Long before Neolithic people erected Stonehenge’s majestic bluestones and sarsen stones, Mesolithic, or Middle Stone Age hunter-gatherers frequented the site, using it as a hunting ground. Later, farmers and monument builders moved into the region, a new study finds.

Earlier research had suggested that before Stonehenge was built, the surrounding landscape included a closed-canopy forest. “There has been a long-running debate as to whether the monumental archaeology of Stonehenge was created in an uninhabited forested landscape or whether it was constructed in an already partly open area of pre-existing significance to late Mesolithic hunter-gatherers,” the researchers wrote in the study.


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