The Research Seminar Series in Archaeology and Environmental archaeology invites you to a seminar with Professor Mike Parker Pearson, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, London, UK. Professor Pearson will speak on the topic of "Stonehenge: researching its origins and purpose".
Abstract: Much new research has been directed at Stonehenge in the last two decades by numerous teams and organisations. We now have a better understanding of its constructional sequence and of its context within its surrounding ceremonial and inhabited landscape as well as of its wider setting within the British and European Neolithic - Early Bronze Age. Scientific analyses of isotopes, aDNA, bluestone and sarsen geology, following on from recent archaeological excavations, have helped to transform our understanding of the people who built Stonehenge, where they obtained its materials, and where they came from. Stonehenge's origins and purpose continue to be debated, attempting to account for its various astronomical, funerary, architectural and contextual elements, that all make it such an enigmatic monument - the most elaborate and labour-intensive of all of Britain and Ireland's stone circles. Its origins now appear to be bound up with long-distance relationships to the sources of the bluestones 240km away in west Wales.