Stonehenge megalithic complex, a world famous stone structure on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, from time to time presents scientists surprises.

Brought another surprise undertaken recently qualified stone buildings dating Stonehenge: it turned out that the first stone circle was set much earlier than previously thought. If recent data are accurate, the builders of Stonehenge ahead of logistics and architecture of their colleagues from ancient Egypt and Babylonia.

Of human civilization that existed in Europe and Asia in the late fourth and early third millennium BC, is actually very little known. Babylon was then the village. Indo-European tribes had not yet made it to Greece.

The ancient Egyptians had just started going out into the Mediterranean Sea on unreliable boats. None of the pyramid is not built. In this era, people have not been able to tame and domesticate horses. Only in England there is a rapid development. While the highest ancient cultures were in their infancy in the cradle of civilization, hardworking Welsh hauled stone monoliths weighing 260 tons from their homeland to the plains in the south of England and found lumps in slender circle.

Archaeologists involved in the project "Riverside" led by Mike Parker Pearson, found that the reality could be just that. The first stones are set right at the end of the fourth or the beginning of the third millennium BC. New results dating forced to rewrite, at least, part of the history of megalithic monument at Stonehenge, and thus even change the history of Europe of the Neolithic.

Until recently, scientists have shared this point of view: the stone complex at Stonehenge began to build around 2600 BC Now find out what happened this outstanding historical event much earlier — around 3000 BC If the new dating is correct, should consider two possible versions of events.

First, on Salisbury Plain existed highly developed culture, which for several centuries before the rest of the tribes was able to implement such a complex technically and organizationally construction. What is this unknown genius?

The second option is even more interesting. Maybe the builders of Stonehenge were not the first, and other people are not so far behind them in the field of technical knowledge? Perhaps, you should make a thorough check of dating the pyramids and ancient ruins of European palaces to move the beginning of the history of technology a few centuries earlier.

The dating of ancient structures — extremely difficult. Only at the end of September 2008, archaeologists Tim Darvill and Geoff Wainwright reported in the popular BBC program «Timewatch», dedicated to the archeology of the so-called "blue stone" Stonehenge from a special kind of sandstone, which acquires a bluish tinge when wet, are installed in all probability, about 2300 BC Hence, they are three hundred years younger than scientists thought. "But all the dating is based on a single grain of cereal, so most archaeologists consider such evidence inadmissible" — emphasizes Mike Pitts, who along with Parker Pearson and Julian Richards worked on establishing the age of the first circle of Stonehenge. "Charles Darwin in 1877, has pointed out that the long earthworms could mix all findings, suitable for analysis" — ironically archaeologist.

Archaeologists from the project "Riverside" found material for analysis in the most unlikely place — at the bottom of a long-known depression, so-called "Aubrey" number seven. Ring of 56 filled with crushed chalk pits 0.9-1.1 meters in diameter, named after the historian and archaeologist XVII century, John Aubrey, surrounds the outer stone circle of Stonehenge. The wells were opened in 1920. Archeologists William Young and Robert Newall, who worked at Stonehenge at the time, believed that the hole left by the big "blue stone."

Combine them all into a single theory tried only in the fifties of the XX century, when dug up two more "Aubrey." Although not well positioned as a typical tomb, archaeologists have discovered in them a small amount of burnt bones and ashes, and therefore decided that these pits are ritual burial.

In the sixties to that investigated Stonehenge archaeologists joined astronomers, they suggested that "Aubrey" is nothing more than the foundations measuring instruments were used for predicting solar and lunar eclipses. In 1995, «English Heritage», government organization working for the protection of historical monuments, has completed a large-scale study of Stonehenge, and in honor of this event was a wooden pole, which does not, however, no astronomical functions. Research «English Heritage» announced the official structures dating Stonehenge:

— Around 3000 BC created the first ritual circle out of the pit and wooden structures;
— From 2900 to 2600 BC Stonehenge was used as a cemetery for the burning of the dead;
— Around 2600 BC work on the construction of the stone circle, which in later centuries altered and supplemented until it is approximately 1600 BC not acquired the currently known forms. In this case, the builders brought to a place not only of 260 tons of "blue stone" — sandstone from Wales, but also brought another 1,700 tons of so-called Sarsen — sandstone from nearby neighborhoods.

Archaeologists have little attraction facilities such as "Aubrey" number seven. There twice already dug their predecessors. The first time was in 1920, when the pit discovered, and then again in 1935, when archaeologists again buried the remains of the bones found in the excavations at Stonehenge.

It is these bones, first of all, interested participants of the "Riverside" because it re-burial was not documented. Only in the private diary one of the archaeologists wrote down some information about this fact. Pearson, Pitts and Richards did find a lead in the well plate with the date of the reburial of the remains, and under it — a bunch of bones. The remains of about fifty people to be screened again with the help of modern instruments and techniques for gender, health and age of the buried.

However, during the excavation of the previous years, archaeologists apparently never reached the bottom of the well. But that is where modern researchers expect an interesting surprise — a layer of compacted, crushed limestone. This formation is formed only in the case if no high hardness sedimentary rock, representing bedrock throughout Salisbury Plain, for a long time pressed their mass object, weighing several tons.

"I am already 30 years old I am dealing with this limestone — archaeologist said Pitts. — There is a very clear trace was a stone block. " Finding agrees with the data of excavations in 1920. Even then, archaeologists stumbled on the bottom three "Aubrey holes" in hard limestone "peel". "We believe that in the very early period of the history of Stonehenge was a circle 87 meters in diameter, consisting of 56" blue stone "," — said the archaeologists at the press conference.

The definition of "a very early period of history" is based on an assumed age of the bones of the pit. Even if they do not all come from the "hole Aubrey" number seven, the majority of the bones found in the pits or in the immediate vicinity. But to get in the "Aubrey holes" they could only when there is no longer standing stones.

The oldest of the random samples of bone from a pile of skeletal remains dated to 3000 BC This means that the pits were empty again, at the latest, by the beginning of the third millennium BC, and that the heavy stones were moved to other locations. Shortly before the publication of the sensational new dating Pitts predicted: "Of course, there are colleagues who doubt our results. I am very interested to know what they say. "

Galina Sidneva

Category: Mystery stories

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