Now, new research shows that excavations at Stonehenge, the world’s most famous prehistoric site, have uncovered more than 50,000 bone fragments. Scientists analyze that people gather here every year to build prehistoric Stonehenge. This latest research overturns previous speculation that prehistoric Stonehenge was used as a calendar measurement tool or an observatory.
To date, archaeologists excavating at prehistoric Stonehenge have uncovered more than 50,000 bone fragments, analyzing the skeletons of at least 63 people who died. At the same time, the study found that prehistoric Stonehenge was built during the “Glastonburg Period” when thousands of people traveled across the island of Great Britain to gather here to celebrate the winter solstice festival.
Experts believe that people gathered here every year to build megalithic monuments and celebrate major festivals. Professor Mark Pearson from University College London said that this latest research overturns the previous speculation that prehistoric Stonehenge was used as an astronomical calendar measurement tool or an observatory.
The dating of the bones suggests Stonehenge dates back to 2500 BC – 3000 BC, and Pearson now believes it was originally a burial ground before the construction of what is now Stonehenge. These cemeteries predate the construction of Stonehenge by nearly 100 years, and aside from the discarded bodies, the main burial remains are those of adult males. However, new analysis techniques show for the first time that the dead were equally divided between men and women, including some of the bodies of newborn babies. A scepter head, a sign of high social status, and a small bowl were also found next to the body. Pearson believes that the small bowl may have been used for burning incense, suggesting that there was a religious sacrifice, or a memorial to a political leader or immediate family member.