Tags: stonehenge | discovery | halt | highway | tunnel

Stonehenge Discovery Could Halt Plans for Highway Tunnel

By    |   Monday, 22 Dec 2014 08:56 AM

A discovery by archaeologists near Stonehenge may offer the best clues yet on how Britain's early ancestors in the structure's vicinity lived.

Researchers reported that charcoal retrieved from an encampment less than two miles from Stonehenge back in October dated to around 4,000 BC, according to a University of Buckingham release. They also said they found evidence that other structures may have been built in the area at that time.

"This is the latest dated Mesolithic encampment ever found in the (United Kingdom)," said David Jacques, the University of Buckingham archaeologist who made the charcoal discovery.

According to The Guardian, a proposed highway tunnel under Stonehenge has divided the country, with archaeologists charging that the tunnel would cause irreversible harm to the historic site.

"Blick Mead site connects the early hunter gatherer groups returning to Britain after the Ice Age to the Stonehenge area all the way through to the Neolithic in the late 5th Millennium BC," said Jacques.  "Our only chance to find out about the earliest chapter of Britain's history could be wrecked if the tunnel goes ahead."

However, Helen Ghosh, director general of the National Trust, said the tunnel should have priority.

"After many false starts and challenges, this does for the first time feel like a real opportunity to tackle the blight of the roads that dominate the landscape of Stonehenge."

But others, like Council for British Archaeology director Mike Heyworth, said the tunnel could damage potential digging sites and British history could be lost with its construction.

"(The tunnel) would have major implications for the archaeology – we should be asking whether a major expansion of the roads network at Stonehenge just to meet traffic needs is the most appropriate way to deal with such a site," Heyworth told The Guardian.

The Telegraph reported that Prime Minister David Cameron backed the tunnel's plans earlier this month after visiting Stonehenge, saying it would take away traffic from the historical site and help relief traffic congestion.


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A discovery by archaeologists near Stonehenge may offer the best clues yet on how Britain's early ancestors in the structure's vicinity lived.
stonehenge, discovery, halt, highway, tunnel
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2014-56-22
Monday, 22 Dec 2014 08:56 AM
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