Working at Vespasian's Camp in Amesbury, Wiltshire, less than a mile from the megalithic stones, a team led by archaeologist David Jacques of the Open University unearthed material which contradicted the general belief that no people settled there until as late as 2,500 BC.Indeed, carbon dating of the material revealed the existence of a semi-permanent settlement which was occupied from 7,500 to 4,700 BC.
"The date of Stonehenge had been blowing in the wind. It helps us to be secure about the chronology of events."The last time an excavation was allowed inside the sarsen stone pillars was in 1964.A documentary on the dig has been recorded by BBC Timewatch and will be broadcast on Saturday. Now and then I will muse on related Stonehenge topics which have an Ice Age dimension...Another big factor which can lead to the distortion of results is the breaking down of material on the rock surface -- by the processes of physical weathering.
Frost action, salt spray, mineral contraction and expansion related to temperature changes, and even biogenic effects can break up rock surfaces and lower them by millimetres or centimetres per century.Secondly, wherever possible, at least two different techniques should be employed -- if they bring up broadly comparable dates, this will greatly increase our confidence that we are learning something meaningful.