6,000-year-old ’Halls of the Dead’ unearthed in England
2013-07-31 0:00

By Tia Ghose | NBCNews

Archaeologists have unearthed two nearly 6,000-year-old burial mounds and the remains of two massive buildings in England.

The two wooden long-buildings, or halls, were burnt to the ground; the ashes were then shoveled in to make burial mounds.

"The buildings seemed to have been deliberately burned down," said Julian Thomas, the archaeologist leading the excavation and a professor at the University of Manchester.


Excavations at Dorstone Hill in the UK revealed a nearly 6,000-year-old set of burial mounds that were created from the ashes of an ancient longhall.

Researchers believe these halls of the living may have been transformed into "halls of the dead" after a leader or important social figure died.

Ancient site

The find was uncovered in an open field near Dorstone Hill, Herefordshire in the UK. For decades, amateur archaeologists have noticed pieces of flint blades in the area and wondered whether the land there contained relics of a long-forgotten time.

When Thomas and his team began excavating, they found two large burial mounds, or barrows, that could have held anywhere from seven to 30 people each.

The smaller barrow contained a 23-foot-long (7 meters) mortuary chamber with sockets for two huge tree trunks. Digging deeper, the researchers uncovered postholes, ash from the timbers, and charred clay from the walls of an ancient structure.

These burnt remains came from what were once two long-halls, the biggest of which was up to 230 feet (70 m) long, with aisles delineated by wooden posts and several internal spaces.

Though it’s not clear exactly who built the halls and barrows, the building construction is similar to that found in England between 4000 B.C. and 3600 B.C, predating the construction of Stonehenge by up to 1,000 years.


The burial mounds were made from the charred remains of two massive halls. Here, a reconstruction of what one of the halls would have looked like.

[...]

Read the full article at: nbcnews.com



Related Articles
Early Human Burials Varied Widely but Most Were Simple
Ancient Burial Shroud Made of Surprising Material, Scientists Find
From Pits to Palaces: The Evolution of Prehistoric Burial Customs in Ancient Egypt
Unique Burial: Bizarre ’cow woman’ found in Anglo-Saxon dig
Crypts and Catacombs Photos
Bizarre Catacombs, Death Cult? Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Italy
Human hearts with couples’ photos pinned to them found in Colma cemetery
Stonehenge started as huge graveyard, say researchers
Ancient tomb found at ’Sweden’s Stonehenge’
Stone Age Temple in Orkney 800 years older than Stonehenge


Latest News from our Front Page

Galaxy Poll: 86 per cent of Australians want childhood vaccination to be compulsory?
2015-04-17 23:33
Australians want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make childhood vaccination compulsory and close loopholes that allow vaccine refusers to put all children at risk. An exclusive national Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed overwhelming support to ensure every child is vaccinated. The highest support for compulsory jabs is in South Australia, where 90 per cent support the call. The poll ...
Eye in the sky: Local police now using drones to spy on citizens
2015-04-17 22:09
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office is doing something that no other agency in Harris County is believed to have done yet: Use drones to help fight crime. It's an eye in the sky for law enforcement, without giving up the element of surprise. "It could absolutely save lives," says Constable Alan Rosen. Rosen says the agency's two new $1,200 drones, which ...
New Zealander of the Year: refuse vaccines, lose money
2015-04-17 22:47
Following in the footsteps of Australia, 2014 New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance O’Sullivan, wants to punish people who don’t get vaccinated. The New Zealand Herald (4/15) reports: “A leading New Zealand doctor has called on the Government to follow Australia’s example to cut child welfare payments to families who do not vaccinate their children, saying the policy would help protect ...
Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away
2015-04-17 22:20
Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology. For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet. Like ...
Yes, You Can Catch Insanity
2015-04-17 22:29
One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies. Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain ...
More News »