Archaeologists discover giant circle of shafts close to Stonehenge
LONDON (UK) – In a fascinating finding, archaeologists have discovered a wide circle of deep shafts surrounding an ancient settlement close to Stonehenge. This opens up new lines of probe into the origins and meaning of the prehistoric monument.
The stone circle at Stonehenge, whose purpose continues to evade scientists despite decades of research, is one of Britain’s most famous landmarks.
The new finding, described as “astonishing” by a team of archaeologists from multiple universities who took part in the project, shows a circle of shafts, 1.2 miles (2 km) in diameter, surrounding Durrington Walls.
The site is located 2 miles northeast of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, and evidence suggests the shafts are at least 4,500 years old.
“This is an unprecedented find of major significance within the UK,” said Vincent Gaffney, one of the archaeologists leading the project.
“Key researchers on Stonehenge and its landscape have been taken aback by the scale of the structure and the fact that it hadn’t been discovered until now so close to Stonehenge,” he said.
Gaffney said the circle of shafts, each about 10 metres (33 ft) wide and 5 metres deep, exhibited the desire of Neolithic communities to record their belief systems at a scale that researchers had never anticipated.
The discovery was made without the need for excavations, using remote sensing technology and sampling.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field