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Stonehenge and 10,000BC

12 October 2013

Stonehenge is going back further into the past according to www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-24488759 … or rather, a Mesolithic site on a hill overlooking Stonehenge is proving to be an archaeological tree ring of time. The site, closer to Amesbury than Stonehenge, and ignored by archaeologists for years, will in all likelihood go back in time to 10,000BC, or there abouts. They have dug out a trench and found a boar's tusk that gave a date of 7596BC – but they are not at the bottom of the trench as yet. There is still a way to go.

At Thatcham, near Newbury in Berkshire, Mesolithic remains going back to 7700BC have been found. Two sites, not that far from each other, with evidence of continuous occupation over a long period of time. Funny, but until the last 20 years or so Mesolithic remains were off the radar of your average archaeologist. Not interest. Mesolithic people were regarded as living in temporary huts, or makeshift dwellings, and existed by hunting, fishing, and eating lots of hazel nuts and blackberries. All of a sudden the perception has changed – and lots of interesting stuff is coming out of the ground.

See also www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/ucl-eha101013.php … for an update on European farmers and their relationship with the pre-existing Mesolithic hunter gatherer population. Not only that they co-existed with farmers until at least 3000BC – in central Europe.

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