Posted on 19/06/2004, 03:33:38 by blam
Stonehenge: Built by Welshmen?
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
Building Mystery Solved?
June 18, 2004 — At least three of the builders of Stonehenge were from Wales, according to archaeologists who found the builders’ grave close to the Stonehenge site, and have linked the remains to stones used in the construction of the Salisbury Plain monument.
The finding, which comes just before Sunday’s summer solstice, not only sheds light on Stonehenge’s origins, but also provides clues to prehistoric migration patterns within Europe following the Stone Age, which was the earliest known period in human culture.
Most historians believe that Stonehenge served as a temple to the gods of the sun and moon.
The Welshmen’s bones originally were spotted last year next to a water pipe trench during routine road improvement work in Boscombe Down, which is very close to Stonehenge.
Later excavation work by Wessex Archaeology revealed that the bones were part of a mass, 2,300-year-old grave that contained eight decorated pots, arrowheads, flint tools, a boar’s tusk, an ornamental bone toggle, and the remains of seven individuals whose skull similarities led researchers to believe were related.
The remains included a man who died between the ages of 35 and 45, two other men between the ages of 25 and 30, a male teenager who died at around 15 to 18, and three young children between the ages of two and seven.
Oxygen isotope analysis was conducted on the teeth of the adults, who have been nicknamed the Boscombe Bowmen. Such isotopes become imbedded in tooth enamel from drinking water. Their profile can indicate the person’s distance away from the sea at certain periods in time reflective of tooth development, the person’s location above sea level, and even general information about the climate that existed during the individual’s lifetime, according to the Wessex Archaeology website.
“Ideally, as with the Boscombe Bowmen, strontium isotope analysis is used in conjunction with other lines of evidence such as oxygen isotope analysis to constrain possible areas where an individual could have spent their childhood and/or rule out areas where the tooth data does not match environmental values,” said Jane Evans of the British Geological Survey.
She believes the recent find “provides a remarkable picture of prehistoric migration” from Wales to Salisbury.
The tooth study yielded a high proportion of strontium isotope, which is associated with high radioactivity. This limited the remains’ point of origin to Cornwall, the Isle of Man, the northwest of England, parts of the Scottish highlands, and Wales. Climate considerations ruled out all but the Lake District and Wales.
Since geological studies indicate that the earliest bluestones of Stonehenge came from the Preseli Hills of southwest Wales, archaeologists who worked on the excavation are almost certain that the individuals in the grave were Welsh and that they were involved in the construction of the prehistoric monument.
Andrew Fitzpatrick of Wessex Archaeology told Discovery News that it would be “a phenomenal coincidence” if the origin of the men and the stones were not linked.
He added, “The grave contents do not help in our understanding of how the temple worked, but they put a human face on it.”
The mass grave dates to around the same time and place of the Amesbury Archer, a man from Central Europe who was given the richest burial of the age in Europe. He was found a few years ago, and his grave contained pots, metalworking tools, and the earliest known gold objects in Britain.
Although metalworking technology existed during certain phases of Stonehenge’s construction, Fitzpatrick said, “The Welsh individuals brought the stones to the site purely with sweat, blood, and tears.”
This must have been no easy task, as the remains for the oldest man in the grave indicate that he sustained a severe leg break during his lifetime that likely made his leg shorter and caused him to limp.
“Now we must ask ourselves why these people felt moved to carry stones over such a great distance,” Fizpatrick said. “Stonehenge, save for its initial wooden monument, was not remarkable until the stones arrived, so we believe that the site in Wales must have been of some importance to the people of the time.”
He believes it is possible that the stone circle was brought from Wales and reconstructed at Stonehenge. A similar monument does exist in the Preseli Hills, but a direct link between the two stone circles has yet to be made.
The Boscombe Bowmen and all of the other recent archaeological finds will be on public display from July 3 through Aug. 30 at the Salisbury Museum in England.
To: cyborg“Built by ancient astronauts. Just like the pyramids.”
Cymru am byth! (loosely translated, “Welshmen Rock!”)
5 posted on 19/06/2004, 03:39:00 by CholeraJoe (3/4Welsh, 1/8Cherokee, 1/8Swiss. We’re Archers and Infantry. Too short for the Cavalry)[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]
To: blamI saw the title of this posting, and the first thing that came to my mind was an image of Harry Secombe (aka Neddie Seagoon) moving the stones. Everything went crashingly downhill from there. 🙂
(I’d enjoy hearing from anyone else interested in Secombe/Milligan/Sellers/Bentine.)
6 posted on 19/06/2004, 03:44:36 by solitas (“HA HA!” (Nelson Muntz))[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]
To: blamThis must have been no easy task,
I suspect just staying alive back then was no easy task!
I’ve always wondered how nearsighted people managed to do it. Your life depended on your senses and you can’t see far away. What a disadvantage. But I guess if you lived long enough you were the only ones who could see up close.
To: blamThe mass grave dates to around the same time and place of the Amesbury Archer, a man from Central Europe who was given the richest burial of the age in Europe. He was found a few years ago, and his grave contained pots, metalworking tools, and the earliest known gold objects in Britain.
Hmmmm…I’d thought the Amesbury Archer was dated about 2300 BC, not 2300 years ago, as with these graves.
9 posted on 19/06/2004, 03:56:53 by per loin (This tagline has not been censored!)[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]
When I was a kid living in Berkshire in the 50’s, I used to listen to the Goons on BBC in the evenings. Dad was in the USAF stationed at RAF Welford.
10 posted on 19/06/2004, 03:57:13 by CholeraJoe (30 Aug 1945. American troops occupy Tokyo. 187th Airborne Infantry Reg’t. “Rakkasan!”)[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]
To: per loinYea, the dates are all wrong, no way Stonehenge was built 300 B.C. More sloppy reporting.
11 posted on 19/06/2004, 04:11:04 by jpsb (Nominated 1994 “Worst writer on the net”)[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]
To: CholeraJoeCymru am byth! (loosely translated, “Welshmen Rock!”)
To: fhayek; blam“Ah, the Goons. I remember when they climbed Mt Everest – from the inside.”
I don’t wish to know that!
To: blamStonehenge: Built by Welshmen?
I saw a documentary when I was very young, that the stones were put there by blue whales that carried the stones on their backs..
15 posted on 19/06/2004, 04:38:50 by Porterville (Fight Communism, vote Republican- and piss on france)[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]
To: cyborgCheck out the link below for a possible way to build/move those rocks and bigger without power tools or hydraulics, (or space tractor beams and the like).
I do not know the html thingie, but you can paste the addy. Check it out.
To: per loin“Hmmmm…I’d thought the Amesbury Archer was dated about 2300 BC, not 2300 years ago, as with these graves.”
From the article linked in post #3:
“The grave of the Archer, who lived around 2,300BC, contained about 100 items, more than ten times as many objects as any other burial site from this time. When details were released, the media dubbed the Archer “The King of Stonehenge”.”
17 posted on 19/06/2004, 04:54:59 by blam[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]
To: MyrddinIch dien!
Gwell Angau na Chywilydd
18 posted on 19/06/2004, 05:14:48 by CholeraJoe (3/4Welsh, 1/8Cherokee, 1/8Swiss. We’re Archers and Infantry. Too short for the Cavalry)[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]
To: CiexyzAnd were they named Williams?
Or Diones(Jones), Mwr(Moore) or Powys (Powers)? My grandparents carried these names to the US from Cumbria (Cymru)
19 posted on 19/06/2004, 05:23:20 by CholeraJoe (3/4Welsh, 1/8Cherokee, 1/8Swiss. We’re Archers and Infantry. Too short for the Cavalry)[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]
To: CholeraJoeNot to mention:
ab Owain -> Bowen
ab Eynon -> Beynon
ap Rhys -> Price
Rhys -> Reese
Gruffudd -> Griffith
Huws -> Hughes
Rhisiart -> Richard
ap Hywel -> Powell
ap Henri -> Penri
Many Welsh surnames are genitive forms of given names. The occurred when the English forced the Welsh to take surnames instead of the old patronymic pattern. Thus we have Johns, Edwards, Williams, Hughes
20 posted on 19/06/2004, 07:09:24 by Myrddin[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]
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