ANCIENT Britons travelled to huge feasts near Stonehenge from all over the country more than 4,000 years ago, experts have found.
It made the prehistoric stone circle the forerunner of the Glastonbury Festival.
PA:Press Association The analysis show that ancient Britons travelled across the country in big groups and with animals to Stonehenge
A landmark study of pig remains — the prime feasting animal — revealed the gatherings drew people from hundreds of miles away.
Revellers could have easily eaten swine raised close to Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.
But researchers believe it may have been important for them to contribute animals from their homelands.
The comprehensive isotope analysis of the bones of 131 pigs show they had been brought from as far as Scotland, the North East and West Wales.
Experts looked at four feasting sites serving both Stonehenge and the Avebury neolithic stone circle. Until now, the origins of people who took part in rituals at Durrington Walls, Marden, Mount Pleasant and West Kennet Palisade Enclosures have been unclear.
Study leader Dr Richard Madgwick, of Cardiff University, said: “This demonstrates a scale of movement and social complexity not previously appreciated.
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“These gatherings could be seen as the first united cultural events of our island, with people from all corners of Britain descending on the areas around Stonehenge to feast on food that had been specially reared and transported from their homes.
“Pigs are not nearly as well-suited to movement over distance as cattle, and transporting them — either slaughtered or on the hoof — over hundreds or even tens of kilometres, would have required a monumental effort.”
The findings were published in the journal Science Advances.
Aerial footage of Soggy druids marking the Winter Solstice as new age revellers gather at Stonehenge