Radiocarbon dating stonehenge

28-Dec-2017 02:01

The posts are clustered in three areas, the northeast entrance, the southern entrance and the central area of the henge.Roughly in line with the ditch the causeway of the northeastern entrance shows evidence of between 7 and 9 rows of posts set along a southwest-northeast alignment, and it has been suggested that they formed setting out lines for the observation of the major and minor northern moonrises, another set of four posts that stood about 15 metres northeast could also have been involved with following the movements of the moon.The most famous prehistoric structure in Europe, possibly the world, Stonehenge stands on Salisbury Plain, an area rich in monuments such as long barrows and round barrows.It draws visitors from all over the world but viewing is restricted and it is difficult to get a sense of the grandeur of the place amongst all of the tourists.Stonehenge does have a small external counterscarp bank around the outer edge of the ditch but this appears to only surround the north and eastern sections and may only have been a low mound about 2 or 3 metres in width.The entire diametre of the earthworks was hence about 115 metres.One theory is that they would have been hauled from the mountains to Milford Haven and then loaded onto rafts and brought along the Welsh coast to the Severn estuary, then along the Bristol Avon and the River Frome,via the Wiltshire Avon before being offloaded to the banks of the river.From here they were brought overland to Stonehenge - a total journey distance of 250 miles.

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This brings us to the most contentious issue surrounding Stonehenge, how these stones got here.

There have been many timescales attached to the building of the site although it is generally held to have been completed in three identifiable phases over a 1500 year period starting perhaps around 3000BC.

The exact sequence of these phases and indeed their sub phases has changed over the years as new evidence from excavation has come to light and absolute dating techniques such as radiocarbon C14 have been applied.

Later there was some deliberate backfilling of the ditch and the height of the bank was also reduced somewhat.

It was during this phase that excavations have revealed a series of timber posts and structures were erected, although what these post actually represented is unclear.

This brings us to the most contentious issue surrounding Stonehenge, how these stones got here.There have been many timescales attached to the building of the site although it is generally held to have been completed in three identifiable phases over a 1500 year period starting perhaps around 3000BC.The exact sequence of these phases and indeed their sub phases has changed over the years as new evidence from excavation has come to light and absolute dating techniques such as radiocarbon C14 have been applied.Later there was some deliberate backfilling of the ditch and the height of the bank was also reduced somewhat.It was during this phase that excavations have revealed a series of timber posts and structures were erected, although what these post actually represented is unclear.Also during this phase of construction a ring of 56 pits were cut about 5 metres away from the inner edge of the bank.