News Mash-up: Ancient Discoveries

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UK researchers say they have found an answer to the mystery of Stonehenge The prehistoric standing stones at Stonehenge draw people from around the world to southwest England. But why was the monument built? Archaeologists now think they have an answer. Researchers at University College London already know that some of the stones came from an even older stone circle in Wales. Now they say the stones may have been dismantled and rebuilt hundreds of years later on Salisbury Plain. The researchers say both stone circles are very similar. They have the same diameter, 110 meters. And one of the bluestones at Stonehenge fits one of the holes found at the Welsh circle. Lead researcher Parker Pearson said the stones may have been moved as people living in Wales migrated. “Maybe most of the people migrated, taking their stones — their ancestral identities — with them,” he told the BBC. (Reuters) Shell horn plays a tune after 18,000 years A large conch shell overlooked in a museum for decades is now thought to be the oldest known seashell instrument — and it still works, producing a deep, plaintive bleat, like a foghorn from the distant past. The shell was found during the 1931 excavation of a cave with prehistoric wall paintings in the French Pyrenees and assumed to be a ceremonial drinking cup. Archaeologists from the University of Toulouse recently took a fresh look and determined it had been modified thousands of years ago to serve as a wind instrument. The researchers estimate it to be around 18,000 years old. Their findings were published Feb. 10 in the journal Science Advances. (AP) These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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