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Article contents

The age of Stonehenge

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Mike Parker Pearson
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4ET, UK (Email: m.parker-pearson@sheffield.ac.uk)
Ros Cleal
Affiliation:
Alexander Keiller Museum, Avebury, Wiltshire, UK
Peter Marshall
Affiliation:
ARCUS, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
Stuart Needham
Affiliation:
British Museum, London, UK
Josh Pollard
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Colin Richards
Affiliation:
Department of Art and Archaeology, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Clive Ruggles
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
Alison Sheridan
Affiliation:
National Museums of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, UK
Julian Thomas
Affiliation:
Department of Art and Archaeology, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Chris Tilley
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University College London, London, UK
Kate Welham
Affiliation:
School of Conservation Sciences, University of Bournemouth, Bournemouth, UK
Andrew Chamberlain
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4ET, UK (Email: m.parker-pearson@sheffield.ac.uk)
Carolyn Chenery
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, UK
Jane Evans
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, UK
Chris Knüsel
Affiliation:
School of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
Neil Linford
Affiliation:
English Heritage, Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth, UK
Louise Martin
Affiliation:
English Heritage, Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth, UK
Janet Montgomery
Affiliation:
School of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
Andy Payne
Affiliation:
English Heritage, Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth, UK
Mike Richards
Affiliation:
Max Planck Institut, Leipzig, Germany
Corresponding

Extract

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….

Type
Research
Information
Antiquity , Volume 81 , Issue 313 , 1 September 2007 , pp. 617 - 639
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 2007

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