The builders of Stonehenge 5,000 years ago were almost completely wiped out by mysterious ‘Beaker people.

23 02 2018

The astonishing result comes from analysis of DNA extracted from 400 ancient remains across Europe.

The builders of Stonehenge are thought to be the last of Britain's neolithic people

The builders of Stonehenge are thought to be the last of Britain’s neolithic people

Stonehenge has a proud place in Britain’s history as one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe.

But, according to a major new study, modern-day Britons are barely related to the ingenious Neolithic farmers who built the monument 5,000 years ago.

Instead the British are related to the ‘Beaker people’ who travelled from modern-day Holland and all but wiped out Stonehenge’s creators.

The findings are ‘absolutely sort of mind-blowing,’ said archaeologist Barry Cunliffe, a professor emeritus at the University of Oxford.

‘They are going to upset people, but that is part of the excitement of it.

Stonehenge | Everything you need to know

Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most enigmatic pile of rocks. Some archaeologists think it was an observatory, others a place of healing.

According to Swiss author Erich von Däniken, the building techniques were passed on from aliens; medieval texts show it being constructed by Merlin.

However, according to Win Scutt, properties curator at English Heritage, “the landscape in which Stonehenge sits is far more interesting than the circle itself”. Despite this, he adds, few people explore the wider area.

That landscape has been poorly treated in past decades, with traffic on the A303 and A344 roaring right past the site. In 2013, the A344 and old car park were removed; now, the landscape has recovered, grass has regrown and Stonehenge has been reconnected with its ancient processional avenue.

The next step is to re-route the A303, which cuts through the World Heritage Site, compromising its integrity. The Government has committed to building a tunnel for the road; in May 2016, the International Council on Monuments and Sites and Unesco backed the scheme, although current proposals remain controversial.

Relevant Stonehenge news links:
Today, British have more DNA from the ‘Beaker people’ than Neolithic farmers

Ancient Britons ‘replaced’ by newcomers

No one living in Britain ‘truly British’, scientists find as Stonehenge builders were replaced by European immigrants

Britain’s prehistoric catastrophe revealed: How 90% of the neolithic population vanished in just 300 years

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One response

23 02 2018

Reblogged this on Stonehenge Guided Trips.

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