Secrets of the Stonehenge Skeletons

8 03 2013

Ancient bodies lie buried beneath Stonehenge, but what can they tell us about Britain’s greatest prehistoric monument? One man has found vital clues to this ancient puzzle

c4-stonehengeStonehenge is Britain’s greatest prehistoric monument and, for many centuries, has also provided perhaps our greatest prehistoric mystery.

One man believes he has found the vital clues to solve this puzzle, and this programme follows him through a series of discoveries that rewrite the story of Stonehenge.

Buried beneath the stones are ancient bodies, and a research team led by world-renowned archaeologist Professor Mike Parker Pearson has been granted special permission to analyse them for the first time.

The results of that investigation overturn the accepted view on when Stonehenge was built and what it was built for, providing compelling evidence that it once united the people of Britain.

The programme proves that the monument we know today was not the original Stonehenge and answers the mystery of its sudden decline.

When? Next on Channel 4 Sun 10th March , 8PM

Watch a clip here

Link: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/secrets-of-the-stonehenge-skeletons

Links: http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/techfacils/secrets-of-the-stonehenge-skeletons/5052681.article?blocktitle=LATEST-FEATURES&contentID=38754

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





New light on Stonehenge. Latest theories about when and why Stonehenge was built

8 11 2012

Tuesday 13 November 2012. A talk by Professor Mike Parker-Pearson, University of Sheffield. This lecture will present new findings by the ‘Feeding Stonehenge’ project about the people who built Stonehenge, and about the sources of its stones in Wales and north Wiltshire. It will examine the latest theories about when and why Stonehenge was built, and will present new discoveries from Wales as well as the Stonehenge area.

image credit : Adam Stanford of Aerial-Cam

image credit : Adam Stanford of Aerial-Cam

Prof. Mike Parker-Pearson is leader of the Stonehenge Riverside Project and author of Stonehenge: exploring the greatest Stone Age mystery, published by Simon & Schuster in June 2012. (see below)

7.00 pm refreshments, 7.30 pm lecture.

 

Please note this lecture is at the Guildhall (Market Square)not the Museum. A lecture in the Salisbury Museum Archaeology Lectures (SMAL) series. SMAL lectures are held on the second Tuesday of each month from September to April. Please note earlier start time for this particular lecture. This particular lecture requires booking. This is a fundraising event.

http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk


Booking:  Booking required. Please contact the Museum to book.

Cost:  In Advance: £8.00; On the Night : £10.00.

Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery

Our knowledge about Stonehenge has changed dramatically as a result of the Stonehenge Riverside Project (2003-2009), led by Mike Parker Pearson, and included not only Stonehenge itself but also the nearby great henge enclosure of Durrington Walls. This book is about the people who built Stonehenge and its relationship to the surrounding landscape. The book explores the theory that the people of Durrington Walls built both Stonehenge and Durrington Walls, and that the choice of stone for constructing Stonehenge has a significance so far undiscovered, namely, that stone was used for monuments to the dead. Through years of thorough and extensive work at the site, Parker Pearson and his team unearthed evidence of the Neolithic inhabitants and builders which connected the settlement at Durrington Walls with the henge, and contextualised Stonehenge within the larger site complex, linked by the River Avon, as well as in terms of its relationship with the rest of the British Isles. Parker Pearson’s book changes the way that we think about Stonehenge; correcting previously erroneous chronology and dating; filling in gaps in our knowledge about its people and how they lived; identifying a previously unknown type of Neolithic building; discovering Bluestonehenge, a circle of 25 blue stones from western Wales; and confirming what started as a hypothesis – that Stonehenge was a place of the dead – through more than 64 cremation burials unearthed there, which span the monument’s use during the third millennium BC. In lively and engaging prose, Parker Pearson brings to life the imposing ancient monument that continues to hold a fascination for everyone

Sponsored by ‘Stonehenge Guided Tours’ – www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge News Blog





Stonehenge by Mike Parker Pearson: review

29 06 2012

One thing’s for sure, Mike Parker Pearson won’t be bouncing up and down on   Jeremy Deller’s inflatable replica of Stonehenge this summer. The title of   Deller’s artwork, Sacrilege, couldn’t prove more appropriate.   As Professor Pearson establishes once and for all in his (literally)   groundbreaking new book, Stonehenge has a very curious connection to the   dead.

mike-peasron-book-stonehenge-bookIn 1918 the Office of Works rather hastily entrusted the restoration of   Stonehenge to the amateur hands of an archaeologist named Hawley. “Archaeology   has been likened to a historian reading the last surviving copy of an   ancient book and then tearing out and burning every page”, Pearson   says. Hawley’s involvement was a bit like this.

Until recently, many scholars believed that a wooden structure, like those   known to have stood in Durrington Walls, down the River Avon, originally   occupied the site at Stonehenge. Chipping away at a rare patch of rubble   Hawley had missed in one of the chalk pits (called Aubrey Holes), Pearson   and his team of archaeologists have attempted to overhaul that possibility,   suggesting that the ground was compressed in such a way as to prove that   Stonehenge was only ever made of stone. The eureka moment sprung from a   surprisingly simple hypothesis: stone is made to last, wood will perish.   Stone, in other words, is ripe for commemorating the dead, wood a material   for the living.

Though much remains untouched, Stonehenge, which dates to as early as 3000BC,   has so far offered up from its chalky soils the cremated burials of over 60   humans. Pearson and his team have also unveiled a handful of remains, dating   from the point when the Brits, admitting European influence, switched to   burying their dead (after 2400BC). Piecing together this evidence, Pearson   presents a compelling reinterpretation of the significance of this landmark   monument in time and space.

Dispelling many of the myths that have fogged the bare essentials of the site   for centuries, Pearson has produced a clear and intriguing argument for   viewing Stonehenge as the final resting place for elite, local males of the   third millennium BC. With scientists still at work on the human remains from   his many years of excavation, that story is still an evolving one.

Although his main concern is with a construction associated with death,   Pearson does a remarkable job of bringing back to life the hitherto unknown   inhabitants of Durrington Walls. The two places, he proves beyond question,   were part and parcel of the same Stone Age network, among which early Briton   was never just all beard and brawn. He was a masterful architect, Pearson   shows, and a hearty eater. Pig teeth, cow bones, bits of beaver, were all   uncovered from the Durrington Walls area, helping to characterise it as an   important place of celebration in the shadow of Stonehenge itself. The   connection between life and death, he convinces, was of primary importance   to the builders, and inhabitants, of the monument.

Stonehenge has both the taste and the content of an authentic archaeological   log-book, and without doubt will become an essential academic source. What   sets it apart is the almost pain-staking patience with which Pearson is   prepared to break down even the most complex of scientific processes. He has   somehow convinced me, probably unwisely, that if left to excavate a field,   I’d have a fair idea as to where to start.

Stonehenge by Mike Parker Pearson is published by Simon &   Schuster (£25.00)

By Daisy Dunn – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/9361647/Stonehenge-by-Mike-Parker-Pearson-review.html

Merlin says ” A truly great read”

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ The Stonehenge Website








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