Thursday, May 29, 2008
Stonehenge Used as Cemetery
From the New York Times:
"'It’s now clear that burials were a major component of Stonehenge in all its main stages,' said Mike Parker Pearson, an archaeologist at the University of Sheffield in England."
Radiocarbon dating performed in the past several weeks on human remains found near the enigmatic stones on England's Salisbury Plain show the site was used as a cemetery from 3000 B.C. to 2500 B.C. British researchers estimated up to 240 people were buried there, all as cremation deposits. This is all according to the NYT. Full article is here. (Photo from National Geographic)
Also according to the NYT, skeletal burials were rare at this time in history, and cremation was reserved for the elite, making it likely that Stonehenge was used as a monument for someone of the highest class. The article quotes Dr. Parker Pearson, "Given the monumental surroundings, Dr. Parker Pearson said, 'one has to assume anyone buried there had some good credentials.'"