According to the team of researchers led by archeologistProfessor Mike Parker Pearson of University College London, thehistoric site was in fact older than previously thought and haddifferent functions.”In many ways our findings are rewriting the establishedstory of Stonehenge,” Parker Pearson said.Centuries before the iconic stone mega structure was erected,the site on Salisbury Plain may have served as a giant burialground for important families. The archeologistsexcavated more than 50,000 cremated bone fragments belonging toover 60 people throughout a decade of research. The remains of manycremated bodies were marked by the bluestones of Stonehenge, ParkerPearson said. “Clearly these were special people in someway,” he added.The archeologists claim that the graveyard was built around3,000 BC – 500 years earlier than the massive rock structure we seetoday.Most interestingly the archeologists claim that the originalsite was part of an annual winter solstice ritual that gathered asmany as 4,000 people, at a time when the entire population numberedonly tens of thousands. The analysis of cattle teeth from 80,000animal bones excavated from the site suggests that around 2500 BC,Stonehenge was the site of vast communal feasts that brought peoplefrom all around Britain. It is these people who are thought to haveconstructed the Stonehenge we know today.”Stonehenge was a monument that brought ancient Britaintogether,” Parker Parson said. “What we’ve found is thatpeople came with their animals to feast at Stonehenge from allcorners of Britain – as far afield as Scotland.”It appeared to be the “only time in prehistory that thepeople of Britain were unified,” according to thearcheologist.Parker Pearson explained: “What we have discovered is it’s inthe building the thing that’s important. It’s not that they’recoming to worship, they’re coming to construct it.”It is not so much a temple, it is a monument and it seemsthe big theme is unification … Stonehenge gets visited at certainpoints, people build and then go away.It’s something that’s like Glastonbury Festival and amotorway building scheme at the same time. It’s not all fun,there’s work too.”Parker Pearson and other scientists now reckon that with thatmany people, Stonehenge, in its current form, took the temporaryworkers about a decade to build, about 4,500 years ago.He claims active use of the monument may have ended after justseveral hundreds of years, when “Beaker People” arrived frommainland Europe, bringing new technologies, and destroying theculture of pan-British worship.
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