According to popular tradition, Arthur’s Stonea tomb approximately 5,000 years old in the West Midlands of England, has links to king arthur, the legendary leader of Camelot. A legend has it that Arthur found a pebble in his shoe as he marched into battle and threw it aside, at which point he grew fat in “pride”. [at] to have been touched by [him]”, by Dark Atlas. Another story suggests that Arthur ran into a giant whose elbows went off massive prints in the earth when he fell in battle.
Myths aside, the Neolithic tomb has long mystified experts and the public. Now, reports James Thomas for the Hereford Hoursthe site’s first-ever excavation is about to shed light on its enigmatic history.
Researchers from the University of Manchester and English heritagethe charity caring for the monument, are unlikely to dig up the remains of the legendary king. But they hope to find traces of the real Neolithic Britons who built and used the chamber tomb. Although archaeologists initially suspected that Arthur’s Stone was part of a wedge-shaped stone cairn, such as those found in South Wales and the Cotswoldsrecent excavations indicate otherwise.
By a statement, only the inner chamber of the tomb – consisting of nine standing stones topped by a massive capstone weighing over 25 tons – survives today. A previous to dig conducted outside the monument showed that Arthur’s Stone lay across a field to the south and underwent two distinct phases of construction.
At first reported Current archeology as of August 2021, the tomb consisted of a long southwest-facing mound surrounded by wooden posts. After this mound fell, the Neolithic inhabitants of the area rebuilt the site with a larger post walkway, two rock chambers and a standing stone. This time the poles faced southeast.
“[T]The initial focus is on the internal relationships between the monuments that make up the complex but…later the focus shifts outwards,” Thomas said. Live Scienceby Tom Metcalfe last August.
The archaeologist postulated that Arthur’s Stone, along with two “halls of the dead“which once stood nearby, possibly part of a complex” where people came for gatherings, meetings [and] feast, … a place that has retained its significance for centuries.
Excavations at similar sites in the area have unearthed incomplete human remains, flint shards, arrowheads and pottery, the statement said. The public will have the opportunity to observe researchers working at Arthur’s Stone, together with archaeologists offering tours of the site throughout the excavation.
The question of whether the Arthur of legend really existed is the subject of a lot of debate. Speak British Library‘s Hetta Elizabeth Howes, historical records show that a man named Arthur led the resistance against the Saxons and Jutes around the fifth and sixth centuries AD; some Welsh accounts refer to a similarly gifted warlord. The king of modern myth, however, only began to take shape in Geoffrey of Monmouthit is History of the Kings of Brittany (1138).
Arthurian legends were widely shared throughout the 12th and 13th centuries, via manuscripts for the wealthy and oral accounts for the general populace. Although earlier tales emphasized Arthur’s strength in battle and nation-building skills, the tales eventually became part of the medieval Romanesque traditionyearning longingly for a time of morality, chivalry and righteousness.
Arthur’s Stone was first linked to the mythical king before the 13th century, according to English heritage. His fame continued in the centuries that followed: Charles I camped in the area with his troops in the 17th century English Civil Warsand writer CS Lewiswho frequently walked around the site, founded the Stone Table in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe above.
“Arthur’s Stone is one of this country’s most remarkable prehistoric monuments, set in a breathtaking location, yet it remains poorly understood,” Thomas said in the statement. “Our work aims to restore it to its rightful place in the history of Neolithic Britain.”