A circle of prehistoric shafts dug thousands of years ago has been discovered two miles from Stonehenge. Analysis of the 20 or more shafts suggests the features are Neolithic and excavated more than 4, years ago – around the time the nearby ancient settlement of Durrington Walls was built. The shafts, around more than 10 metres in diameter and five metres deep, form a circle of more than 1. Archaeologists believe the shafts may have served as a boundary to a sacred area connected to the henge enclosure and to guide worshippers to the monuments. The finding has been described as an “astonishing discovery” and “a rich and fascinating archive”. Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust archaeologist for the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site, said: “As the place where the builders of Stonehenge lived and feasted Durrington Walls is key to unlocking the story of the wider Stonehenge landscape, and this astonishing discovery offers us new insights into the lives and beliefs of our Neolithic ancestors. Dr Richard Bates, from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at St Andrews, 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. Tim Kinnaird, of the same school, added: “The sedimentary infills contain a rich and fascinating archive of previously unknown environmental information. The announcement follows the Summer Solstice , which took place online this year with the annual gathering at Stonehenge cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. English Heritage, which has provided access to the event at the World Heritage site since , urged visitors not to travel and instead enjoy a virtual celebration – but dozens defied the advice and turned up.
Stonehenge: Facts & Theories About Mysterious Monument
The core, recently repatriated after 60 years, turned out to be pivotal to an academic paper published on Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. The study pinpointed the source of the sarsens, a mystery that has long bedeviled geologists and archaeologists. Although the project did not identify the specific spot where the stones came from, Mike Pitts, editor of the magazine British Archaeology, believes that the discovery makes the search for sarsen quarries a realistic option.
Two kinds of stones make up the roughly 5,year-old monument known as Stonehenge. A small inner horseshoe consists of 2- to 4-ton blocks of varied geology, called bluestone after the bluish-gray hue they have when wet or freshly broken. Geologists determined nearly a century ago that the bluestones were dragged, carried or rolled to Stonehenge from somewhere in the Preseli Hills in western Wales, some miles away.
The landscape surrounding the Neolithic monument contains many secrets, with features dating back to much earlier times. Having surveyed more than 18 square kilometres in the vicinity, archaeologists continue to make surprising discoveries. The latest, a series of deep pits forming a vast circle more than two kilometres in diameter, shows how technology makes it possible to peer even further back into time. Along with their shovels, trowels and brushes, archaeologists have put together a toolbox of new technologies.
These were thought to be old filled-in ponds. But ground-penetrating radar, another archaeological tool, raised questions about that notion. This technique, which reflects radio waves off underground structures, showed that far from being shallow, as ponds would have been, the anomalous features had deep vertical sides. They were some ten metres across and five metres or more deep.
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. Archaeologists have pinpointed the construction of Stonehenge to BC – a key step to discovering how and why the mysterious edifice was built. The radiocarbon date is said to be the most accurate yet and means the ring’s original bluestones were put up years later than previously thought.
helps to date a remarkable new discovery at Stonehenge the Neolithic monument contains many secrets, with features dating back to.
Excavations at two quarries in Wales, known to be the source of the Stonehenge ‘bluestones’, provide new evidence of megalith quarrying 5, years ago, according to a new UCL-led study. Geologists have long known that 42 of Stonehenge’s smaller stones, known as ‘bluestones’, came from the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, west Wales. Now a new study published in Antiquity pinpoints the exact locations of two of these quarries and reveals when and how the stones were quarried.
The discovery has been made by a team of archaeologists and geologists from UCL, Bournemouth University, University of Southampton, University of the Highlands and Islands and National Museum of Wales, which have been investigating the sites for eight years. Professor Mike Parker Pearson UCL Archaeology and leader of the team, said: “What’s really exciting about these discoveries is that they take us a step closer to unlocking Stonehenge’s greatest mystery – why its stones came from so far away.
We’re now looking to find out just what was so special about the Preseli hills 5, years ago, and whether there were any important stone circles here, built before the bluestones were moved to Stonehenge. The largest quarry was found almost miles away from Stonehenge on the outcrop of Carn Goedog, on the north slope of the Preseli hills. According to the new study, the bluestone outcrops are formed of natural, vertical pillars.
These could be eased off the rock face by opening up the vertical joints between each pillar.
How Stonehenge Worked
A rcheologists have discovered at least twenty prehistoric shafts near the world heritage site of Stonehenge, who say that it is the largest prehistoric structure to have ever been uncovered in England. The shafts—which are 1. Tests conducted by a team of academics from several universities across the United Kingdom suggest that the shafts were created more than 4, years ago during the Neolithic period. Experts believe the structure was built to guide visitors to the sacred site of Durrington Walls.
The shafts—which are carefully positioned—also provide evidence that people during this era knew how to count.
Before the development of archaeological dating methods, 17th century antiquarians assumed that Stonehenge, Avebury, and other megalithic structures were.
Archaeologists working near Stonehenge in the UK have discovered part of a giant ring of deep shafts in the ground, thought to date back round 4, years. Originally, they may have been used to guide people to sacred sites Using a combination of techniques, including ground-penetrating radar and analysis of samples taken from the sites themselves, researchers have managed to find 20 of these pits, forming points along a circle that’s more than 2 kilometres 1.
According to the team, these are traces of a monument unlike anything we’ve seen before. At the centre of this circle sit the famous prehistoric sites of Durrington Walls and Woodhenge. Having been naturally filled in over the past few thousand years, the pits measure some 10 metres nearly 33 feet in diameter and over 5 metres more than 16 feet in depth. The shafts had previously been dismissed as sinkholes or dew ponds , but modern radar scanning techniques and magnetometry have shown how the original excavations went deep and straight into the ground.
Stonehenge: Summary of Archaeological Findings at the Megalithic Monument
Over the years, academics and archaeologists alike have attempted to explain why Stonehenge was built. Plenty of theories have been put forward, but here we will focus on the most commonly accepted theories. Analysis of the bones suggests they were buried during this year period. After 2, BC, the people who used Stonehenge stopped burying human remains in the stone circle itself and began burying them in ditches around the periphery, suggesting a shift in the cultural significance of Stonehenge.
From studying the remains of those buried at the site, we know that the bodies of the dead were transported from far and wide to be buried at Stonehenge; some appeared to have lived more than miles km away in Wales. These burial mounds are unique for their dense, grouped distribution across the landscape, and are frequently within sight of the stone circle itself.
The first accurate carbon dating of Stonehenge reveals the monument was built in BC, some years later than previously thought.
By Sophie Tanno For Mailonline. A team of archaeologists have discovered a major new prehistoric monument just a short distance away from Stonehenge. Fieldwork and analysis have revealed evidence of 20 or more massive prehistoric shafts – more than 10 metres in diameter and five metres deep – forming a 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, 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. Professor Vince Gaffney, of the University of Bradford, said: ‘The area around Stonehenge is amongst the most studied archaeological landscapes on earth. 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.
Map pictured above. Tim Kinnaird, of the same school, said: ‘The sedimentary infills contain a rich and fascinating archive of previously unknown environmental information. The announcement of the discovery comes after the Summer Solstice, which took place online this year with the annual gathering cancelled due to coronavirus. English Heritage has provided access to the event since but warned visitors not to travel to the 3,BC Neolithic monument this year.
Stonehenge pictured above. He said: ‘As the place where the builders of Stonehenge lived and feasted Durrington Walls is key to unlocking the story of the wider Stonehenge landscape, and this astonishing discovery offers us new insights into the lives and beliefs of our Neolithic ancestors.
Stonehenge for the Ancestors: Part 1
All rights reserved. Stonehenge in southern England ranks among the world’s most iconic archaeological sites and one of its greatest enigmas. The megalithic circle on Salisbury Plain inspires awe and fascination—but also intense debate some 4, years after it was built by ancient Britons who left no written record. The monument’s mysterious past has spawned countless tales and theories. According to folklore, Stonehenge was created by Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, who magically transported the massive stones from Ireland, where giants had assembled them.
Another legend says invading Danes put the stones up, and another theory says they were the ruins of a Roman temple.
Radiocarbon dating of the remains has put the date of the site years earlier than previously estimated, to around BC. A study of the strontium.
Stonehenge, quite possibly the most famous archaeological site in the world, is a megalithic monument of enormous stones set in a purposeful circular pattern, located on the Salisbury Plain of southern England, the main portion of it built about BC. The outside circle of Stonehenge includes 17 enormous upright trimmed stones of hard sandstone called sarsen; some paired with a lintel over the top. This circle is about 30 meters feet in diameter, and, stands about 5 meters 16 feet tall.
Inside the circle are five more paired-and-linteled stones of sarsen, called trilithons, each of these weighing tons and the tallest 7 meters 23 feet high. Inside that, a few smaller stones of bluestone, quarried kilometers away in the Preseli Mountains of western Wales, are set in two horseshoe patterns. Finally, one large block of Welsh sandstone marks the center of the monument. Dating Stonehenge is tricky: radiocarbon dating has to be on organic materials and, since the monument is primarily of stone, the dates must be in close association with construction events.
Bronk Ramsey and Bayliss summarized the available dates in this manner. Stonehenge has been the focus of archaeological investigations for a very long time indeed, beginning with the likes of William Harvey and John Aubrey in the 17th century.
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A hole new ‘Stonehenge’! New prehistoric monument dating back 4, years made up of 15ft-deep shafts in a mile-wide circle is discovered in.
By Linda Geddes. Image: National Geographic. Alternative theories about Stonehenge. Theories have ranged from moon temple, to observatory, and even a UFO landing site. Stonehenge is one of the enduring landmarks of prehistoric times, but the mystery of why it was built has eluded people for centuries. Now one group of archaeologists believe that they are a step closer to an answer.