However, more recent re-dating of some of the left over fragments of one antler from the original 1980s radiocarbon samples (HAR-10502) suggested that the Harwell date was perhaps 300 years too old.This appears to be a general pattern for the Harwell dates, many of which could be in error by 300 years either way.So as far as anyone can tell, the ages of the stone circles and earthworks at Stonehenge are now known (though not, sadly, the woodwork).Repeated excavation and re-excavation, coupled with some very good recent archaeology by the Stonehenge Riverside Project, has established a reasonable set of results.This is based on the date of a pig bone sample (HAR-10327) from a stone hole called ‘41’, with earliest confident age of around 2580 BC, allowing again for a 300 year error.A very loose date of around 3000 BC is given for a ‘Cove’ stone at the centre of the north inner circle, based on OSL dating (X1559) of quartz grains below the stone.These are: Around or just after 3000 BC a circular ditch was dug with most of the spoil placed on a bank inside the ditch.
Avebury’s outer stone circle appears to have erected after about 2900 BC and probably a little later.Furthermore, they come from wood which could have grown over a long period of time before being felled.The best that can be said is they give dates which will be older than the layer that they’re buried in.)Even here there’s a complication, as Fran Healy has recently pointed out.The original 1980s sample dating was done at Harwell.
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Adding the 300 year potential error of the Harwell dates gives the value quoted.