Friday, May 30, 2008

Stonehenge's mystery solved

The secret of Stonehenge has apparently been solved: The mysterious circle of large stones in southern England was primarily a burial ground for almost five centuries, and the site probably holds the remains of a family that long ruled the area, new research concludes.

Based on radiocarbon dating of cremated bones up to 5,000 years old, researchers with the Stonehenge Riverside Project said they are convinced the area was built and then grew as a "domain of the ancestors."

The finding marks a significant rethinking of Stonehenge. In the past it was believed that some burials took place there for a century but that the site's significance lay in its ceremonial and religious functions, including serving as a center for healing.