Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Scientists have uncovered the largest Neolithic settlement in the United Kingdom at the Durrington Walls and believe that the village was inhabited by the people who built the Stonehenge monument.
Scientists say that the village was built around 2,600 B.C., roughly when Stonehenge was believed to have been constructed, and housed over 100 people.
Inside the areas which would have been the interior of houses at the time, scientists also found outlines of what they think were beds and cupboards or dressers. Pieces of pottery and “filthy” rubbish around the site. Animal bones, arrowheads, stone tools and other relics were also discovered.
“We’ve never seen such quantities of pottery and animal bone and flint. In what were houses, we have excavated the outlines on the floors of box beds and wooden dressers or cupboards,” said Sheffield University archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson.
So far, the dig has revealed at least 8 houses roughly 14-16 feet square, but scientists say that they think there may have been at least 25 altogether.
The site was likely to have been occupied only seasonally rather than year-round and evidence suggests that a lot of “partying” went on at the location.
“The animal bones are being thrown away half-eaten. It’s what we call a feasting assemblage. This is where they went to party – you could say it was the first free festival. The rubbish isn’t your average domestic debris. There’s a lack of craft-working equipment for cleaning animal hides and no evidence for crop-processing,” added Pearson.
The Durrington Walls are approximately 2 miles from the Stonehenge site.