Stonehenge

The late Pete Younger

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I find it difficult to believe that people came all the way from northern England and Scotland, how long would it have taken them? but I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the program.
 
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Ronson8 said:
I find it difficult to believe that people came all the way from northern England and Scotland, how long would it have taken them? but I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the program.
I'd be more interested to know how they were all related.
 

GNC

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And how did the Northerners find out about the construction? Never mind the complete lack of TV, radio or internet for communication over long distances, were they even speaking the same language?
 

rynner2

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Stonehenge occupied 5,000 years earlier than previously thought
Stonehenge may have been occupied five thousand years earlier than previously thought, archaeologists claim.
By Nick Collins, Science Correspondent
12:01AM BST 19 Apr 2013

Excavation of a site just a mile from the stone structure provided what researchers claim is the first firm evidence of continuous occupation from as early as 7,500BC.

Earlier evidence had suggested that humans were present at the site, known as Vespasian's Camp, around 7,500BC but there were no signs anyone had lived there until as late as 2,500BC.

By carbon-dating materials found at the site, the archaeologists identified a semi-permanent settlement which was occupied from 7,500 to 4,700BC, with evidence that people were present during every millennium in between.

The people occupying the site would likely have been responsible for erecting the first monument at Stonehenge, the Mesolithic posts, between the 9th and 7th millennia BC.

Instead of being seen as a site which was abandoned by Mesolithic humans and occupied by Neolithic men thousands of years later, Stonehenge should be recognised as a place where one culture merged with the other, researchers said.
The findings will be broadcast in an episode of The Flying Archaeologist on BBC Four on Monday week. [My corrections - ryn]

Dr David Jacques of the Open University, who led the study, said he identified the settlement after deciding to search for evidence around a spring on the site, which he reasoned could have attracted animals.

"My thinking was where you find wild animals, you tend to find people," he said. "What we found was the nearest secure watering hole for animals and people, a type of all year round fresh water source. It’s the nearest one to this place [Stonehenge]. I think it’s pivotal.”

Dr Josh Pollard of the Stonehenge Riverside Project added: “The team have found the community who put the first monument up at Stonehenge.
“The significance of David’s work lies in finding substantial evidence of Mesolithic settlement in the Stonehenge landscape [which was] previously largely lacking, apart from the enigmatic posts, and being able to demonstrate that there were repeated visits to this area from the 9th to the 5th millennia BC."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/1000 ... ought.html

The Flying Archaeologist
Monday 29th April at 8:30pm on BBC Four

The Flying Archaeologist, Episode 1: Stonehenge: The Missing Link: Archaeologist Ben Robinson flies over Wiltshire to uncover sites discovered through aerial phototographs. These have led to new evidence about Stonehenge that explains the reason for its location and how long ago it was occupied
 

rynner2

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Stonehenge bone display endorsed by English Heritage governors

A proposal to display human remains at Stonehenge has been endorsed by English Heritage governors, despite a druid's legal challenge.
King Arthur Pendragon has threatened "the biggest protest in Europe" if bones are put on permanent display.
However English Heritage backed the plan for the new visitor centre, saying it was consistent with current UK museum practice.

Last month the druid launched a legal challenge to prevent the display.
He said: "English Heritage has two choices - they can either be world leaders and show the way to the rest of the world, or they can stick with the Victorian idea of ogling at the dead, in which case they would have the biggest protest in Europe because I would be leading it."
Instead he wants fake human remains to be used at the visitor centre, which is part of a £27m project due to finish this year.

English Heritage said the proposal had been carefully considered and there was strong consensus that it must communicate "all the key narratives and archaeological findings" to the public.
Two of the three sets of human remains were excavated more than 50 years ago and the third was uncovered during road improvement works in 2001.
All three sets of remains are more than 4,500 years old.

"If English Heritage was not displaying them, they would remain in the collections of the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum and the Duckworth Collection, University of Cambridge," said a spokesman for the organisation.
"Their presentation, treatment and storage will follow strict guidelines set out by the UK government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
"Visitors will be made aware of the display before they enter the exhibition."

Once complete, the new visitor centre will provide information and history about the giant stones.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-24055516
 
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Ancient pathway uncovered during works at Stonehenge
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-24077080

Stonehenge before and after the A344 is covered over

The A344 - which ran by the stones - is being restored to grass

An ancient ceremonial pathway linking Stonehenge and the nearby River Avon has been unearthed during work to close the road alongside the monument.

Two ditches buried beneath the A344 represent either side of the Avenue, a processional approach aligned with the sunrise of the summer solstice.

Its connection with Stonehenge had been severed when the A344 was built hundreds of years ago.

The find was made near the Heel Stone, about 24 metres from the monument.

English Heritage's Heather Sebire called it "the missing piece of the jigsaw", as the Avenue had been difficult to identify on the ground, but is clearly visible in aerial photographs.

She said: "The part of the Avenue that was cut through by the road has obviously been destroyed forever, but we were hopeful that archaeology below the road would survive.

'Restore dignity'
"It is very exciting to find a piece of physical evidence that officially makes the connection which we were hoping for."

National Trust archaeologist Dr Nick Snashall said it confirms "with total certainty" that Stonehenge and its Avenue were linked.

Work is currently being carried out to restore the A344 alongside the monument to grass and build a new visitor centre.

English Heritage said the work would "restore the dignity" of the stones' setting and "minimise the intrusion of the modern world".

Once the A344 has been restored to grass in summer 2014, markers will be put in place to demonstrate the solstice alignment.

English Heritage said it will enable visitors to "appreciate the position of the Avenue and its intimate connection with and significance to Stonehenge".
 

rynner2

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Another piece in Stonehenge rock source puzzle
By Neil Prior, BBC News

Research to be published this month may bring us a step closer to understanding how bluestones from Pembrokeshire ended up at Stonehenge.
Scientists from Aberystwyth University, University College London and National Museum of Wales have located the specific outcrop, Carn Goedog, in the Preseli Mountains.
This is where the distinctive spotted dolerites originated.
The findings are to be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Geologist Herbert Henry Thomas first proposed in 1923 that the rocks which form the giant inner ring were specifically quarried for Stonehenge by Neolithic man around 5,000 years ago, and were hauled to Wiltshire via land and sea.

However, other geologists theorise that they were carried east on an ice-age glacier 20,000 years ago.

While the new discovery will not answer the debate, according to Dr Richard Bevins, of the National Museum Wales, it may eliminate some of the unknown variables.
"I'm not here to come down on one side of the argument or the other," he explained.
"But our research is aimed at better informing the debate."

Dr Bevins, keeper of natural sciences, added: "Trying to match the rocks at Stonehenge to a specific outcrop is considerably more complicated than looking for a needle in a haystack but the more we can trace them back to their original source, the closer archaeologists and geologists can hunt for clues to back-up their theories.
"Archaeologists can now search an area of hundreds of metres rather than hundreds of kilometres for evidence of Neolithic quarrying.
"While geologists supporting the glacier theory know exactly where to hunt for the scarring they'd expect to find on the landscape if enormous chunks of the stone had indeed been swept east on a glacier."

As the name suggests, the spotted dolerites have highly distinctive markings created by the elements contained within, cooling at different rates in the minutes after they were spewed out of an underwater volcano 450 million years ago.
In 2011, Dr Bevins's team located the source of another of Stonehenge's Pembrokeshire Bluestones - the rhyolites - 3km away from the spotted dolerites at Craig Rhos y Felin.
Although the relative proximity of the two discoveries offers evidence to both camps.

"Three kilometres is both closer and farther away than expected, depending on which theory you support.
"From a geologist's point of view, 3km is nothing, and the rocks which ended up close to each other in Wiltshire could easily have been carried on the same glacier.
"However, for the archaeologists a distance of 3km between the potential quarries could be seen as evidence of planning and forethought, and a suggestion that the different types of stone were chosen for some specific purpose."

Dr Bevins's team are able to say so categorically that they have discovered the source of the spotted dolerites thanks to a range of laser mass spectrometry techniques which analyse both the chemical composition of the rock and the microbiology present when it was formed.
He says that the chance of them having originated anywhere other than Carn Goedog is "statistically-speaking, infinitesimally small"
.

And while he is the first to admit that this discovery on its own gets us no closer to solving the riddle, he believes a definitive answer will come eventually.
"I've been studying the bluestones for over 30 years now, and I'm no closer to finding an answer which convinces me either way. But the one thing which I am increasingly sure of is that each piece of the puzzle we find brings us another step closer to the truth.
"We've located two of the sources, and there's another five or possibly six to go."

He added: "By the time we have identified those then I'm certain we'll have an answer either way. Whether that happens in my career, or even my lifetime, who knows?"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-25004282
 

kamalktk

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Possibly from not so far away?

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/stonehenge-archaeologists-been-digging-wrong-2813818

Stonehenge archaeologists have been digging in the wrong place - for 90 YEARS
21 Nov 2013 00:00

The 11 bluestones were thought to be from Carn Meini in Pembrokeshire - geologists have discovered they come from another hill just over a mile away


Experts trying to uncover the source of Stonehenge’s giant stones have been digging in the wrong spot for 90 years.

It has been a puzzle for generations how the huge Welsh blocks, weighing up to four tons, had reached the ancient monument.

Archeologists were certain the 11 bluestones came from Carn Meini one of the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, 150 miles from Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

But geologists using X-rays have discovered the stones actually come from another hill – just over a mile away.

Now archaeologists, who have spent decades digging for evidence of human activity in the wrong location, are moving to the new site.

They hope to discover if prehistoric man cut the monoliths from the hill called Carn Goedog and transported them, or if the blocks were carried to 4,600-year-old Stonehenge by glaciers in the last Ice Age.

Dr Richard Bevins, of the National Museum of Wales, who helped to identify Carn Goedog as the true source of the stones, said: “I don’t expect to get Christmas cards from the archaeologists who have been excavating at the wrong place all these years.”

He added: “This is an incredibly exciting project and we got confirmation last week that our findings have been verified .

“Getting such positive feedback was a great relief.”

Dr Bevins, a leading authority on volcanic rocks, has been studying the Preseli Hills since the 70s.
 
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Nice piece from The Independent. Our very own Paul Devereux features prominently.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...c-glockenspiel-researchers-claim-9168812.html

Stonehenge is like a sacred 'prehistoric glockenspiel', researchers claim

Metallic, gong-like noises made by the monument when struck may explain why the stones were chosen by its builders

INdependent. Kashmira gander. 04 March 2014


The pillars that form Stonehenge may have been chosen because they were like sacred “prehistoric glockenspiels”, according to researchers.

The sonorous quality of some of the bluestones used for the monument built between 3,000 BC and 1,600 BC may explain why they were transported 200 miles from Pembrokeshire, Wales, when there were plenty of local rocks to use nearby.

‘Archeo-acoustic’ expert Paul Devereux, the principal investigator on the Landscape and Perception Project, explained the choice to the BBC.

“There had to be something special about these rocks,” he said.

“Why else would they take them from here [Wales] all the way to Stonehenge?”

“It hasn't been considered until now that sound might have been a factor,” he said.

The study by researchers from Royal College of Art in London tried to record what “Stone Age eyes and ears” would have heard and seen in a prehistoric landscape.

To make the findings published in the ‘Journal of Time & Mind’, the team was given unprecedented access by English Heritage to the Carn Menyn ridge on Mynydd Preseli, south-west Wales, where many of Stonehenge's bluestones were quarried.

When the thousands of stones were struck with small hammerstones, researchers found that they gave off metallic sounds like bells, gongs or tin drums.

“There's lots of different tones, you could play a tune,” Mr Devereux said, adding: “In fact, we have had percussionists who have played proper percussion pieces off the rocks."

To prove their theory, when researchers tested all the bluestones at Stonehenge, several were found to make distinctive sounds, despite their acoustic potential being dampened by being set deep in the ground.

A number of bluestones at Stonehenge show evidence of having been struck, confirming why so many Neolithic monuments exist in the region, and provides strong evidence that the sounds made the landscape sacred to Stone Age people, the study concluded.

Professor Tim Darvill, an archaeology professor at Bournemouth University who has undertaken hundreds of excavations at Stonehenge, explained to the BBC that “pre-historic attitudes to stone” are likely to have been different to those of today.

“We don't know of course that they moved them because they rang but ringing rocks are a prominent part of many cultures,” he said.

“You can almost see them as a pre-historic glockenspiel, if you like, and you could knock them and hear these tunes.

"And soundscapes of pre-history are something we're really just beginning to explore," he said.
The glockenspiel player must have had very long arms. :)
 

rynner2

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Stonehenge 'complete circle' evidence found

Evidence that the outer stone circle at Stonehenge was once complete has been found, because a hosepipe used to water the site was not long enough.
Parch marks in the grass, in an area that had not been watered, have revealed places where two "missing" huge sarsen stones may once have stood.
The marks were spotted by an English Heritage steward who alerted archaeologists to their existence.
Previous scientific techniques such as geophysics failed to find any evidence.

Historians have long debated whether Stonehenge was a full or incomplete circle, with some arguing a lack of stones in the south-west quadrant is proof it was never complete.

A scientific paper which adds weight to the "complete" theory has been published in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity.
The parch marks - areas where the grass does not grow as strongly as in other areas during hot, dry weather - were first noticed in July last year.

Susan Greaney, from English Heritage, said the discovery seemed to indicate the positions of missing stones.
"If these stone holes actually held upright stones then we've got a complete circle," she said.
"It's really significant, and it shows us just how much we still have to learn about Stonehenge.
"A lot of people assume we've excavated the entire site and everything we're ever going to know about the monument is known.
"But actually there's quite a lot we still don't know and there's quite a lot that can be discovered just through non-excavation methods."

Ms Greaney said a high resolution geophysical survey conducted a few years ago had failed to pick up evidence of the holes.
"It's great that people who know the site really well and look at it every day were able to spot these parch marks and recognise them for what they were," she added.
"We maintain the grass with watering when it's very dry in the summer, but our hosepipe doesn't reach to the other side of the stone circle.
"If we'd had a longer hosepipe we might not have been able to see them."

Tim Daw, who spotted the parch marks, said: "I was standing on the public path looking at the grass near the stones and thinking that we needed to find a longer hosepipe to get the parched patches to green up.
"A sudden lightbulb moment in my head, and I remembered that the marks were where archaeologists had looked without success for signs that there had been stone holes, and that parch marks can signify them.

"I called my colleague over and he saw them and realised their possible significance as well. Not being archaeologists we called in the professionals to evaluate them.
"I am still amazed and very pleased that simply really looking at something, that tens of thousands of people had unwittingly seen, can reveal secrets that sophisticated machinery can't." :D

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-28967538
 

rynner2

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... -episode-1

Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath

Episode 1

Documentary following a group of international archaeologists who believe that a new state-of-the-art approach is the key to unlocking Stonehenge's secrets.

Stonehenge is an icon of prehistoric British culture, an enigma that has seduced archaeologists and tourists for centuries. Why is it here? What is its significance? And which forces inspired its creators? Now a group of international archaeologists led by the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzman Institute in Vienna believe that a new state-of-the-art approach is the key to unlocking Stonehenge's secrets. For four years the team have surveyed and mapped every monument, both visible and invisible, across ten square kilometres of the sacred landscape to create the most complete digital picture of Stonehenge and the surrounding area over millennia. Known monuments have yielded more data than ever before, revealing hidden structures within, and new finds are revolutionising the very timeline of Stonehenge.

Operation Stonehenge takes the viewer on a prehistoric journey from 8000BC to 2500BC as the scientists uncover the very origins of Stonehenge, learning why this landscape is sacred, preserved and has been revered by following generations. Evidence of war and conflict, as well as the cultivation of ideas and industry, is explored to reveal complex communities with international trade links as far-reaching as Spain and central Europe.

Using CGI to reveal the monuments hidden beneath Stonehenge and featuring factually sourced dramatic reconstructions, the stories of the buildings and the people that occupied this sacred landscape over four millennia ago are revealed in comprehensive detail.

First shown: 8pm 11 Sep 2014
Available for 13 days
Duration 60 mins

This is episode 1 - more to come! :D
 

rynner2

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I knew about the Cursus, but hadn't realised it lay north of Stonehenge. (I thought it was to the east.)

So the info that the line of sight from the NW end of the Cursus and the midsummer sunset, intersected with the line from the NE end and the midsummer sunrise, to define the position of Stonehenge was news to me.

(Although it has long been obvious that astronomical alignments were important, that particular one had never before been pointed out, to my knowledge.)
 

rynner2

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Tonight:

Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath
Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath, Episode 2
Today on BBC2 from 8:00pm to 9:00pm

Documentary following a group of international archaeologists, led by the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Vienna and supported by new research from English Heritage. Part two of this mini-series turns its focus to the construction, design and enduring significance of the iconic stone circle itself and the ancient civilisation that flourished around it. Precise CGI reconstructions reveal not just an enigmatic circle of stones, but the crowning achievement and epicentre of a highly sophisticated civilisation that had mastered deep mining, international trade, precision engineering, intricate gold working and state-of-the-art metallurgy, alongside complex astronomy and mathematics.
 

rynner2

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Stonehenge tunnel plans considered by government again

Plans to build a tunnel underneath Stonehenge are again being considered by the government.
Similar proposals were dropped seven years ago on cost grounds.

The plans are being discussed by a working group that has been looking at ways to reduce congestion on the A303 since the spring.
English Heritage and the National Trust said they were working with the Department of Transport to identify a solution "including a tunnel option".

An announcement about upgrading the whole A303 is expected in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, in six weeks.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-29680294

Of course, if the work uncovers interesting new archaeolgy, the tunnel might have to be put on hold again! 8)
 

rynner2

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Stonehenge dig finds 6,000-year-old encampment
Archaeologists found the encampment during a dig at Blick Mead near Stonehenge

Archaeologists working on a site near Stonehenge say they have found an untouched 6,000-year-old encampment which "could rewrite British history".
David Jacques, from the University of Buckingham, made the discovery at Blick Mead in October, and said the carbon dating results had just been confirmed.
But he also raised concerns about possible damage to the site over plans to build a road tunnel past Stonehenge.
The Department of Transport said it would "consult before any building".

The Blick Mead site is about 1.5 miles (2.4km) from Stonehenge and archaeologists said "scientifically tested charcoal" dug up from the site had "revealed that it dated from around 4000 BC".


The archaeologists found burnt flints, remains of animals and tools

David Jacques said the dig had also found "evidence of feasting" including burnt flints, tools and remains of giant cattle, known as aurochs, which were eaten by early hunter gatherers.
Mr Jacques said: "British pre-history may have to be rewritten. This is the latest dated Mesolithic encampment ever found in the UK.
"Blick Mead site connects the early hunter gatherer groups returning to Britain after the Ice Age to the Stonehenge area, all the way through to the Neolithic in the late 5th Millennium BC.
"But our only chance to find out about the earliest chapter of Britain's history could be wrecked if the tunnel goes ahead."
Archaeologists said the latest carbon date suggested it was continuously occupied between 7500-4000 BC

Andy Rhind-Tutt, a former mayor and current chairman of Amesbury Museum, which part-funded the dig, said the discovery could "provide what archaeologists have been searching for centuries - the answer to the story of the pre-history of Stonehenge."
Earlier this month, the government announced funding for a 1.8-mile (2.9km) tunnel to remove congestion from the main road past Stonehenge.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: "As with any road scheme, we will consult with interested parties before any building begins on the A303.
"English Heritage and National Trust are supportive of our plans, and we will ensure sites of cultural or historical significance are safeguarded as we progress with the upgrade."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-30540914
 

Analogue Boy

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Stonehenge tunnel plans considered by government again

Plans to build a tunnel underneath Stonehenge are again being considered by the government.
Similar proposals were dropped seven years ago on cost grounds.

The plans are being discussed by a working group that has been looking at ways to reduce congestion on the A303 since the spring.
English Heritage and the National Trust said they were working with the Department of Transport to identify a solution "including a tunnel option".

An announcement about upgrading the whole A303 is expected in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, in six weeks.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-29680294

Of course, if the work uncovers interesting new archaeolgy, the tunnel might have to be put on hold again! 8)

It would make a slightly imposing entrance to a new Tesco - if that's the idea.
 

Tribble

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'Archaeology on steroids': huge ritual arena discovered near Stonehenge

Researchers find hidden remains of massive Neolithic stone monument, thought to have been hauled into position more than 4,500 years ago


Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a massive stone monument buried under a thick, grassy bank only two miles from Stonehenge.

The hidden arrangement of up to 90 huge standing stones formed part of a C-shaped Neolithic arena that bordered a dry valley and faced directly towards the river Avon.

Researchers used ground-penetrating radar to image about 30 intact stones measuring up to 4.5m tall. The fragments of 60 more buried stones, or the massive foundation pits in which they stood, reveal the full extent of the monument.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/giant-stonehenge-more-4500-years-6394750

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...e-archaeology-ritual-arena-neolithic-monument
 
Last edited:

Tribble

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“We have dates of around 3400 BC for Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3200 BC for Carn Goedog, which is intriguing because the bluestones didn’t get put up at Stonehenge until around 2900 BC,” he said. “It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view."


I dunno, they should meet the cowboys who installed my new kitchen.
 
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A LANDSCAPE architect believes she might have solved the mystery of Stonehenge’s origin.

Sarah Ewbank believes the ancient structure was a two-storey “majestic roundhouse” and has used her 30 years of experience in design to create a scale model.

It has taken nearly a year of research and studying the footprint of the stones to come up with the theory. She thinks it was once used as a multi-purpose venue and says not being an archaeologist has allowed her to think about it logically.


“Archaeologists are very obsessed with dating and the meaning of it,” she said. “I looked at it and thought it was a ruin, and that with my design skills I could work out what was there. In our climate back in the Bronze Age it still rained, and why would you move 75 large stones just so you could dance around twice a year? If you put a roof on it you can use it all year.”

Sarah says the frame would have been made out of oak with thatch used to keep out the elements.

Key to her concept was finding four lines that spanned across the central space, which she interpreted as being huge support beams.

http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/n..._she_s_solved_Stonehenge_s_mysterious_origin/
 
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