PUBLISHED: 15:27, Mon, Oct 26, 2020 | UPDATED: 15:27, Mon, Oct 26, 2020
One of the most famous British monuments, found in the fields of Wiltshire, dates back as far as 3000BC and has puzzled researchers for years. A recent study proposed that the ancestors of the builders of the ancient monument travelled west across the Mediterranean before reaching Britain. Researchers compared DNA extracted from Neolithic human remains found across Britain with that of people alive at the same time in Europe.
The Neolithic inhabitants were descended from populations originating in Anatolia (modern Turkey) that moved to Iberia before heading north.
They are said to have reached Britain in about 4000BC and DNA revealed that Neolithic Britons were largely descended from groups who took the Mediterranean route.
But archaeologist Julian Richards revealed during a lecture why he believed the DNA does not paint the full picture as to what happened at Stonehenge.
Speaking at the Megalithomania Conference, he said: “Where do we find the builders of Stonehenge, the architects who created the idea and then actually constructed this great monument?
The mystery deepens at Stonehenge (Image: GETTY)
The ancient landscape continues to be studied (Image: GETTY)
“Frustratingly, this is at a time where we don’t have a great deal of burial evidence, but we do have burials.
“We have cremated remains buried in the Aubrey Holes and in the ditch and it’s a question of who is it?
“This is where the first of these genetic studies comes in because we understand quite a lot about the origins of agriculture in Europe and its spread.”
Mr Richards revealed why researchers believe this group had an influence on the building of Stonehenge.
He added: “If we look to sites like Lepenski Vir, a loop in the Danube, we can see the origins of agriculture dating back to way before 5000BC.
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Julian Richards held a talk on Stonehenge (Image: WIKI)
“Here we can see the interaction between hunter-gatherers, the indigenous inhabitants, and pioneering agriculturists.
“It’s an interesting relationship because it seems to vary around Europe, in some cases, there is an adoption of agriculture as a practise because after all some of the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers are actively adapting the landscape themselves.
“In this country, we do have an influx of people with these ideas and domesticated animals and crops sometime before 4000BC and quite how much before is debatable.
“We’re seeing people from the