To the pride of archaeologists, the surrounding area around Arthur’s Stone has been excavated for the first time, elucidating the mystery of its origins. The quality of the arrangement of the slabs, their position, as well as their natural arrangement in the landscape gives a sense of place that is both powerful and beautiful. With its massive upright stones, this stone complex provides an outstanding example of Early Neolithic burial practice in the UK.
Researchers believed that the significance of Arthur’s Stone expanded further than being a simple tomb. Nonetheless, despite its vast historical potential, the burial tomb, also known as Maen Ceti, could not be explored given the fact that it is a highly protected monument listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site.
However, researchers are now one step closer to understanding the origins of Arthur’s Stone. Archaeologists have excavated to the south of Maen Ceti for the first time, and their discoveries provide historical context to the burial tomb. According to researchers, Arthur’s Stone was not a singular monument, and it was actually a part of a ceremonial landscape that expanded beyond it.
The original construction of the tomb was a mound with compressed turf that collapsed at one point, and it was rebuilt a second time. What is more, there are more similar burial mounds in the area, with one hillside site discovered in 2013 in Dorstone Hill. According to researchers, the sites were connected.
“Each of these three turf mounds had been built on the footprint of a large timber building that had been deliberately burnt down. Indeed, the block of upland between the Golden Valley and the Wye Valley is now becoming revealed as hosting an integrated Neolithic ceremonial landscape,” explained archaeologist Julian Thomas from the University of Manchester.
This discovery provides more information about the origins of Arthur’s Stone, and it will help historians learn more about the area as well.