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6000-Year-Old Tomb Complex Discovered 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the nobody-knows-who-they-were-or-what-they-were-doing dept.
duh P3rf3ss3r writes "National Geographic reports that a 6000-year-old tomb complex on 200 hectares (500 acres) has been discovered on the Salisbury Plain just 24 km (15 miles) from Stonehenge. The site has come as a surprise to the archaeologists who had thought that the area had been studied in such depth that few discoveries of such magnitude remained. The site, fully 1000 years older than Stonehenge, has been called 'Britain's oldest architecture.'"
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6000-Year-Old Tomb Complex Discovered

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  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @11:47PM (#28369377) Homepage Journal

    Given away by strange, crop circle-like formations seen from the air, a huge prehistoric ceremonial complex discovered in southern England has taken archaeologists by surprise.

    Umm.. Crop marks [wikipedia.org], not crop circles [wikipedia.org].

    • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @11:53PM (#28369405) Journal

      Umm.. Crop marks, not crop circles.

      Oh come on, we all know it's discovery is actually due to all those cameras the UK government has installed on every street corner and in every crop field. Where's my tin foil hat? I need to have it upgraded to platinum to keep out the camera rays and ward off 6000 year old British zombies.

    • by Celeste R (1002377) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @11:59PM (#28369435)

      Crop marks can indeed be shaped into looking like circles, but they're not the crop circles most people think of.

      Yes, these are man-made, but they're certainly not attributed to UFO's, decorative burning, prank helicopter slash-and-burns, or hoaxes of the same sort.

      Crop circle-like is an accurate way to describe it. They're not crop circles (per the popular definition), but they are similar. Accordingly, the article is more accurate than it could be if it said "crop circle formations", even if the terminology can be further improved.

    • by Ecuador (740021)

      Given away by strange, crop circle-like formations seen from the air, a huge prehistoric ceremonial complex discovered in southern England has taken archaeologists by surprise.

      Umm.. Crop marks [wikipedia.org], not crop circles [wikipedia.org].

      Amusingly, somebody had already added the Stonehenge discovery as an example on the Wikipedia Crop CIRCLE page. I undid that edit, so you owe me (since I saved you from the embarrassment of linking to sources that contradict your own point of course!) ;)

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @12:17PM (#28375353)

      We have this cool feature of the English language call the simile. With this simile, we can describe the features of an object by comparing it to another, unrelated object.

      Example:

      Joe is so strong, he is like an ox.

      In this example, Joe clearly has no actual relation to an ox (we hope), however comparing him to an ox relates a charactaristic of Joe's, his strength, with a charactaristic easily noted when one looks at an ox - oxen are very strong compared to humans. This simile does not even imply that Joe's strength is equal to that of an ox, in this example hyperbole (more on that in another lesson) or exageration is used to highlight the quality of Joe that is being described.

      In the example of the summary, they use simile by saying "crop circle-like" to describe what the formations look like. This does not imply that these formations ARE crop circle markings, in fact, the use of simile could actually imply that they are NOT the same thing. Had they simply said "crop circle", they would have either been incredibly inacturate or really, really bad at using metaphore (similar to simile, but not covered in this lesson).

      In other words, you're an idiot.

  • Surprised? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sardak (773761) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @12:00AM (#28369439) Journal

    The site has come as a surprise to the archaeologists who had thought that the area had been studied in such depth that few discoveries of such magnitude remained.

    If they believed a few remained, why are they so surprised to find one of them?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      Oh the subtleties of the english language.

      Well said sir!

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)
      You and your obvious political ploys with your fancy logical analysis and your brainy smarts! Begone from here!
    • Yep, they should have said very few.
    • If they believed a few remained, why are they so surprised to find one of them?

      It's a figure of speech. If lots of them remained, they would not have been surprised. But few remained, therefore they were surprised. Seriously, how hard was that?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "If they believed a few remained, why are they so surprised to find one of them?"

      BECAUSE only a few remain. D'oh!

      If there are only a few lottery tickets with a top prize, and you drew one, would you describe your condition as 'surprised'? Or would you say that statistically it had to be drawn so this is not an unusual event....

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by consonant (896763)
      They didn't believe that "a few" remained - the prevailing belief was that "few" were left to be discovered, which translates to "practically nothing".

      Linky [diffen.com].

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      The surprise was that Jim found it. Jim is, by account of all the other grad students, an idiot. Imagine if Gilligan were the one to find a way off the island. That would be pretty surprising, no?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by M-RES (653754)
        I don't know what you're talking about - I don't watch Lost! ;p
    • by Jack9 (11421)

      A large amount of excavation, study, exposure and seismic investigation into the greater Stonehenge area, has occurred for hundreds of years. In the 80's some groups were taking readings all over the place looking for the source of the stone that may have been long-buried, IIRC. Finding a previously undiscovered, massively large, underground structure, so close to Stonehenge now, is surprising.

  • by FrankDrebin (238464) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @12:02AM (#28369451) Homepage

    'Britain's oldest architecture'

    Performed By Britian's Loudest Band

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by laejoh (648921)

      In ancient times...

      Hundreds of years before the dawn of history

      Lived a strange race of people... the Druids

      No one knows who they were or what they were doing

      But their legacy remains

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      If I could mod you +11 funny, I would.
  • Surprise? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    6000 year old tomb complex... has come as a surprise to the archaeologists

    And even more of a surprise to the young-earth creationists. WE'VE FOUND THE TOMBS OF ADAM AND EVE, EVERYONE!!!!11!!122!

  • Wow. (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by DarrenBaker (322210)

    This is Spinal Tap is on IFC Canada RIGHT. NOW.

    If that's not a sign, I don't know what is.

  • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @12:08AM (#28369479)
    Well that about wraps it up for all the archaeology in Britain. After all once you reach back 6000 years there is no more to find.
    • by Starlon (1492461)
      Till they find the 10,000 year old lemur monkey population, complete with its Queen and Monty Python.
    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      That's more true than you think, for contemporary archaeologists.

      Ever wonder why anything they find is a "tomb", "ritual site" or "burial site" if it demonstrates even the least bit of architectural complexity and it's older than (say) 3,000 years old? IE, it couldn't possibly have served a functionality beyond some primitive goal, because people back then couldn't possibly have been technologically/intellectually advanced to achieve such a goal! The Giza pyramid is a perfect example of this: despite having

  • google maps link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @12:09AM (#28369483)

    Here it is on Google Maps... you can see a faint circle where the mound is located.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=damerham&sll=38.892091,-77.024055&sspn=0.487938,1.045761&ie=UTF8&ll=50.937232,-1.873689&spn=0.003086,0.00817&t=h&z=18

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      And here it is on Bing - with the circles just barely visible: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=50.937445~-1.874886&style=h&lvl=18&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&where1=50.937232%2C-1.873689&encType=1 [bing.com]. (You'll have to zoom in.)

      Which shows how hard these things are to discover - different light angles and ages and types of crops change the visibility greatly.

      I know there are some UK [aerial photography] si

      • The web browser on this computer and the Maps site may not work well together.

        To continue, install a browser that is more compatible with this site. Or, continue to use your current browser, keeping in mind that some features may not work correctly.

        * Install Internet Explorer
        * Install Firefox
        * Go to the map using this browser

        Posted from Firefox 3.5 beta 4

        Bing! wins again...

        • It works with Firefox 3.5 (I got an update yesterday).

        • by adolf (21054)

          Link works for me, with Firefox 3.5RC1 (released yesterday).

          Try Help -> Check for Updates in Firefox, try again, and post your findings.

          Pretty please.

          • by smoker2 (750216)
            It also works with Firefox 2.0.0.20.
          • by Trogre (513942)

            Heh,

            I'm using 3.5b4 as packaged in Fedora 11. Guess what? Are you ready for this? The "Check for updates" menu item is grayed out.

            If I hadn't seen it myself I'm not sure I would have believed it but there it is.

            • It is because Firefox was installed as by yum. You are most probably running Firefox as a normal user, so you don't have permissions to overwrite installation directory - hence the grayed out option.

            • It is because Firefox was installed as root by yum. You are most probably running it as a normal user, so you don't have permissions to overwrite installation directory - hence the grayed out option.

        • Sounds like your version of Firefox is broken, as mine works just fine.

        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          So,

          When a website works for everyone else, obviously it's the website that is broken when your browser can't display it correctly.

          I think there is a flaw in the logic there, but I'm not sure where...

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Here it is on Google Maps... you can see a faint circle where the mound is located.

      Aaaaah, clearly what this guy [google.com.au] is looking for.

      (posting anon as I am ashamed of my puerile sense of humour).

    • by krenshala (178676)

      My first though when I pulled up the picture: looks like a water ring from a can left on the picture. ;)

  • I tried (Score:5, Funny)

    by peipas (809350) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @01:14AM (#28369899)

    I tried to RTFA but when it came time to click on to page two I got distracted by the "Jackass Penguins Freed After Rehab" link. Oh well.

  • "The site has come as a surprise to the archaeologists who had thought that the area had been studied in such depth that few discoveries of such magnitude remained."

    Maybe their thoughts are limiting them ...

  • More Giant Circles (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrdbeaton (767108) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @02:37AM (#28370259)
    I just emailed this to National Geographic:
    We'll see what happens...

    "I believe I have discovered circles similar to the ones referenced in your article 'Huge Pre-Stonehenge Complex Found via "Crop Circles"'.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090615-stonehenge-tombs-crop-circles_2.html [nationalgeographic.com]

    There are two 380-foot diameter circles located at Longitude/Latitude 50.977866,-1.963204
    These may be seen at Google maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=50.977866,-1.963204&sll=50.977866,-1.963204&sspn=177.15044,360&ie=UTF8&ll=50.977872,-1.963205&spn=0.01016,0.021865&t=h&z=16&iwloc=A [google.com]
    There are variations in the color of vegetation at this site that indicate that there may be other circles as well, of similar size.
    There is also a serpentine color variation about 750 feet long and 60 feet wide.

    Please forward this to the appropriate researcher."
  • Hyperbole (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thegoldenear (323630) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @03:42AM (#28370639) Homepage

    This is hyperbole from National Geographic. Calling the structures 'tombs' in the title implies it's an underground complex, which it wasn't. This is the remains of Neolithic barrows, which the countryside around Stonehenge is completely covered in. These barrows that have just been discovered are only the remains too, where-as there are innumerable surviving barrows all over that area of countryside, and in many many places all over Britain.

    Pete Boyd

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by smoker2 (750216)
      "A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. The term generally refers to any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes. The word is used in a broad sense to encompass a number of such types of places of interment or, occasionally, burial ..." Link [wikipedia.org]

      Anyway, the bodies ARE buried under ground. The ground is piled up over the tombs. Or does grass grow in the air ?

      This is the remains of Neolithic barrows

      THESE ARE ...!

      • I was saying that the 'tombs' aren't there any more, so they haven't _found_ tombs. They've found where tombs used to be.

        I agree that I was wrong to read National Geographic's description as there being existing underground tombs.
        But you're wrong to say the bodies are underground. Though you'd be right to say the bodies are under some ground, but that's not the meaning of the word 'underground' in English. The barrows are made of stone and in this case wood and the bodies placed within them, where there are

        • by smoker2 (750216)

          By saying "THESE ARE...!", you're repeating what I said.

          No, I'm correcting what you said. Do you need me to spoon feed you the reason ?

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      I'm curious why there's all this evidence of barrows (a type of tomb, in a sense) but none of the supposed living quarters of these people. Why is that, do you suppose? Maybe these were not "ceremonial buildings" but actual living quarters and they (like many a people group) buried their deceased nearby?

  • I wonder if they found the buried space ship [wikipedia.org].

  • Great... 28 days later...

  • by Bicx (1042846) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @08:21AM (#28372295)
    They have these big mounds of dead people from thousands of years ago.... STILL SITTING AROUND!

    In the U.S., we know how to handle an ancient burial ground properly: bulldoze it flat, then build a Wal-Mart on top of what's left.
  • I'm surprised there has not been a Stargate SG-1 reference to Merlin's tomb yet. Isn't that an eerie coincidence?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe [wikipedia.org]

    this region was a religious center BEFORE mankind domesticated wheat. one of the stunning things about this place is, they think that wheat was very probably domesticated here, because nearby wild grain dna is the closest to the dna of the modern wheat we use. this is probably the place where farming started.

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