Ancient 'Halls of the Dead' Unearthed
1K years older than Stonehenge
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2013 8:43 AM CDT
Updated Aug 4, 2013 6:55 AM CDT
The excavation at the top of Dorstone Hill in Herefordshire.   (University of Manchester)

(Newser) – Archaeologists have unearthed two ancient buildings in England thought to be 6,000 years old—that's 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. The remains of the 320-foot-long wooden long houses were found under burial mounds in Herefordshire. They are believed to have been deliberately, symbolically burned down—probably when the head of a family died—and then turned into burial places where people would worship for hundreds of years, Sky News reports. "The halls of the living became the halls of the dead," says one of the archaeologists behind the dig.

As proof of the site's long-lasting significance, the researchers found items like flint weapons and tools dating from hundreds of years after the long houses were built and originating from neighboring areas, reports the Daily Mail. "These subsequent finds show that 1,000 years after the hall burial mounds were made, the site is still important to later generations living 200 miles away—a vast distance in Neolithic terms," the archaeologist says. The items "may not have been traded, but placed there as part of a ceremony or an ancestral pilgrimage," suggesting "an inter-connected community" linked by ancestry and marriage.

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Showing 3 of 25 comments
trailmix
Aug 4, 2013 8:49 PM CDT
Yea great, but why do you have to disturb it.
Professor59
Aug 4, 2013 11:15 AM CDT
So, in other words, somebody dug up a cemetery. Congratulations on that.
Ti28942
Aug 4, 2013 7:53 AM CDT
Update: Turns out they were just 50 year-old basements from old housing projects.