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A tooth unearthed near Stonehenge shows dogs were man’s best friend even in prehistoric times, it has been claimed.
The tooth, dug up at Blick Mead in Wiltshire, is believed to be evidence of the earliest journey in British history.
It is thought to be from a pet Alsatian-type dog that travelled 250 miles from York with its owner.
Archaeologist David Jacques said it was significant as it was not known people travelled so far 7,000 years ago.
The shape and size show the tooth was from a domestic dog, he said.
It also suggests people were visiting Stonehenge 2,000 years before the monument was built.
“The fact that a dog and a group of people were coming to the area from such a long distance away further underlines just how important the place was four millennia before the circle was built,” Mr Jacques said.
“Discoveries like this give us a completely new understanding of the establishment of the ritual landscape and make Stonehenge even more special than we thought we knew it was.”
Bones found near the tooth suggest the dog would have feasted on salmon, trout, pike, wild pig and red deer.
Researchers at Durham University used carbon dating to discover the age of the tooth and isotope analysis on the enamel.
Mr Jacques, a senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham, said: “We know it was probably born in the area of York.
“It was drinking from the area when it was young, it went on a journey of about 250 miles to the Stonehenge area with people and it ate what the people were eating on this site at Blick Mead.
“You would not get a wolf travelling 250 miles but you’re much more likely to get a dog doing that because it’s travelling with its people.”
Previous excavations have uncovered tools from Wales and the Midlands and evidence people lived near Stonehenge for long periods of time, near the natural springs used hollowed out tree trunks for shelter.
Full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-37574881
Join us on a guided tour and explore Stonehenge and the nearby landcaspe. rich in archaeological finds.
Stonehenge and Salisbury Guided Tours
The Local Stonehenge Experts
YOU can travel back in time on this holiday and trace thousands of years of British history, from Stonehenge up to the signing of the Magna Carta.
From the famous standing stones through to the celebrated document inspired by King John and the Georgian streets of Bath, this is a trip that will no doubt fascinate and delight.
After boarding the private coach in the early morning you will travel towards your hotel, visiting the quant villages of Castle Combe and Laycock along the way.
Both have featured in major films and TV series, Castle Combe in Stephen Spielberg’s War Horse and Lacock was used in some scenes for the Harry Potter films. Lacock also featured in the popular TV programme The Cranford Chronicles.
After dinner and a chance to relax in the hotel, day two will be all about Stonehenge, where you’ll head after breakfast.
The first stop of the day is the famous standing stones and its long-awaited and now open exhibition and visitor centre.
The exhibition contains nearly 300 archaelogical treasures found in the area, and also valuable insights into how and why the stone circle was built, and the people responsible.
The monument itself is a little over a mile from the centre, so you will have the choice of walking to it with a complementary audio guide or using the shuttle for the ride to the stones.
After seeing the stones, you will then travel to Salisbury Cathedral, which is unique among English medieval cathedrals having been built in a single architectural style – early English gothic.
The Chapter House here is home to the finest of only four surviving Magna Carta, the first formal document of its kind that paved the way for democracy. An exhibition explaints how it came about, and what its significance is even today.
On day three you will head to Bath and enjoy a full day at leisure in this fine city, which boasts its famous Roman baths, the Royal Crescent and beautiful Pulteney Bridge.
After breakfast the following day you will enjoy a brief tour of the Cotswolds, including the charming village of Malmesbury, before heading home.
Full Article in the excellent Bristol Post: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Discover-historic-gems-doorstep/story-25845069-detail/story.html#ixzz3OmEXVcC8
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