Non-local Neolithic cattle remains near Stonehenge
The non-local origin of the cattle emphasizes the importance of the site, as it could draw prosperous cattle-owning visitors from afar. Together with the recent story on the Stonehenge fence, and its status as an elite burial ground, it appears that this was an important nexus of religious activity.
Stone-age pilgrims 'held barbecues at Stonehenge'
Analysis of animal remains found near to Stonehenge has shown that cattle were brought to the area from as far away as Wales or even the Scottish Highlands.
Scientists tested the chemical fingerprint of cattle teeth found at Durrington Walls, a Neolithic monument built 500 years before Stonehenge.
They found that far from being local, the animals could only have been reared in areas of Wales or Scotland, which have high levels of the chemical element strontium in the soil.
Dr Jane Evans, from the British Geological Survey who carried out the research, said: "It looks like people were driving cattle to the area from a significant distance away.
"The area must have been an important place for rituals and gatherings long before the first stones were laid at Stonehenge itself.
"People are coming from considerable distances and dispersion in order to have feasts and were bringing their own food supplies for what must have been a kind of bring your own beef barbecue."