PAGANS from Dorset performed a closing ritual to mark the end of a major archaeological dig at Stonehenge.

Members of the Weymouth-based Dolmen Grove order held the ceremony as 10 days of digging finished at the historic site.

Tony Jameson, a member of the Grove, said: "It was very good.

"The whole archaeological team took part and it was really nice."

The grove was asked to the site to represent pagans and druids for an opening ritual at the end of March to bless the dig and placate the spirits.

They returned for the closing ritual, part of which was filmed for a TV documentary about the dig to be screened in October.

Archaeologists held the first dig at the site in 40 years in a project sponsored by BBC Timewatch and Smithsonian Networks.

Mr Jameson said that the archaeologists had found more in the dig than in any other probes.

This included revelations about the nature of the site as a healing temple and that the foundations went deeper than previously thought.

Mr Jameson said that there was a lack of bones discovered which indicated that the site was not used for sacrifice by druids.

He added that tales of druid sacrifices at the site were born of Roman propaganda and that they wanted to clear the name of druids and pagans.

Professors Timothy Darvill and Geoffrey Wainwright led the dig.

Their team uncovered sockets which once held bluestones which formed the site's original structure.

Mr Jameson said that it was important that the Grove attended the dig and were consulted about it just as church elders would be about anything similar in a church to ensure it was done in a respectful way.

The last time an excavation was allowed inside the sarsen stone pillars was in 1964.

A double bluestone circle was thought to be the first stone structure to be built at Stonehenge.