Standing stone may have guided the ancients through 'sacred landscape'
A solitary stone in a windswept Welsh field has helped shed light on how our neolithic ancestors came together in worship thousands of years ago.
A recent excavation programme at a standing stone known as Trefael, near Newport in Pembrokeshire, has revealed at least two unique episodes in its early history.
Archaeologists say as well as being a portal dolmen (a tomb made of giant stones) the standing stone was probably used as a ritual marker to guide communities through a sacred landscape.
Bristol University lecturer Dr George Nash, archaeologist and specialist in prehistoric and contemporary art, said the stones acted to create a precinct of sacred ground in the county.
The idea was that our neolithic ancestors could follow an organised pattern of worship, similar to that of church-goers in modern times.
What we have got is human communities who were very similar to ourselves. The neolithic communities had designated landscapes that were special and sacred, said Mr Nash.
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Posted by baza
1st December 2010ce
Edited 1st December 2010ce