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Avebury’s Stone Circles May Have Honored Neolithic Dwelling

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Avebury Neolithic monumentSOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND—Ground-penetrating radar has revealed traces of a structure within the southern stone circle at Avebury, according to a Live Science report. It had been previously thought that the structure dated to the medieval period, but Josh Pollard of the University of Southampton and his colleagues say its shape matches other structures in the British Isles that are known to date to the early Neolithic period. Pottery and flint tools dating to the early Neolithic period have also been found in and around the structure. Pollard thinks the building may have been a house constructed for a high-status family sometime after 3700 B.C., and that it probably fell down before the site was enclosed with a square of stones, and eventually large rings of standing stones and earthworks. Mark Gillings of the University of Leicester said the team members plan to take the ground-penetrating radar equipment to the northernmost small stone circle at Avebury to look for traces of another Neolithic structure. “We should be able to see an echo of any house in terms of artifact densities in the surrounding soil, and if this house was also monumentalized by an enclosing square megalithic setting, we should see that too,” he said. For more, go to “The Square Inside Avebury’s Circles.”

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