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Acheological dating of grave headstones

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(The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.) Cremated Humans Analyzed The new finding supports the theory that Stonehenge represented the "domain of the dead" to ancestor-worshiping ancient Britons, Parker Pearson said.

Previously it was believed that Stonehenge was a place of burial only between about 27 B. But new radiocarbon dates spanning 500 years were obtained for three cremated humans (photo) unearthed in 1950s at Stonehenge and kept at the nearby Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum.

At this time, when much of the rest of southern England was largely covered by woodland, the chalk downland in the area of Stonehenge may have been an unusually open landscape.

It is possible that this is why it became the site of an early Neolithic monument complex.

In both cases we make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and they make the final decision as whether a site should be scheduled or not.

Scheduling is the selection of nationally important archaeological sites.

Stonehenge stood as giant tombstones to the dead for centuries—perhaps marking the cemetery of a ruling prehistoric dynasty—new radiocarbon dating suggests.

The headstones were buried at the Cemetery in the 1930s and the UQ dig (a National Archaeology Week favourite) will again seek to uncover the mystery and stories behind the tombstones and the people they belonged to.

Although archaeology is all around us, Scheduled sites form a carefully chosen sample of them, which are closely managed.

While some change may be possible, there is a presumption that they will be handed on to future generations in much the same state that we have found them.

(See related photos and maps and watch video.) New analysis of ancient human remains show that people were buried at the southern England site from about 3000 B. until after the first large stones were raised around 2500 B. "This is really exciting, because it shows that Stonehenge, from its beginning to its zenith, is being used as a place to physically put the remains of the dead," said Mike Parker Pearson of England's University of Sheffield.

"It's something that we just didn't appreciate until now." Parker Pearson heads the Stonehenge Riverside Project, a seven-year archaeological investigation of the Stonehenge area, supported by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration.