Stonehenge – part 2

Today we continue looking at the fascinating Archaeological discoveries at Stonehenge.

   There was another, more recent, discovery of human remains found at Stonehenge. Buried at the monument were 25 individuals, and 10 of these had been cremated. Interestingly, analysis of the bones found that they were not local, but all the way from the Preseli Hills in West Wales, over 100 miles away. If you remember from last time, this was where the stones to make Stonehenge were quarried from. Since these remains are so old, it is hard to gather much information about them. However, as they were found to be at Stonehenge at the same time that a set of stones were being erected at Stonehenge, there is a theory that these people helped transport the stones to the site. As with many things in archaeology, though, there are more questions than answers with this find – for instance, why were these individuals cremated and buried at Stonehenge?

   Interestingly, it wasn’t just people who came to Stonehenge from far away. A mile and a half from the main Stonehenge monument, 38,000 bones and teeth (90% of them from pigs, the rest cattle) were found. They were not local to the area, and there were even more interesting things found. The pigs were mostly all slaughtered at 9 months old, and since piglets are usually born in spring, then they were being prepared well in advance to when they were eaten – suggesting that people were gathering for a feast at midwinter. Stonehenge was built so that it aligned with the movements of the midwinter and midsummer sun, then it is likely that there was a celebratory feast going on at Stonehenge to celebrate midwinter. What do you think?

   Until next time,

   Stay curious!