Stonehenge Reveals Itself: It's a Cemetery

Scientists find remains from 3,000 to 2,500 BC, before the familiar stones went up
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2008 6:30 PM CDT
A scientist is silhouetted amongst the stones whilst he works.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – Before Stonehenge was Stonehenge, it was a cemetery, the New York Times reports. Around the time the first monumental rocks were installed in 2500 BC, the last of an estimated 240 human burials took place at the English site. Researchers say it was likely the burial ground of a ruling family—probably the same clan responsible for erecting the stones.

“It’s now clear that burials were a major component of Stonehenge in all its main stages," said one scientist, based on new dating evidence that places burials as far back as 3000 BC. And from the impressive milieu, “one has to assume anyone buried there had some good credentials.”