The dead of Stonehenge

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Authors: Willis, C., Welham, K. et al.

Journal: Antiquity

Volume: 90

Issue: 350

Pages: 337-356

ISSN: 0003-598X

DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2016.26

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2016. The assemblage of Neolithic cremated human remains from Stonehenge is the largest in Britain, and demonstrates that the monument was closely associated with the dead. New radiocarbon dates and Bayesian analysis indicate that cremated remains were deposited over a period of around five centuries from c. 3000-2500 BC. Earlier cremations were placed within or beside the Aubrey Holes that had held small bluestone standing stones during the first phase of the monument; later cremations were placed in the peripheral ditch, perhaps signifying the transition from a link between specific dead individuals and particular stones, to a more diffuse collectivity of increasingly long-dead ancestors.

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