- Nine megaliths in England share similar construction and alignment with Stonehenge.
- These monuments all mark the rising of the midsummer sun and the setting of midwinter sun.
- Burials and food remains found nearby suggest death-related rituals may have been held at the standing stones.
Nine megaliths in a remote part of Dartmoor, England, share features in common with Stonehenge, and may shed light on the meaning behind these prehistoric stone monuments, according to a report in the latest issue of British Archaeology.
The Dartmoor megaliths, which were recently carbon-dated to around 3500 B.C., could predate Stonehenge, but both sites feature large standing stones that are aligned to mark the rising of the midsummer sun and the setting of the midwinter sun. Yet another Dartmoor stone monument, called Drizzlecombe, shares the same orientation.
The ancient Brits were not necessarily sun worshippers, however.
Archaeologist Mike Pitts, editor of the journal, told Discovery News that "huge quantities of barbecued juvenile pig bones" were found near Stonehenge, indicating that the animals were born in the spring and killed not far from the site "for pork feasting" in midwinter.