

    A scientist rebukes an age-old theory as to how Stonehenge's bluestones were transported over 140 miles with his new theory that could change the Stonehenge origin story.

    The ancient mystery of who built Stonehenge has been solved, according to a breakthrough study.

    A groundbreaking new analysis of the 25 cremated remains buried at the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire has revealed that 10 of them lived nowhere near the bluestones.

    Instead they came from western Britain, and half of those 10 possibly came from 140 miles away in Southwest Wales (where the earliest Stonehenge monoliths have also been traced back to).

    The remaining 15 could be locals from the Wiltshire area or other descendants of migrants from the west.

    It's also likely that they were potentially a mix of men and women and that they were of high social status, claim the experts in a new study.

    File photo - A sprinkler waters the grass surrounding the ancient site of Stonehenge, southern England April 30, 2011 (REUTERS/Chris Helgren)

    In all the cases, it is unclear if the individuals died shortly before all of parts of their cremated remains were transported to Stonehenge, or whether they were respected ancestors who had died several generations earlier.

    Though the team of scientists – led by researchers from the University of Oxford – can't guarantee that the remains are of people who actually built the monument, the earliest cremation dates are described as “tantalizingly” close to the date when the bluestones were brought in to form the first stone circle.

    The key breakthrough was that high temperatures of cremation can crystalize a skull, storing the chemical signal of its origins.

    While previous studies have concentrated on Stonehenge's construction – including the sourcing of the stones and their transport from over 100 miles away in modern-day Pembrokeshire – very little has been unearthed about the individuals who built it.

    The new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that both people and materials were flowing between areas around 5,000 years ago and that some of these people stayed put in the region.

    When they passed away, their cremated remains were placed under the ancient monument in what is now Wiltshire.

    The earliest bones have been dated to about 3,000 BC and then span a range of around 500 years.

    John Pouncett, a lead author of the study, said: "The range of dates raises the possibility that for centuries people could have been brought to Stonehenge for burial with the stones.”

    Co-author Dr. Christophe Snoeck demonstrated that cremated bone faithfully retains its strontium isotope composition.

    He said that "about 40 percent of the cremated individuals did not spend their later lives on the Wessex chalk where their remains were found."

    The cremated remains from Stonehenge were first excavated by Colonel William Hawley in the 1920s from a network of 56 pits dotted around the inner circumference and ditch of the monument, known as Aubrey Holes.

    Hawley then reburied them at the site to be dug up at a later date.

    Pouncett, a spatial technology officer at Oxford’s School of Archaeology, said the research "gives us a new insight into the communities who built Stonehenge".

    "The cremated remains from the enigmatic Aubrey Holes and updated mapping of the biosphere suggest that people from the Preseli Mountains not only supplied the bluestones used to build the stone circle but moved with the stones and were buried there too," he added.

    Scientists Have Solved the Biggest Mystery of Stonehenge

    Scientists have solved one huge, longstanding mystery relating to Stonehenge, after years of dogged examination and using the latest technology to its best effect. By running mass spectrometry on one of the site&rsquos exigent 52 stones, the researchers were able to match its trace elements to a site in England where that rock was likely mined.

    In a new paper in Science Advances, the researchers explain exactly what they did:

    The site the scientists decided on as the likely source is called West Woods, which is about 15 miles from Stonehenge. They say West Woods occupied a special place for Neolithic people: It was a source of tons, literally, of the best stone they could find and had natural access points that made it easier to access. And, most importantly for this research, &ldquoWest Woods, in the southeast Marlborough Downs, yields permissible matches for all median immobile trace element ratios from the Phillips&rsquo Core this includes [unusual minerals] which fall within instrumental uncertainty.&rdquo

    First, the researchers used nondestructive (like noninvasive testing for a human) surface tests at the Stonehenge site. This helped them narrow down which stones were likely made of the same stone from the same source, which it turns out is the vast majority of surviving stones. But without a sample they could test using advanced mass spectrometry, they couldn&rsquot conclude anything or try to match the stones with confidence.

    The Phillips&rsquo Core they mention could be considered the key to finally unlocking the answer, and this part gives the whole story an Agatha Christie level of interlocking surprises.

    In the 1950s, researchers and conservation experts joined forces to right, and secure, three stones that had fallen in the 1790s. To do that, one contractor drilled a core through each of the three stones in order to install a metal brace. The core from stone 58 was lost for decades and rediscovered in 2018. Finally, researchers had a sample they could analyze.

    Why did they need to wait for some mystery item to appear, instead of testing the rocks as they stand? Well, since mass spectrometry of this kind is a destructive test, researchers must have a sample they can comfortably turn to dust. You can&rsquot just walk up to one of humankind&rsquos oldest and most famous monuments and chip a little bit into an envelope. Even to take a sample from the core required extensive special permission, because these cores could represent the only testable material we ever safely have from the stones.

    So with the core sample in hand, a lab in Spain ground it up to run analyses. Any exterior weathering was removed, leaving a clean sample that was ground to mere micrometers. Then the scientists ran three &ldquodigestive&rdquo tests where some amount of sample is treated and completely destroyed by an application of acid to reveal trace elements and other hints about chemical makeup. With a full spectral analysis in hand, the team could compare side by side to their 20 candidate sites and deduce that West Woods is the most likely match.

    Finding the lost core provided a special, treasured research material, and the data these scientists obtained could be analyzed in more detail by others in the future. And with a likely candidate location in hand, other kinds of researchers altogether can think more carefully about how ancient people cut and prepared these gigantic stones and transported them even mere miles. The past, it seems, has an exciting future.

    • A core sample of the sarsens was taken in the 1950s during conservation work
    • The stones stand up to 9 metres tall and weigh up to 27 tonnes
    • Smaller stones at Stonehenge have been tracked to 250km away in Wales

    Geochemical testing indicates that 50 of Stonehenge's 52 pale-grey sandstone megaliths, known as sarsens, share a common origin about 25 kilometres away at a site called West Woods on the edge of Wiltshire's Marlborough Downs, researchers said.

    The sarsens were erected at Stonehenge around 2500 BC. The largest stands 9.1 metres tall. The heaviest weighs about 27.5 tonnes.

    "The sarsen stones make up the iconic outer circle and central trilithon [two vertical stones supporting a horizontal stone] horseshoe at Stonehenge. They are enormous," said University of Brighton geomorphologist David Nash, who led the study published in the journal Science Advances.

    "How they were moved to the site is still really the subject of speculation.

    "Given the size of the stones, they must have either been dragged or moved on rollers to Stonehenge. We don't know the exact route but at least we now have a starting point and an endpoint."

    Stonehenge's smaller bluestones previously were traced to Pembrokeshire in Wales 250km away, but the origin of the sarsens had defied identification.

    A sarsen core sample, extracted during conservation work in the late 1950s when metal rods were inserted to stabilise a cracked megalith, provided crucial information.

    It was given as a souvenir to a man named Robert Phillips who worked for the company involved in the conservation work and was on-site during drilling.

    Mr Phillips took it with him with permission when he emigrated to the United States in 1977, living in New York, Illinois, California and finally Florida, Professor Nash said.

    Mr Phillips decided to return it to the United Kingdom for research in 2018. He died this year.

    The researchers analysed fragments of the sample — destructive testing being off-limits for megaliths at the site — to establish the geochemical fingerprint of the sarsen from which it was taken.

    That fingerprint matched sandstone still at West Woods and all but two of the Stonehenge sarsens.

    "I hope that what we have found out," Professor Nash said, "will allow people to understand more about the enormous endeavour involved in constructing Stonehenge."

    Scientists Analyze Ancient DNA to Solve Mystery of Who Built Stonehenge

    Shrouded in mystery, Stonehenge is among the world's most famous ancient ruins. The prehistoric monument has perplexed archaeologists for years, culminating in endless theories about who built it and how. Finally, however, there appear to be some concrete clues to the case, as scientists believe they have discovered important information about its builders.

    According to a new study featured in Nature: Ecology & Evolution, a scientific journal, the people who constructed the colossal stone arrangement in present-day Wiltshire, England were from what is now known as Turkey.

    How did scientists reach this conclusion? After analyzing ancient genetic data from six Mesolithic and 67&thinspNeolithic people discovered in Britain, they were able to pinpoint “persistent genetic affinities between Mesolithic British and Western European hunter-gatherers.” This, they believe, indicates that around 4000 BCE, “continental farmers” migrated from the Aegean coast to Britain, replacing the hunter-gatherers who had long lived on the island and introduced the area to agriculture.

    As Stonehenge was built between 3000 and 1500 BCE, scientists can conclude that descendants of these continental immigrants are responsible for its creation. Most importantly, however, they've made a major break in a century-old debate surrounding the agricultural revolution as a whole.

    “The transition to farming marks one of the most important technological innovations in human evolution,” Mark Thomas, Professor of Genetics, Evolution & Environment at University College London and author of the study, explains. “For over 100 years archaeologists have debated if it was brought to Britain by immigrant continental farmers, or if was adopted by local hunter-gatherers.”

    Mystery of Stonehenge finally solved by scientists uncovering secrets in forest

    The mystery of Stonehenge may finally have been solved - thanks to a long forgotten piece of stone thought lost forever.

    Researchers say they have found the ikely origin of the huge "sarsen" stones which create the unique prehistoric monument&aposs famed circle of giant stones.

    The extraordinary site in Wiltshire has fascinated the world since the Middle Ages - inspiring the imaginations of millions of British visitors and tourists from around the world.

    Wild theories have sprung up about its origins - as scientists and sociologists tried to work out what prompted a Neolithic society to erect such heavy stones in the distinctive pattern.

    Now they have had a major breakthrough after a piece of Stonehenge stone that had been missing largely unnoticed for nearly seven decades was brought back to Britain.

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    Researchers say the evidence from one of the roughly 100 20-tonne, 7 metre-tall stones indicate the material for the megaliths were sourced from a nearby forest.

    Today West Woods is popular with hikers, mountain bikers and dog walkers, near Marlborough, and is around 15 miles north of the stone circle on the edge of the downs.

    A souvenir whisked from Wiltshire to America and back again appears to have unlocked a piece of previously unproven history about the forest, which is today known for its springtime bluebells.

    Theories about who built Stonehenge and why have included claims the monument was erected by Romans.

    A leading theory proposed in the 17th century remains the most popular - suggesting Ancient druid priests created Stonehenge, and many modern scholars agree that it was a burial ground.

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    But the source of the stones and how they got there have continued to baffle researchers.

    Stonehenge is proclaimed a &aposwonder of the world&apos along with Egypt&aposs Pyramids as scholars remains puzzled by how a civilisation without modern technology, or even the wheel, could transport and erect the stones as they stand today.

    Now researchers believe the stones in the outer circle were brought from the West Woods to Stonehenge&aposs site.

    They came to the conclusion after a sample removed from the core of one of the stones during repair work in the 1950s was brought back from the United States.

    The core had been removed by a Basingstoke diamond-cutting business as part of measures to use metal rods to reinforce one of the upright stones in 1958.

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    Company employee Robert Phillips kept it in pride of place in his office.

    He later took it with him when he emigrated to the US and its existence remained largely unknown for six decades, until he expressed a wish for it to be returned on the eve of his 90th birthday.

    His sons brought it over and presented it in 2018 to English Heritage, which cares for the World Heritage site.

    The piece has helped solve the question of where the enormous stones of the world-famous monument are from.

    Research has shown the monument&aposs smaller bluestones come from specific spots in the Preseli Hills in Wales, but where the ancient people who constructed Stonehenge quarried the sarsens from was unknown.

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    It has long been assumed they came from Marlborough Downs, but that has never been rigorously tested, according to a study by a team of researchers published in the journal Science Advances.

    The team used a non-destructive X-ray technique to assess the make-up of all the remaining sarsen upright and lintel stones, which established that 50 of the 52 remaining megaliths shared a consistent chemistry.

    This led them to conclude they were sourced from a common area.

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    The core was cut up and sampled for its chemical composition, and compared with samples of sarsen boulders in 20 areas stretching from Devon to Norfolk, including six in the Marlborough Downs to the north of Stonehenge.

    The analysis concludes that stone number 58 - which the core was taken from - and therefore the majority of the sarsens were mostly likely from West Woods.

    The experts said archaeological investigations and further detailed sampling of sarsens from West Woods and the surrounding areas are needed to more closely pinpoint the stone&aposs source and identify the prehistoric quarries.

    English Heritage senior properties historian Susan Greaney and one of the authors of the paper said it was a "real thrill" to track down the area that the builders of Stonehenge sourced their materials in 2500 BC.

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    "Now we can start to understand the route they might have travelled and add another piece to the puzzle.

    "While we had our suspicions that Stonehenge&aposs sarsens came from the Marlborough Downs, we didn&apost know for sure, and with areas of sarsens across Wiltshire, the stones could have come from anywhere.

    "We can now say, when sourcing the sarsens, the over-riding objective was size - they wanted the biggest, most substantial stones they could find and it made sense to get them from as nearby as possible," she said.

    Professor David Nash, from the University of Brighton, who led the research, said: "It has been really exciting to harness 21st-century science to understand the Neolithic past, and finally answer a question that archaeologists have been debating for centuries."

    He said it was the chance to analyse the returned core that enabled the experts to determine the source area for the enormous stones.

    "We&aposre incredibly grateful to the Phillips family for returning the core to us," he added.

    4 The Disappearance Of The Nazca Civilization

    For years, historians were baffled by the mysterious disappearance of the Nazca people of Peru around A.D. 500. This was the civilization responsible for the Nazca lines, huge geoglyphs carved into the ground in that region. There have been many theories to explain the lines, but most historians agree that the Nazca probably used them as sacred pathways when practicing their rituals.

    In recent years, scientists have determined that the Nazca civilization caused its own destruction. By clearing so many huarango trees in their valleys for farming, they did irreparable damage to their environment. These nitrogen-fixing trees increased moisture and soil fertility. Without enough of them, the climate became too arid to grow food.

    &ldquoThe huarango . . . was an important source of food, forage, timber, and fuel for the local people,&rdquo said archaeologist David Beresford-Jones. The species was responsible for &ldquoenhancing soil fertility and moisture, ameliorating desert extremes in the microclimate beneath its canopy and underpinning the floodplain with one of the deepest root systems of any tree known. In time, gradual woodland clearance crossed an ecological threshold&mdashsharply defined in such desert environments&mdashexposing the landscape to the region&rsquos extraordinary desert winds and the effects of El Nino floods.&rdquo

    Scientists believe that a major El Nino event occurred around the same time as the deforestation, triggering devastating floods due to the lack of trees. After that, the Nazca would have been unable to grow enough food for their people in that area.


    The story of the new discovery began when a core sample of one of the sarsens—“stone 58”—was extracted during conservation work in the late 1950s when metal rods were inserted to stabilize a cracked megalith.

    The core sample was given as a souvenir to Robert Phillips, who was involved in the work on the iconic monument.

    Phillips took it with him when he emigrated to the United States in 1977, where it stayed until, in 2018, he returned it for research to English Heritage, the conservation organization that looks after the site.

    The sandstone core sample provided crucial information, enabling researchers to study the chemical make-up of the stone and compare it to similar rocks from across Southern England.

    Overview of Stonehenge. (Andre Pattenden/English Heritage)

    The new geochemical findings, published in the journal Science Advances, indicate that 50 of Stonehenge’s 52 pale-gray megaliths come from a place called West Woods on the edge of Wiltshire’s Marlborough Downs.

    According to Timothy Darvill, a professor of Archaeology at Bournemouth University, who was involved in the study, the science involved was quite straight forward, but it was establishing provenance for the stones that was difficult because the material they are made of is very common.

    “What we’re doing is a simple case of finger-printing. We’re taking some stones at Stonehenge itself and we’re working out the geochemistry of them. For that, we measure all the little trace elements which are in the stone. Now, sarsens are really difficult stone to work with because it’s 99 percent silica and silica is a pretty ubiquitous mineral,” Darvill told Reuters.

    Mystery over who built Stonehenge may finally be solved

    Britain’s “first city” was located near an ancient spring in Salisbury, England and its residents built Stonehenge, according to a new theory from archaeologists.

    The scientists have recently unearthed over 70,000 stone tools from a site called Blick Mead, which is just a mile away from the famous stone circle.

    Who is responsible for building Stonehenge is a mystery that archaeologists have longed to answer.

    The monument is believed to have been constructed between 3000-2000 BC but its purpose and how prehistoric people were able to build it has baffled scholars for centuries.

    Now, archaeologists are calling Blick Mead the “cradle of Stonehenge.”

    “When you look at Stonehenge you think, ‘but where are the people?It makes sense that if you want to find the people who built it, the obvious idea is to look for where the water is,” Professor David Jacques of the University of Buckingham told The Telegraph.

    “At Blick Mead we found shed loads of stuff. Up until 2006 only 30 finds had ever been recovered from this period at any one site, and now we’re up to more than 70,000, so it’s been a total gamechanger. We’re talking about a very small area that people were coming to again and again and I think it was probably some sort of permanent settlement, so all our ideas of how hunter-gatherers move around in dispersed communities needs to be revised. This makes Stonehenge more interesting because it gives it a longer history, linking it back to people from the Mesolithic. Blick Mead really is the cradle of Stonehenge.”

    The archaeologists think that Blick Mead’s proximity to water and good pastures for cattle grazing made it the perfect location for a permanent settlement.

    They think prehistoric hunter-gatherers could have lived there up to 10,000 years ago.

    Evidence that the site was used long-term includes a potential ceremonial platform that could have been used for rituals and lots of cattle skulls.

    A potential Mesolithic ‘eco-home’ was also found underneath a fallen tree at the site back in 2015.

    Dating from between 4336BC to 4246BC, it’s thought that the giant base of the fallen tree would have been used as the wall of the house and the roof was likely made of animal skins.

    The Mesolithic, also called the Middle Stone Age, came before the Neolithic period and the Stone Age in which Stonehenge is believed to have been built.

    One link between the builders of Stonehenge and Blick Mead is that lots of cattle skulls were found deliberately placed in ditches around the stone circle, suggesting they were considered to be sacred.

    However, hunter-gatherers aren’t known for settling in one place so the researchers think there’s a chance the Blick Mead site was used as a base for sick people, children and the elderly.

    The results of the recent excavations will be shown in the documentary Lost Cities with Albert Lin which airs at 8pm on Sunday’s on National Geographic.

    Watch the video: Researchers believe theyve solved the mystery of Stonehenge (September 2022).

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