Ancient Britons Traveled Hundreds of Miles For Stonehenge Pork Roasts

Ancient Britons Traveled Hundreds of Miles For Stonehenge Pork Roasts

first_imgStay on target People Got High on Cannabis At Funerals 2,500 Years Ago3,000-Year-Old Fingerprints Found at Ancient, Iron Age Village in UAE New research suggests prehistoric Britons traveled far and wide for a good party.Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of the earliest large-scale celebrations in the UK, attracting people and animals from across the country.A study, published this week in the journal Science Advances, examined the bones of 131 pigs from four Late Neolithic (c. 2800-2400 BC) complexes: Durrington Walls, Marden, Mount Pleasant, West Kennet Palisade Enclosures.The sites served nearby monuments Stonehenge and Avebury in the south of England.“Arguably the most startling finding is the efforts that participants invested in contributing pigs that they themselves had raised,” Richard Madgwick, who led the study from Cardiff University’s School of History, Archaeology, and Religion, said in a statement.Unlike cattle, pigs are not well-suited to movement over distance; transporting the animals—either slaughtered or on the hoof—over tens or hundreds of miles would have required “a monumental effort,” according to Madgwick.Pig bones from Late Neolithic Durrington Walls (Wiltshire), with burning marks due to roasting (via University of Sheffield)Researchers believe it was important that guests brought meat raised locally to them, meaning swine may have traveled from far-away lands like Scotland, North East England, and West Wales.“The central role of pigs at these communal events must have been given a special meaning by the remarkably diverse geographic origins of the animals, which reflected the cultural diversity of the people who brought them to the ceremonial places,” study co-author Umberto Albarella, professor of zooarchaeology at the University of Sheffield, said.One of the most famous landmarks in the UK, Stonehenge features a ring of standing stones, each about 13 feet tall by 7 feet wide, weighing around 25 tons.And while we still don’t know why or how Stonehenge was constructed, recent research shines light on who built it: A study published last year suggests a number of people buried at the Wessex cemetery did not live nearby prior to death. Rather, they likely helped transport the crags used in early stages of construction.These results emphasize the importance of “inter-regional connections” in the Neolithic—as early as 5,000 years ago.The same can be said about Stonehenge’s ancient raves.“These gatherings could be seen as the first united cultural events of our island,” Madgwick said, “with people from all corners of Britain descending on the areas around Stonehenge to feast on food that had been specially reared and transported from their homes.”More on Geek.com:Scientists ‘Wake Up’ Ancient Woolly Mammoth Cells in High-Tech ExperimentNew ‘Starry Dwarf’ Frog Belonging to Bizarre Ancient Lineage Found in IndiaGoogle 3D Prints Ancient Artifacts For Digital Displaylast_img

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