Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An "Ancient Settlement Is Unearthed Near Stonehenge"

National Geographic Society photo of the Stonehenge monument, within UNESCO Stonehenge World Heritage site in January 2007.

Read the full article subtitled "Sites Apparently Used for Ceremonies and Burials" by Marc Kaufman in The Washington Post, January 31, 2007.
New excavations near the mysterious circle at Stonehenge in southern England have uncovered dozens of homes where hundreds of people lived -- at roughly the same time that the giant stone slabs were being erected 4,600 years ago.

The finding strongly suggests that the monument and the settlement nearby were a center for ceremonial activities, with Stonehenge probably a burial site, while other nearby circular earthen and timber "henges" were devoted to feasts and festivals.

The small homes and personal items found beneath the grounds of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site are the first of their kind from that late Stone Age period in Britain, and they suggest a surprising level of social organization and ceremonial behavior to complement the massive stonework nearby. The excavators said their discoveries, about two miles from Stonehenge itself, together constitute an archaeological treasure.

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