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The age of Stonehenge

  • Mike Parker Pearson (a1), Ros Cleal (a2), Peter Marshall (a3), Stuart Needham (a4), Josh Pollard (a5), Colin Richards (a6), Clive Ruggles (a7), Alison Sheridan (a8), Julian Thomas (a6), Chris Tilley (a9), Kate Welham (a10), Andrew Chamberlain (a1), Carolyn Chenery (a11), Jane Evans (a11), Chris Knüsel (a12), Neil Linford (a13), Louise Martin (a13), Janet Montgomery (a12), Andy Payne (a13) and Mike Richards (a14)...


Stonehenge is the icon of British prehistory, and continues to inspire ingenious investigations and interpretations. A current campaign of research, being waged by probably the strongest archaeological team ever assembled, is focused not just on the monument, but on its landscape, its hinterland and the monuments within it. The campaign is still in progress, but the story so far is well worth reporting. Revisiting records of 100 years ago the authors demonstrate that the ambiguous dating of the trilithons, the grand centrepiece of Stonehenge, was based on samples taken from the wrong context, and can now be settled at 2600-2400 cal BC. This means that the trilithons are contemporary with Durrington Walls, near neighbour and Britain's largest henge monument. These two monuments, different but complementary, now predate the earliest Beaker burials in Britain – including the famous Amesbury Archer and Boscombe Bowmen, but may already have been receiving Beaker pottery. All this contributes to a new vision of massive monumental development in a period of high European intellectual mobility….



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