London: Researchers have recently discovered the earliest 6,000-year-old Mesolithic encampment at Stonehenge.
The discovery by University of Buckingham archaeological would reveal for the first time how Britain's oldest ancestors lived, but it could be damaged if Government plans for a tunnel at Stonehenge go ahead.
Charcoal dug up from the encampment, a mile and a half from Stonehenge, has been scientifically tested and reveals that it dates from around 4,000BC. The dig has also unearthed evidence of possible structures, but further investigation is needed to see in more detail what these features in the only untouched Mesolithic landscape in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site contain.
There is also evidence of feasting, burnt flints and remains of giant bulls, aurochs, eaten by early hunter gatherers, as well as tools. A natural spring at Blick Mead would have been the attraction for both people and animals.
The combination of a water of a constant temperature and rare algae also produced the only colour-changing stones, which change from brown to pink, found at any archaeological site in the country.
Archaeologist David Jacques, who made the discovery on a dig which launched the University of Buckingham's MA in Archaeology in October, said that this was the latest dated Mesolithic encampment ever found in the UK and Blick Mead site connects the early hunter gatherer groups returning to Britain after the Ice Age to the Stonehenge area all the way through to the Neolithic in the late 5th Millennium BC.