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Prehistoric Britons organised large-scale celebrations near Stonehenge

Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of the earliest large-scale celebrations in Britain, when people and animals travelled hundreds of miles for prehistoric feasting rituals near the world-famous monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury. The most comprehensive study, led by Cardiff University in the UK, to date examined the bones of 131 pigs, the prime feasting animals, from four Late Neolithic complexes.

 Researchers said, pig bones excavated from four sites were from animals raised as far away as Scotland, North East England and West Wales, as well as numerous other locations across the British Isles. One of the researchers say that study demonstrates a scale of movement and level of social complexity not previously appreciated.

He says these gatherings could be seen as the first united cultural events of our island, with people from all corners of Britain descending on the areas around Stonehenge to feast on food that had been specially reared and transported from their homes. Pigs were the prime animal used in feasting and they provide the best indication of where the people who feasted at these sites came from as almost no human remains have been recovered.

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