This is from my newspaper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press
Evidence of a cemetery for an ancient line of kings unlocks a secret of Stonehenge.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
Los Angeles Times
Radiocarbon dating of cremated bodies excavated from Britain’s Stonehenge has solved part of the mystery surrounding the 5,000-year-old site: It was a burial ground for what might have been the country’s first royal dynasty.
The new dates indicate burials began at least 500 years before the first massive stones were erected at the site and continued after it was completed, British archaeologists said Thursday.
The pattern and relatively small number of graves suggest all were members of a single family.
The findings mark a major re-thinking of Stonehenge, which in the past was believed to be a burial site for only a century.
They provide the first substantive evidence that a line of kings ruled at least the lower portion of the British Island during this early period, exerting enough energy to mobilize the manpower necessary to move the stones as far as 150 miles and maintaining that power for at least five centuries, said archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield, excavations leader of this site.
“It was clearly a special place at that time,” he said. “One has at assume that anyone buried there had some good credentials.”
Researchers estimated up to 240 people were buried there, all as cremation deposits. Other evidence shows cremation was the custom for the Elite.
Parker Pearson presented the new data at a teleconference. It will also appear in the June issue of National Geographic and the television special “Stonehenge Decoded”, to be shown Sunday.
Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain southwest of London, consists of concentric circles of massive stones-some weighing as much as 50 tons-surrounded by an earthen bank and a ditch.
Some of the stones were imported from Wales, about 150 miles away, and others were quarried about 24 miles away at Marlboro Downs. Construction began about 4,500 years ago, about the same time that the Pharaohs were building the Great Pyramids of Giza.
The structure is alinged with sunrise at the summer solstice, and researchers have long viewed the monument as both an astromonical observatory and a cemetary, although they thought that the burials took place over only a relatively short period.
But research over the past three years has provided wealth of information indicating that Stonehenge is only part of a larger ceremonial and religious complex.
Excavations at Durrington Walls, two miles northeast of Stonehenge, revealed a village that is now thought to contain as many as 1,000 houses and a wooden henge but is alinged with sunrise at the winter solstice. It was built at the same time as Stonehenge.
Parker Pearson now believes that Stonehenge was the “Domain of the Dead,” where the ancient people whose identity is still unknown came together in somber ceremonies in summer to honor the dead. Durrington Walls, in contrast, was the “Domain of the living,” where they would adjourn to hold raucous parties to celebrate life and fertility.
At the winter solstice, he said, people would gather again to inter their dead.
The cremated remains dated by Parker Pearson’s were excavated in the 1950s and have been stored since then in the nearby Salisbury Museum. Remains from an additional 49 burial sites were excavated in the 1920s but were reburied because researchers thought they were useless.
The remains had not been radiocarbon-dated until now because only recently has a new technique been devised for use on burned bones.
One of the remains, from the so-called Aubrey holes or pits surrounding Stonehenge, has been dated to 3030 B.C. to 2880 B.C., about the time when the ditch and bank monument was first cut into the Salisbury Plain.
A second, taken from the ditch surrounding Stonehenge, dates from 2930 B.C. to 2870 B.C. A third, that of a woman about 25 years old, dates from 2570 B.C. to 2340 B.C., when the first stones were being raised at the site.
Few objects were buried with the remains, Parker Pearson said. One significantfind, however; was a mace made out of stone. Such maces have long been a symbol of authority in Britain, and now even Parliament has its own mace.
I’ll make another post later today
Filed under: AmazingScott, Life, Scott777 | Tagged: Amazing, Ancient Kings, Archaeology, Britain, British, Discovery, England, Mystery, Nation Geographic, News, Newspaper, Secret, Secret of Stonehenge, Stonehenge | 5 Comments »
God I hate rainy days all I can do is play computer games and do this and chat when my friends are on Gmail. Why does it have to rain?!?!?!?! No, wait that’s a stupid question. The trees and plants have to be watered! But then again, couldn’t we have those mini sprinklers that pop up out of nowhere and water everything at a certain time…. Automatic Sprinklers are handy!
Now…. For a WordPress glitch! Did you fellow site owners ever notice that when you delete a word, the word counter doesn’t go down? Not a very important glitch but still….
All I have to do now is some French Homework. Its always easy but we get homework from that class every night and that gets really annoying! But the class is really easy- the teacher has a bunch of pictures of a pen or some random object for us to identify. So I just basically sleep while the rest of the class says it all. It pretty easy and I don’t have to do anything!
Also I just saw the great movie Ironman! It’s about this guy named Tony Stark who is the CEO of a major weapons company. He invents a destructive missile and goes to Iraq to test it on front of U.S. Army soldiers. Then, they get into Jeeps to go somewhere and are ambushed by terrorists. Tony is the only survivor. He is captured by terrorists. Find out how he escapes and watch the movie!
Because I learned how to make it like a book and have text on one side and a picture on the other and that’s cool kinda!
Here’s a fact you might not know…
In Junior High, what were the 2 main languages? Spanish and French. (Or at least it is for me)
There were probably more people in Spanish, because at my school there are 2 Spanish Teachers and 1 French Teacher. There are more Spanish Speaking People, but there are more countries where French is one of the official language. That means if you like to Travel you should learn French! Plus there’s Paris for everyone…
Here are some hilarious Dane Cook Videos that swear a lot
The BK Lounge-Burger King
I just got 100+ hits since last night. This is really good (for me). Some of you blog owners with way mores obviously don’t think this is at all an accomplishment, but remember, you were like this once!
I found 2 really good songs on YouTube by “DaveDays”. His band is really good and I’ll post the videos here.
“Miley I can’t wait to see you” -Davedays
“The Nice Kitty Song” -Davedays (To understand this you have to see the Mean Kitty Song)
Enjoy the videos!
Here’s why: Oil.
Then maybe that makes you think about all the terrorists. “But wait! The government said it was because Saddam Huissein had a bomb that could kill millions and that’s why we invaded!” Wrong. We had evidence that he didn’t have the bomb. There was no other good reason to invade besides getting free oil. My dad told me that so I don’t have an “updated” version. And when we captured Saddam, no bomb. And we’re not in Iraq right now to help the people, we’re there to take their oil. The government just says we’re there so this was isn’t as unpopular as the Vietnam war was.
So what’s your opinion on all this? Are we in Iraq to help people, or to get free oil?
This the day to honor the brave American Soldiers who fought so courageously in American Wars for us to have freedom and independence. So if you haven’t already put out your flag, do it now. The least you can do is show those brave soldiers you honor them by putting out your flag and taking it down today at sunset. I already put mine up. It took me 5 minutes. And 5 minutes later today. You’re probably not too busy to do that, right?
But remember, if it starts to rain (Like it might near my house) take the flag down and inside!
Happy Memorial Day! If you know an American Soldier/Veteran, honor them today!