A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Path of Proposed Stonehenge Tunnel Investigated
Friday, February 5, 2021
WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that archaeologists have examined some 1,800 test pits and more than 400 trial trenches along the path of the proposed two-mile A303 tunnel at Stonehenge. Burnt flint found in ditches near an enclosure may reflect the process of metal or leatherworking at the site. “It’s difficult to say what it was, but we know how old it is because we found a near-complete Bronze Age pot in one of the ditches,” said Matt Leivers of Wessex Archaeology. At the tunnel’s proposed western end, the researchers found the Bronze Age grave of an adult buried in a crouched position with a pot or beaker, a copper awl or pin or needle fragment, and an unusual small cylindrical object made of shale. Leivers thinks it may have been the tip of a ceremonial wooden staff or mace. Another Bell Beaker–period grave contained the remains of a small child and a very simple pot. Grooved ware pottery, a flint, and red deer antlers dated to the late Neolithic period, when Stonehenge was built, were also uncovered. “Every detail lets us work out what was happening in that landscape before, during, and after the building of Stonehenge,” he said. Construction of the tunnel is slated to begin in 2023. To read about a 4,000-year-old wooden ringed enclosure with surprising connections to Stonehenge, go to "Letter from Woodhenge: Stonehenge's Continental Cousin."
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