Stonehenge: New Discoveries

Stonehenge is one of the world's best known but most enigmatic monuments. Many theories have been proposed about its purpose, to do with lost civilizations, ancient druids, prehistoric astronomers, ancient Egyptians and even extra-terrestrials. Since 2003 archaeologists have carried out a major investigation - the Stonehenge Riverside Project - to find out more about this mysterious stone circle. Among their discoveries are a large settlement near Stonehenge, thought to be the builders' camp, a new stone circle 'Bluestonehenge', and the remains of people buried at Stonehenge. Recent scientific developments are now revealing new insights into the lives of the people themselves, many of whom travelled long distances from across Britain. Some of the megalithic stones were also brought long distances, from over a hundred miles away in Wales, and the study of where they came from is also shedding new light on the purpose of this remarkable structure.

About the speaker

Professor Mike Parker Pearson is one of Europe’s leading prehistorians, working in Britain, Denmark and Madagascar, and specialising in the study of later prehistory, especially Neolithic and Bronze Age society. With a BA Hons from Southampton and PhD from Cambridge, Mike’s professional career continued as an Inspector of Monuments for English Heritage, moving to Sheffield University, where he worked for 22 years, and joining UCL in 2012 as Professor of British Later Prehistory. Author and editor of 18 volumes, plus numerous scholarly papers, Mike’s work is widely cited and he is recognised as a leading authority on death and symbolism in the prehistoric world. He can also be seen on several episodes of Time Team and has starred in several documentaries about Stonehenge. Pioneering work in the Hebrides of Scotland was followed from 2003 by the Stonehenge Riverside Project which has revolutionised our understanding of the history, use and significance of one of the world’s most famous and intriguing archaeological monuments. His research continues apace at Stonehenge and is also revising our understanding of the Beaker people. UQ welcomes Mike to Australia for the first time as our 7th Hall speaker.

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About The Hall Annual Lecture

The Hall Annual Lecture is UQ Archaeology’s annual public lecture in honour of the founder of archaeology at UQ, Associate Professor Jay Hall.

Associate Professor Jay Hall is the former Head of UQ’s Archaeology program. As well as an award-winning teacher, Jay is the editor of Queensland Archaeological research - a publication he started in 1984. Jay retired in 2007 after more than 30 years at the University. He is currently an Adjunct Reader in Archaeology in the School of Social Science at UQ.


St Lucia Campus, Abel Smith Building (#23)
Lecture Theatre 101