An exciting week in Stonehenge news

Stonehenge, Wiltshire. Image: vencavolrab (Canva) CC0

There’s been a lot of news surrounding Stonehenge recently. Back in November of 2020, plans for a road tunnel next to the monument sparked controversy because construction could damage countless archeological objects. Now, bronze age graves have been found at the site, and a discovery in Wales might mean that Stonehenge was originally built somewhere else.

As part of the tunnel construction, new archeological research had to be done on the Stonehenge site. Archeologists have dug almost 1,800 test pits and 400 trenches, and so far there have been significant finds in 7 locations. In two locations, human remains have been found, of a young woman and an infant. Burned flint has also been found, which could mean that metal- or leatherworking took place in the area. The human remains are about 4,500 years old, which is roughly the same age as the inner circle of the monument. More detailed information about these excavations can be found on Wessex Archaeology‘s website.

On top of that, some new findings point towards the possibility that parts of Stonehenge were originally built in Wales. Interestingly enough, this theory has been around for about 900 years in the form of a legend. In this legend, the wizard Merlin brought a monument made of large stones from Ireland to England.

People have been speculating that this monument is Stonehenge, but there was never any actual evidence. Now, a circle of holes has been found in a part of Wales that used to belong to Ireland – and this circle of holes could fit Stonehenge’s inner circle of stones perfectly, according to archeologists. It’s even placed so that the summer solstice can be seen through the biggest stone, just like at Stonehenge.

Whether there were any wizards involved is another question, but finding some possible truth in legends is definitely exciting. Mike Parker Pearson, an archeologist who has been researching Stonehenge for twenty years, told the Guardian that “[…] this really is the most exciting thing we’ve ever found”. With all the research surrounding the tunnel, who knows what other interesting news the future holds.

Source: the Guardian, Business Insider, Wessex Archaeology

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