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Digs, Discovery and Disaster: A History of Archaeology at Stonehenge

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Author Topic: Digs, Discovery and Disaster: A History of Archaeology at Stonehenge  (Read 172 times)
Bianca Markos
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Posts: 4495

« on: January 01, 2010, 07:59:27 am »

21st Century Boy

The latter half of the 20th century focused on Stonehenge's context within its location
It would not be until 2002, however, that an excavation project at the monument would throw up a discovery that would truly catch the public’s imagination. The ‘Amesbury Archer’, an early Bronze Age man found three miles from Stonehenge, was found to have been buried with the greatest stash of treasure ever seen in Britain – including the first ever gold artefacts in the country. His being contemporary to the monument, and the vast wealth of his burial, has led some to conclude he was a king, perhaps that of Stonehenge itself. Indeed the discovery threw open the debate as to the provenance of British tribes altogether: was the Amesbury Archer from central Europe? Certainly his possessions suggested so, though no conclusions have been drawn since his appearance.

2003-2008 saw the Stonehenge Riverside Project, a collaboration between several UK universities, searching the landmark and its locality for any links. They found direct links between the henge and nearby Durrington Walls – which is believed to have been a ritual site which fell into disrepair with the advent of Stonehenge’s stone circle. A subsequent dig in 2008 saw archaeologists given access to the inner circle for the first time in 44 years. The mission to solve the mysteries of Stonehenge continues to this day, and the good news is that they’re regulated a hell of a lot more than the carefree days of Hoare, Cunnington and co. Archaeology at Stonehenge may have been going on for centuries, but the task may only just have begun.
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