The human remains just found at Stonehenge could change how we see the ancient world.

Stonehenge has flummoxed archeologists, poets, historians, educators, and religious leaders for centuries.

The mysterious ring of stones is clearly far more than just the subject of hilarious Norwegian comedy songs. Photo by Velvet/Wikimedia Commons.


Was it an ancient observatory? A concert venue? A sort of holistic hospital? Who built it? Early Britons? Druids? Merlin? Aliens?

Stonehenge was probably not built by balloon aliens, but it wasn't definitely not built by balloon aliens. Photo by Lewis Francis/Flickr.

While the jury is, largely, still out, many archeologists believe the ring of stones functioned, at least in part, as a a cemetery for notable people.

Photo by Christina Rutz/Flickr.

Though archeologists have known there were human remains under Stonehenge for around 100 years, no one thought much about them at first.

That all changed in 2013, when researchers discovered the remnants of dozens of individuals buried under and around the stone ring.

Artifacts discovered near the cremated bone fragments suggest these people were high status individuals in ancient society. Basically, they were "capital-b" Bigwigs. Celebrities. One-percenters.

For decades, archeologists assumed only men were buried at site, which would seem to jibe with the notion that those entombed at Stonehenge were prominent people in the neolithic world.

DNA evidence proved them wrong.

Roughly half of the (presumed) ancient leaders and celebrities buried under Stonehenge appear to be women.

Women! Photo by The White House/Flickr.

And now, there's even more evidence. Several weeks ago, the remains of 14 more women (and nine men) were excavated by researchers, according to Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News.

Like the rest of the remains found at Stonehenge, all of these women were buried between 3100 and 2140 B.C.

What, exactly, does this mean about women in the Stone Age?

No one really knows 100% for sure. Perhaps the women buried at Stonehenge were leaders in society. Perhaps they were family members of high status men. They might have had equal social standing in society, or not quite.

The one thing that seems pretty clear to researchers, though?

"The archaeology now shows that as far as the burials go, women were as prominent there as men. This contrasts with the earlier burial mounds, where men seem to be more prominent," archeologist Mike Pitts told Discovery News.

While it's still impossible to draw too many specific conclusions about the structure of ancient Briton society, the discovery is a reminder that progress toward gender equality hasn't been a straight line. In reality, it's been more like a wave.

According to Pitts, "Historical evidence has shown that women’s status has gone up and down quite noticeably at different times in the past."

Gloria Gaynor, chief architect of the latest upswing in gender equality. Dominique Aubert/Getty Images.

While men dominated most early agricultural societies, some studies suggest that gender equality was common in hunter-gatherer communities prior to the advent of farming. In Western culture, "traditional" gender roles were somewhat less clearly defined and enforced prior to the Victorian period when they were codified and entrenched, remaining rigid until the early 20th century, when they began to relax again.

"As the burials go, women were as prominent there as men."

It's unclear whether women in third millennium B.C. England had anything resembling actual equality while they were alive, but the evidence at least suggests their lives were equally honored after death.

Perhaps once we learn more about the women and men buried under Stonehenge, we'll have to stop describing regressive cultural attitudes as "Stone Age" like it's a bad thing.

At the very least, this latest discovery means the mystery of Stonehenge is slightly less mysterious now. More and more, it appears that the ancient wonder is a monument to men and women, living side-by-side and working together.

That deserves a hoorah.

GIF via Ylvis, TV Norge/YouTube.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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