English Heritage Heritage Pictures/Newscom

Greater than 4000 years in the past, individuals erected monumental circles of stones or wooden throughout southern England. Stonehenge is probably the most well-known, however many different so-called “henges” have been additionally constructed between 2800 and 2400 B.C.E. Close by trash pits filled with pig bones counsel they as soon as hosted monumental feasts. However who was coming to those gatherings?

The pigs have now helped remedy that thriller. Researchers studied the bones of 131 pigs from 4 henge websites in southern England, notably Durrington Partitions, a wood henge (pictured) constructed a mere three kilometers from Stonehenge, and Marden Henge, the most important of those monuments but found. When the pigs have been alive, their bones absorbed chemical compounds from their meals and water, preserving a singular signature of every pig’s native surroundings and weight loss program. The researchers measured the isotope ratios of 5 of those chemical compounds: strontium, oxygen, sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen.

Almost no two pigs had the identical isotope signature, the workforce studies right now in Science Advances. That means they have been dropped at the henges from many alternative locations quite than being raised regionally for feasts. In truth, their isotope signatures match the environments in each nook of England, Scotland, and even Eire. And meaning the individuals attending the feasts—and contributing their pigs—possible got here from as distant as western Wales, northeastern England, and even Scotland. It appears the henges have been vacationer scorching spots for millennia.

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