Abstract: Stonehenge: New Discoveries

Lecturer: Mike Parker Pearson

Stonehenge is one of the great mysteries of the prehistoric world. After seven years of new excavations and research, archaeologists now have a completely new understanding of the date and purpose of this enigmatic monument. One of the key break-through has been to understand how Stonehenge formed part of a wider complex of monuments and landscape features within Salisbury Plain. Professor Parker Pearson will present the results of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, and discuss the current theories about Stonehenge – an astronomical observatory, a centre of healing or a place of the ancestors – and the identity of its Neolithic builders.

We now know much more about the people who built Stonehenge – where they came from, how they lived, and how they were organized. Not only has the project discovered a large settlement of many houses, thought to be for Stonehenge’s builders, at the nearby henge enclosure of Durrington Walls but it has also re-dated Stonehenge and investigated its surrounding monuments and sites, many of which were hitherto undated and unknown. This presentation will provide a brief overview of some of the project’s highlights, including the recent discovery of Bluestonehenge. One of the greatest mysteries – why some of Stonehenge’s stones were brought from 180 miles away – is currently being investigated and its brand new results will be presented at the lecture.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:

Marc Aaronson  2010.If Stones Could Speak: unlocking the secrets of Stonehenge.  Washington DC: National Geographic Society.

Stonehenge. Encyclopaedia Britannica. www.britannica.com/

Newhenge. British Archaeology 110 (2010): 14-21. http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba110/feat1.shtml

Bluestonehenge: landscape of ancestors. Current Archaeology 237 (2010): 22-8. http://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/bluestonehenge-landscape-of-ancestors.htm

Stonehenge Riverside Project. University of Sheffield. http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/archaeology/research/stonehenge

Featured Lecturer

Gregory Aldrete is Professor of History and Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.  His areas of specialization include the city of Rome, daily life in the Roman world,... Read More

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