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Unlocking the secrets of the world's ancient past and beliefs and inspiring technological breakthroughs

Stone Henge

From Britain’s pre-historic monuments of Avebury and Stonehenge to 3rd century monasteries in Sri Lanka and the maritime port of Imperial Rome, AHRC’s archaeologists, historians and scholars of religion and beliefs are making new discoveries. AHRC researchers are at the forefront of transforming our understanding of the ‘Beaker People’. ‘Recent analysis of the skeletal remains of 264 from the British Chalcolithic–Early Bronze Age has revealed new information about their diet, migration patterns and degrees of mobility between childhood and death, mostly within Britain but also across Europe. The published findings received significant peer recognition winning the 2017 Antiquity Ben Cullen Prize.

Beyond enriching our understanding of the world of our ancestors, these initiatives are supporting sustainable heritage strategies, creating new technological advancements in imaging and motion capture, and, significantly enhancing tourism revenue. AHRC research resulted in £4.5m worth of extra ticket sales and 40,000 extra visitors per year at Stonehenge. This was as a direct result of expanded the Stonehenge site by unearthing a huge settlement at Durrington Walls and a lost stone circle on the bank of the River Avon. That research resulted in more than a dozen documentaries about the research on CNN, BBC, Channel 4 and National Geographic.