6,000 year old 'House of the dead' discovered near Stonehenge

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University of Reading Archaeologists and students have uncovered a 'House of the Dead' in Wiltshire.

It's not the ghost train at the local carnival - that will wait till next friday's 'faculty Jamboree outing' - it's a neolithic long barrow burial mound which could contain the ancestors of those who lived near to Stonehenge and Avebury around 3,600 BC.

The University's Archaeology Field School, with the support of local volunteers, investigated the site of a Neolithic long barrow burial mound in a place called Cat's Brain.

The monument predates nearby Marden Henge by a millennia, and may contain the remains of humans born there around 3,600 BC. The monument was first spotted by aerial photography and followed up by geophysical survey imagery.

Amanda Clarke, co-director of the Archaeology Field School, said:

This incredible discovery of one of the UK’s first monuments offers a rare glimpse into this important period in history. We are setting foot inside a significant building that has lain forgotten and hidden for thousands of years.

Visitors are welcome to see the excavation in progress every day (except Friday 14 July), between 10am - 4pm. Groups must book in advance.

Dr Jim Leary, Director of the Archaeology Field School, said:

Opportunities to fully investigate long barrows are virtually unknown in recent times, and this represents a fantastic chance to carefully excavate one using the very latest techniques and technology.

Members of the public now have the chance to visit us and see prehistory being unearthed as we search for human remains on the site.

Discovering the buried remains of what could be the ancestors of those who lived around Stonehenge would be the cherry on the cake of an amazing project.


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