PUBLISHED: 14:37, Thu, Nov 5, 2020 | UPDATED: 15:23, Thu, Nov 5, 2020
An eruption in construction taking place at the tail-end of the UK’s Neolithic period may well have been a tacit acknowledgement of an end of an era, archaeologists have announced. Research on a prehistoric monument in Dorset suggests the building work was a "last hurrah" by stone-age people sensing the arrival of fundamental change.
A new archaeological study of a mega henge in Dorset’s Mount Pleasant found the site was not constructed over centuries, but was instead erected in as little as 35 years.
You could look at it as the last hurrah of the stone age
Susan Greaney of Cardiff University’s
This led Cardiff University archaeologists to suggest a theory the fast-paced building programme was almost ready at approximately 2,500 BC.
This was immediately prior to a wave of migrants arriving from modern-day mainland Europe, bringing with them new religions, goods and culture.
Susan Greaney of Cardiff University’s school of history, archaeology and religion, said: “The picture emerging is an explosion in building activity with large and labour-intensive monuments being constructed across southern England, and perhaps further afield.
READ MORE: Astonishing evidence shows humans are to blame for hobbits' demise
Archaeology news: Mount Pleasant mega henge being excavated in the early 1970s (Image: ardiff University)
Archaeology news: n antler pick found at the Mount Pleasant site in Dorset (Image: Cardiff University)
“The building of Mount Pleasant would have involved a huge number of people – digging out the enormous ditches with simple tools like antler picks.
“This was right at the end of the stone age, just before people came from the continent with metal goods, new types of pottery, new styles of burial and so on.
“You could look at it as the last hurrah of the stone age.
“They could see the changes coming and decide to resist them – they may have been thinking: ‘We don’t need these changes.