Stonehenge disaster after archaeologist “almost destroyed historical find”: “Curse him!” | Sciences | New


The ancient stone monument has attracted people for centuries. Its first version was a huge ring of Welsh blue stones, laid out 5,000 years ago. Fifty-six holes around the monument mark the sites where the blue stones once stood.

They were discovered in the 17th century by John Aubrey, a pioneering antiquarian, natural philosopher, writer and archaeologist.

The holes have been duly called “Aubrey’s holes”.

At one point, Stone Age renovators moved the blue stones, but left the materials beneath them intact.

This included half a million bone fragments, which were explored during the Smithsonian Channel documentary, “Mystic Britain: Secrets of Stonehenge”.

Long after Aubrey’s time in the 1920s, the bones were found in several of the holes by archaeologist William Hawley.

However, as the narrator of the documentary noted: “Hawley’s approach to preserving a site for historical purity differs a tiny bit from that of today – he actually reconstructed part of Stonehenge using non-stone age techniques.

Following the same “laid back approach” to archeology, Hawley threw all the bones from Aubrey’s various holes into a large pit when he and his team finished their work.

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Ms Willis said: “It was a lot of work.

“We have, based on Hawley’s excavation logs, about 60 people buried in Aubrey’s holes.

“My job was to try to isolate these individuals.

“I managed to isolate 26: I was able to find 21 adults and five children, so we have a fetus, an infant, a young child, an old child and a teenager.”

The completed bone fragments begin to date from around 3000 BC to 2500 BC.

Most of the cremated bones were found under the site of the original blue stones.

After being radiocarbon dated, the researchers found that the people were buried at the same time the Stone Age Britons were building the original bluestone circle.

Ms Willis said the area would once have served as a cremation cemetery, with the blue stones serving as markers for a place “dedicated to the dead”.

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