Friday, July 06, 2007

Moundbuilders of. . .western England? Unique Bronze Age serpentine mound found in western England
An archaeologist has made a find in western England that he hopes will help illuminate the ritual life of Britain's Bronze Age inhabitants — a 60-meter (65-yard) serpentine mound paved with cracked stones believed to be the first of its kind discovered in Europe.

Mounds of "burnt stones" — so-called because they have been cracked by heating and rapid cooling — litter northern Europe; some experts believe they are piles of ancient kitchen trash. The use of the stones to cover the snakelike "Rotherwas Ribbon" mound, however, suggests that they were also used in rituals by people 4,000 years ago, said Herefordshire County archaeologist Keith Ray.

"It's the only structure we have from prehistory from Britain or in Europe, as far as we can tell, that is actually a deliberate construction that uses burnt stones," Ray said. "This is ... going to make us rethink whole chunks of what we thought we understood about the period."

Obviously the source for North American moundbuilders.