WILTSHIRE – Archaeologists have discovered a new stone circle near Stonehenge!
The new stone circle was found about a mile away, sitting along the River Avon. It is made of 25 blue Welsh stones, hence its nickname, “Bluestonehenge.”
The circle lends further weight to the theory that Stonehenge was part of a funeral complex. Archaeologists believe people would ride down the river by boat and step off into Bluestonehenge. There, they would congregate and then carry the remains of their dead down a funeral processional route to a cemetery at Stonehenge.
“Not many people know that Stonehenge was Britain’s largest burial ground at that time,” said Mike Parker Pearson, an archaeologist at the University of Sheffield who co-directed the excavation project since 2004. “Maybe the blue stone circle is where people were cremated before their ashes were buried at Stonehenge itself.”
Although the actual stones were moved some time ago, the size of the pits left behind, 33 feet in diameter, indicated to excavators that the stones came from the Preseli Mountains of Wales, about 150 miles away.
Archaeologists believe the Neolithic people dragged the blue stones along the funeral route to Stonehenge, to incorporate them into the final rebuilding around 2500 BC. It is most likely they make up the inner circle of Stonehenge. The scientists intend to use radiocarbon dating to determine when each set of stones was put up.