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TOPIC: Stonehenge


L

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RE: Stonehenge
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Stonehenge was a meeting point between the living and the dead
Today the bluestones are now largely invisible, dwarfed by the huge sandstone monoliths or "hanging stones" that were erected later and still make up Stonehenge's iconic profile.

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Archaeologists have pinpointed the construction of Stonehenge to 2300 BC - a key step to discovering how and why the mysterious temple was built.
The radiocarbon date is said to be the most accurate yet and means the ring's original bluestones were put up 300 years later than previously thought.

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Prehistoric cattle remains found close to Stonehenge suggest that partying pilgrims brought the animals from afar, scientists report. The remains support a theory that the megalithic monument near Salisbury, in southern England, drew ancient peoples from distant regions to celebrate important feast ceremonies. And the feasts, it seems, were movable.
Cattle slaughtered during ritual festivities at the site may have come from as far away as Wales, Jane Evans of the United Kingdom's Natural Environment Research Council announced this week at the British Association Festival of Science in Liverpool. The discovery is based on 4,500-year-old cattle teeth and bones recently unearthed at a late Stone Age village at Durrington Walls, less than 3km from the famous stone circle.

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Archaeologists from around the country are investigating Stonehenge and the surrounding areas in, and visitors are being invited to come along to see history brought to life.
As part of the ongoing Riverside Project experts are going to be digging at sites near the ancient stones to find out more about their links with Stonehenge itself.

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Cursus
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Cursus

stonehengeAriel
Expand (111kb, 800 x 600)

Latitude 5111'5.87"N, Longitude 149'25.88"W

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Greater Stonehenge Cursus
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Archaeologists have come a step closer to solving the 285-year-old riddle of an ancient monument thought to be a precursor to Stonehenge.
A team led by University of Manchester archaeologist Professor Julian Thomas has dated the Greater Stonehenge Cursus at about 3,500 years BC - 500 years older than the circle itself.
They were able to pinpoint its age after discovering an antler pick used to dig the Cursus - the most significant find since it was discovered in 1723 by antiquarian William Stukeley.
When the pick was carbon dated the results pointed to an age which was much older than previously thought - between 3600 and 3300 BC - and has caused a sensation among archaeologists.
The dig took place last summer in a collaborative project run by five British universities and funded by the Arts and Histories Research Council and the National Geographic Society.

"The Stonehenge Cursus is a 100 metre wide mile long area which runs about 500 metres north of Stonehenge. We don't know what it was used for - but we do know it encloses a pathway which has been made inaccessible. And that suggests it was either a sanctified area or for some reason was cursed" - Professor Julian Thomas.

Professor Thomas believes that the Cursus was part of complex of monuments, within which Stonehenge was later constructed.

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New radiocarbon dates of human cremation burials at Stonehenge indicate that the monument was used as a cemetery from its inception just after 3000 B.C. until well after the large stones went up around 2500 B.C.

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Stonehenge served as a burial ground for much longer than had previously been believed, new research suggests.
The site was used as a cemetery for 500 years, from the point of its inception.
Archaeologists have said the cremation burials found at the site might represent a single elite family and its descendents - perhaps a ruling dynasty.

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Stone Age Britons had a sophisticated knowledge of geometry to rival Pythagoras 2,000 years before the Greek "father of numbers" was born, according to a new study of Stonehenge.
Five years of detailed research, carried out by the Oxford University landscape archaeologist Anthony Johnson, claims that Stonehenge was designed and built using advanced geometry.

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Summer Solstice 2008 at Stonehenge
Stonehenge will close its normal visitor operation at 15:00 hrs (3pm) on Friday, 20th June 2008 and re-open again at 09:00 hrs (9am) on Sunday, 22nd June 2008.

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