The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 26, 2015


Origin of Stonehenge was ancient rave spot, new theory by British researchers says
In a file picture taken on December 21, 2012 revellers celebrate the pagan festival of 'Winter Solstice' at Stonehenge in Wiltshire in southern England. British researchers on Mach 9, 2013 unveiled a new theory for the origins of Stonehenge, saying the ancient stone circle was originally a graveyard and venue for mass celebrations. AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL.
LONDON (AFP).- British researchers on Saturday unveiled a new theory for the origins of Stonehenge, saying the ancient stone circle was originally a graveyard and venue for mass celebrations.

The findings would overturn the long-held belief that Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in southwestern England was created as a Stone Age astronomical calendar or observatory.

A team led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson of University College London said Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is both older and had a different function than previously thought.

"In many ways our findings are rewriting the established story of Stonehenge," Parker Pearson said.

The archaeologists carried out a decade of research which included excavations, laboratory work and the analysis of 63 sets of ancient human remains.

They said the original Stonehenge appeared to have been a graveyard for elite families built around 3000 BC, 500 years earlier than the site that is famous today.

The remains of many cremated bodies were marked by the bluestones of Stonehenge, Pearson said.

Further analysis of cattle teeth from 80,000 animal bones excavated from the site also suggest that around 2500 BC, Stonehenge was the site of vast communal feasts.

These would have been attended by up to one tenth of the British population at one time in what Parker Pearson said resembled "Glastonbury festival and a motorway building scheme at the same time."

It seemed that ancient people travelled to celebrate the winter and summer solstices but also to build the monument, he said.

"Stonehenge was a monument that brought ancient Britain together," he said.

"What we’ve found is that people came with their animals to feast at Stonehenge from all corners of Britain -- as far afield as Scotland."

He said it appeared to be the "only time in prehistory that the people of Britain were unified."

Unesco describes Stonehenge as the most architecturally sophisticated prehistoric stone circle in the world.

But archaeologists have long argued about its importance to the people who built it, ranging from a place of astronomy to one of human sacrifice.

The researchers said their findings also gave a clue to why the monument stopped being used -- another mystery that has baffled archaeologists.

The earlier timeline they propose suggests that Stonehenge was built before the arrival of the "Beaker people" who brought with them a less centralised political culture.



© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse





Today's News

March 10, 2013

Exhibition paints a picture of the unconventional and inquisitive Russian tsar Peter the Great

Giant boulder sculpture by Fischli/Weiss unveiled for London's Kensington Gardens

Renowned Spanish architect and artist Santiago Calatrava joins Marlborough Gallery

Origin of Stonehenge was ancient rave spot, new theory by British researchers says

Princeton University Art Museum explores the formation and evolution of an American business aesthetic

Spain museums adapt to survive budget cuts by raising prices and loaning works

Lark Mason celebrates Asia Week with a preview of his Asian, Ancient & Ethnographic Works of Art Sale

"California Scene Paintings from 1930 to 1960" on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

Original paintings and all 323 Saturday Evening Post covers included in new Norman Rockwell exhibition

Palais de Tokyo stages an ambitious exhibition mapping the influence of Raymond Roussel

BachmannEckenstein / JapaneseArt announces participation at Asia Week New York

Handmade: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen exhibition puts the spotlight on crafts

Norman Rockwell Museum presents "Istvan Banyai: Stranger in a Strange Land"

Jade antiques to be auctioned in Vancouver next week

Recent works by Miriam Bajtala in new exhibition at Vienna's Secession

First ever monograph on innovative artist Garth Evans published by Philip Wilson Publishers

Art13 London: Hailed as a global success

Art collectors attend Mana Contemporary's First Annual Collectors Dinner to honor Marina Abramović

Modern Masters in Print: Matisse, Picasso, Dalí and Warhol at Wandsworth Museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Archaeologists find 5,000-year-old skeletons in an ancient village in northern India

2.- Exhibition at the Louvre museum offers rare glimpse of the ancient Thracian culture

3.- Most Britons ignorant over Battle of Waterloo: National Army Museum poll

4.- Sotheby's to offer the historic collection of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe

5.- Van Gogh and Rothko: Two masterpieces of modern art unveiled at Sotheby's London

6.- Recently discovered self-portrait headlines 'Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty' at MFA Boston

7.- Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, world's top-earning model, makes teary last catwalk turn

8.- Le Corbusier legacy threatened by revelations in new books that architect was 'fascist'

9.- Groundbreaking photographs of India's Sidi community go on show in the UK for the first time

10.- William and Kate: royal parents with a modern image



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site