Archaeologists probing the secrets of Stonehenge, Britain's most famous prehistoric monument said on Monday, it may have been an ancient pilgrimage site for the sick who believed its stones had healing qualities.
It has always been a mystery why bluestones, the smaller stones that form part of the circle, were transported around 155 miles from Preseli Hills in Wales to WiltshIre in southem England. Archaeologists from Boumemouth Ur:uversity, who carried out the dig in April the first at Stonehenge since 1964-believe the bluestones were revered as healing stones. "It was the magical qualities these stones which.., transformed the monument and made it a place of pilgrimage for the sick and injured of the Neolithic world," a statement from the archaeologist team said.Geoffrey Wainwright, president of the Society of Antiquaries of London and one of the experts leading the work, told BBC radio that one reason which lead to the conclusion was because anumber of the burials around Stonehenge showed signs of trauma and deformity.
长期以来，人们—直很困惑，为什么人们要把巨石阵里的一种蓝色小石头从155英里以外的威尔士普利斯里山运到英格兰南部威尔特郡这里昵？伯恩茅斯大学的考古学家们推测，可能当时的人们信奉这些蓝色的石头具有神奇疗效。考古学家于今年4月对史前巨石阵进行了自1964年以来的首次发掘。该考古小组在一份声明中说：“巨石阵曾经可能只是个纪念碑，但这些具有魔力的石头被搬来之后，这里就变成了新时器时代伤病者的朝圣地。 ” 伦敦古文物学会主席、考古小组专家杰弗里‘韦恩莱特在接受BBC广播的采访时说，得出这一结论的其中一个根据就是，巨石阵附近埋葬了很多伤残者。
The archaeologists said in the statement that radio-carbon dating put the construction of the circle of bluestones at between 2,400 B.C. and 2,200 B.C.,afew centuries later than originally thought, But they found fragments of charcoal dating from before 7,000 B.C., showing humans were active in the area much earlier than previously thought.
During the excavation at the World Heritage Site on Salisbury Plain,the researchers also fourtd a beiker pottery fragment, Roman ceramics and ancient stone hammers. "We now know, mucb to our surprise and delight, that Stonehenge was not just prehistoric monument, it was a Roman and mediaeval monument," said Wainwright, Another of the team leaders, Tim Darvill of Boumemouth University , said the bluestones appeared central to the purpose of Stonehenge although it may have had more than one function. Other theories about Stonehenge are that it was a religious site or that it acted as a calendar.