Major discoveries. Note the photo below showing TWO henges, one of which appears to be untouched! The description of the "triple pot" is also absolutely fascinating. Are the women related? Could they be mother and two daughters, for instance? The ages seem about right. But -- who knows. We may never know, unless DNA testing is done on bone fragments from the three females' remains. And that pot - I want to know more about that!
What is most incredible is that the British Isles have been one of the most intensively occupied countries for thousands of years, and yet all of these wonderful things continue to be discovered -- it seems nearly daily there is something in the archaeological news about this or that being uncovered.
From Discovery News
Prehistoric Teen Girl's Grave Found Near Henge
The finding of the 17-year-old girl's grave adds more evidence that henges
were linked to death rituals.
By Jennifer Viegas
Thu Oct 6, 2011 02:31 PM ET
Four to five thousand years ago, a wealthy teenage girl was laid to rest in a
grave at what archaeologists believe is a newly found henge in Kent,
The discovery of the 17-year-old's grave -- along with a unique prehistoric
pot inside of a ringed ditch near two other women -- strengthens the idea that
important death-related rituals took place at many of these mysterious ancient
monuments when they were first erected.
"What is becoming clear is that with a series of major excavations in Kent
linked to road and rail works, and new aerial photography, there are many
circular earthworks that look part barrow and part henge, and like the one fully
excavated example at Ringlemere (Kent), some of these may be both," said
archaeologist Mike Pitts, publisher of British Archaeology, where a
summary of the recent finds appears.
"This comes after many years in which archaeologists believed there were no
henges in south-east England at all," Pitts told Discovery News.
Staff from Oxford Wessex Archaeology, during recent extensive excavations,
discovered the early teen's grave on the Isle of Thanet, Kent, near what is now
Manston Airport. The girl was buried laying on her side with flexed limbs, with
an unusual pot standing by her right elbow.
Pitts explained that the pot consists of three small bowls joined together.
Separately made pots were joined with bridging clay before decorating and
firing, he suspects. Neil Wilkin, a researcher at the University of Birmingham
studying early vessels, said the features of the pot confirm its suspected age
Only one other example of multiple joined pots from the time has been seen
before, Pitts said. In that other case, just two small bowls were attached
Two other women, aged 25-30 and 35-50, were also found buried inside the 72
feet-wide ditch. It remains unclear if the number of attached pots was somehow
tied to the number of women found at the site. What is clear is that they must
have been wealthy individuals. A conical amber button was located near the
teenager's head. She might have then worn clothing bejewelled with amber
A separate Kent excavation, near Maidstone, uncovered the new likely henge.
Such monuments are seen across Britain, but this latest one may be only the
second henge known to exist in south-east England.
Paul Wilkinson, who conducted the dig and is director of the Kent
Archaeological Field School, found charcoal, bones and pottery laying on the
surface of both ditch terminals. Some of the pottery was discovered crushed and
in tight clusters with small fragments of burnt bone, suggesting the pots had
been urns holding cremated remains.
"The clincher will be if it is Grooved Ware," said Pitts, who explained that
this type of decorated pottery tends to be associated with many henges.
Kent may be home to even more henges, according to archaeologist Paul Hart of
the Trust for Thanet Archaeology. He explained that "sandstone doggers
(boulders) can be found in deposits which are exposed in the cliff of Pegwell
Bay and may also exist in pockets along the southern coast of the Isle."
Accessibility to materials like these boulders, and the stones of Stonehenge,
likely influenced where early monument builders worked. But henges made of wood
were probably even more common, leaving behind what are now often
difficult-to-detect traces of their existence.