Archaeologists to explore feasting habits of ancient builders of Stonehenge

December 22nd, 2009 - 3:28 pm ICT by ANI  

London, December 22 (ANI): A new research project by archaeologists is seeking to investigate the feasting habits of the ancient builders of the Stonehenge.

According to a report in Culture24, the team who worked on the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2009 are to return to their findings to explain the eating habits of the people who built and worshipped at the stone circle over four thousand years ago.

Led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson from the University of Sheffield, and funded with an 800,000 pounds grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the new ‘Feeding Stonehenge’ project will analyse a range of materials including cattle bones and plant residue.

At the time of the Winter Solstice, experts believe people would have brought livestock with them to Stonehenge for a solstice feast.

Initial research suggests the animals were brought considerable distances to the ceremonial site at this time of year.

The original Stonehenge Riverside project, which strengthened the idea that nearby Durrington Walls was part of the Stonehenge complex, yielded a surprisingly wide range of material ranging from ancient tools to animal remains.

“One of the unforeseen outcomes (of the Stoneheng Riverside Project) is the vast quantity of new material - flint tools, animal bones, pottery, plant remains, survey data, and chemical samples - which now needs analyzing,” explained Professor Parker Pearson.

“The new grant from the AHRC for the ‘Feeding Stonehenge’ project allows us to get the maximum information out of this unexpected wealth of remains. We are going to know so much about the lives of the people who built Stonehenge - how they lived, what they ate, where they came from,” he added.

A large collection of cattle jaws collected during the last few years’ excavations will now undergo strontium and sulphur isotope analysis to establish where they originally came from and when they were culled.

This will give experts a better idea of where people had travelled from to visit the site.

The research will also offer a better understanding of the dressing of the famous sarsen stones of Stonehenge and insights into how the public and private spaces at Durrington Walls and Stonehenge differ from each other.

‘Feeding Stonehenge’, will take place over the next three years. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Health Science |