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Huge 4,500 years old stone circle discovered near Stonehenge

Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 22, 2020
Archaeologists have discovered a major new prehistoric monument just a short distance away from Stonehenge.
Stonehenge stone circle
Archaeologists   Stonehenge stone circle
Some 20 or more massive prehistoric shafts more than 10 metres wide and five metres deep form a vast circle more than two kilometres in diameter around the Durrington Walls henge.

Coring of the shafts suggest the features are neolithic and excavated more than 4,500 years ago, around the time Durrington Walls was built.

It is thought the shafts served as a boundary to a sacred area or precinct associated with the henge.

The discovery comes just after the Summer Solstice, which took place online this year as the famous annual gathering was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Experts from the University of St Andrews were joined by counterparts from institutes including Birmingham, Warwick, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre at the University of Glasgow.

Dr Richard Bates, of the university’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: ‘Yet again, the use of a multidisciplinary effort with remote sensing and careful sampling is giving us an insight to the past that shows an even more complex society than we could ever imagine.

‘Clearly sophisticated practices demonstrate that the people were so in tune with natural events to an extent that we can barely conceive in the modern world we live in today.’ Tim Kinnaird, of the same school, said: ‘The sedimentary infills contain a rich and fascinating archive of previously unknown environmental information.

‘With optically stimulated luminescence profiling and dating, we can write detailed narratives of the Stonehenge landscape for the last 4,000 years.’