Friday, May 30, 2008
England's enigmatic Stonehenge served as a burial ground from its earliest beginnings and for several hundred years thereafter, new research indicates.
Dating of cremated remains shows burials took place as early as 3000 B.C., when the first ditches around the monument were being built, researchers said Thursday.
And those burials continued for at least 500 years, when the giant stones that mark the mysterious circle were being erected, they said.
"It's now clear that burials were a major component of Stonehenge in all its main stages," said Mike Parker Pearson, archaeology professor at the University of Sheffield in England and head of the Stonehenge Riverside Archaeological Project. * * *
Parker Pearson added: "I don't think it was the common people getting buried at Stonehenge; it was clearly a special place at that time. One has to assume anyone buried there had some good credentials."