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Stonehenge stood as giant tombstones to the dead for centuries, new radiocarbon dating suggests.
The site appears to have been intended as a cemetery from the very start, around 5,000 years ago—centuries before the giant sandstone blocks were erected—the new study says.
New analysis of ancient human remains show that people were buried at the southern England site from about 3000 B.C. until after the first large stones were raised around 2500 B.C.
"This is really exciting, because it shows that Stonehenge, from its beginning to its zenith, is being used as a place to physically put the remains of the dead," said Mike Parker Pearson of England's University of Sheffield.
"It's something that we just didn't appreciate until now."
It seems that the site of Stonehenge has had significance for a longer period than we realise.
Originally posted by C.C.Benjamin
stonehenge is sandstone?
Anyway, dragging multi-ton stone blocks from Wales, and constructing them as Stonehenge is made seems like an awful lot of effort for a grave marker.
I swear, if you gave me ten thousand men and all the rope I could use, I still couldn't orchestrate the placing of one of the top bits. I just can't see how they did it. The phenominal amount of work it would have taken to get the whole thing done, just begs the question: why? What motivated them?