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    The Secret of Stonehenge

    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.

    Stonehenge Images:



    I’ll make another post later today


    Why Grades DON’T Matter as much as You Think They Do

    Maybe a better title is “Schools don’t teach kids what they need to know”, but I won’t change it…

    Yeah, I know what you’re all thinking… “What a stupid 7th grader! He should know that Grades come before anything! If he gets bad Grades, he’ll get a bad job and basically fail life and have no money when he’s older!”
    My plan is to join the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard. (I haven’t decided yet, but for now, we’ll just say its the Coast Guard)
    But I can’t enlist until I’m 18, so I’m going to work somewhere like in a retail store before that. And I’m not even allowed to move out until I’m 18, so between the time I can get a job and when I move out of my parents house. So lets just say I will work at American Eagle or Aeropostale, my favorite clothing stores.
    You don’t have to be a nerd to work there, although it would help to get good grades. But, they don’t teach you how to sell stuff in Junior High, they don’t teach you how to use a cash register.
    So, lets skip that part of my life for now.
    Onward to the Coast Guard!
    Obviously, you don’t have to be a genius to get into the Coast Guard. I bet they will know that learning CPR and flying a helicopter are not required in school. So they won’t care if my grades aren’t good. (Maybe CPR is learned in Gym Class, but I never learned it in Gym so lets say its not, they didn’t teach it in my Gym Class). I don’t mean that straight N’s will get you anywhere, (Because they won’t) but I usually get C’s and B’s. They will teach me how to fly a helicopter, they will teach me CPR (If I already knew it (which I don’t) they will either teach me it or review it), they won’t care about algebraic equations, they won’t care if I can name the presidents or not, they won’t care if I can say everything in French, they would want me to rescue english speakers while I’m speaking English to them anyway.

    Same with the Army. Because they obviously teach you how to Fire an M-16 in Science, maybe Grades do matter! (If you’re a complete idiot and believe they are actually teaching us how to Fire an M-16 now, you should be back in school, and I was being sarcastic obviously).

    Maybe you don’t see my point, maybe you do. Parents probably want their children to get good grades so they can get a good job and NOT join the Military, but hey! When I’m 18 I’m a legal adult, and my parents then can only make recommendations, they can’t tell me if I’m going to join the Military or not. Parents just don’t want their son or daughter to be injured.

    So maybe you see my point, maybe you don’t. Everyone thinks grades matter more than anything, but if you choose a future at all similar to mine, Grades may still matter, but not as much. I’m not telling everyone you should just not care at all about Grades, they are a little important, just not the most important thing now! Probably the most important thing now is getting good at a sport or something. So you have a fallback if you don’t get into the Military because of the PHYSICAL test, not a “How smart are you” Test. The test is if you are strong enough, how good your eyesight it, how good your hearing is, stuff like that which won’t involve naming the presidents.


    Disagree or Agree! Whichever, comment your opinion!

    Sorry For The Lack of Posts (And 200 Hits!!!!)

    Hello everybody!

    Obviously, I reached 200 hits on this blog. Well, actually now its 214, but whatever. Its a small accomplishment. Even though other sties you would normally see have about 10,000 hits, just remember-they started out where I am! I’ll get there…. eventually.

    Police: Chief in southern Iraq city killed by bomb
    BAGHDAD – A police chief was killed Monday by a bomb planted in his office, in a southern Iraqi town that saw heavy clashes last month between government forces and the Shiite militia of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, police said.
    (From Yahoo News)

    I’m working on a GIANT post that will make a lot of you think and its going to be released today after I get home from school. So just hang on…