British archeologists in new attempt to unravel Stonehenge secret

Other News Materials 1 April 2008 15:17 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) -  British archeologists are making new efforts to uncover the secrets of the prehistoric stone circle at Stonehenge in southwestern England.

In the first archeological dig in 44 years, the archeologists want to solve the "eternal question" of the exact building date of Stonehenge's inner bluestone circle, Geoffery Wainwright, one of the project leaders, said.

It was the first stone circle to be erected on the site near the city of Salisbury. Scholars believe it was built around 2500 BC, following an earlier earth and timber constructions, but no exact date could be determined.

Wainwright and his colleague Timothy Darvill of Bournemouth University want to prove that the site was used for healing purposes during the Bronze Age.

People travelled to Stonehenge to be relieved of their illnesses, as bluestones are believed to have healing qualities.

Simon Thurley head of English Heritage, which administers the site, said the bluestones were the key to understanding the purpose of Stonehenge.

Stonehenge as can be seen today consists of several circular formations of bluestone and sarsen stones.

The site, whose origins are surrounded by many myths was declared UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1986 and attracts thousands of tourists each year.

The archeological excavation, the first in 44 years, are scheduled to last two weeks. Stonehenge will remain open for visitors during that period.