The site is located approximately 3.2 km north-east of Stonehenge, and the evidence suggests that the pits date from the same period, some 4,500 years ago.
“As the place where the builders of Stonehenge lived and enjoyed, Durrington walls is the key to unlocking the history of the whole Stonehenge landscape,” said archaeologist Nick Snashall of the National Trust, the body which manages the Stonehenge site.
“This amazing discovery provides us new perspectives on the life and beliefs of our ancestors of the Neolithic era,” he said.
The circle of pits is significantly larger than any comparable prehistoric monument in Britain. The researchers found 20 wells, but felt they could have been more than 30 at the origin. Each is about five metres deep and 10 metres in diameter.
The discovery was made without the need for excavations, and with the help of remote sensing and sampling.
Archaeologists have said the precise and sophisticated way in which the cores have been placed suggests that the early inhabitants of great Britain used a list control or a counting system to keep pace over long distances.
“The size of the trees and the circuit surrounding Durrington walls is unprecedented in the uk,” said Vince Gaffney, a professor of archaeology at the University of Bradford and one of the lead researchers on the project.
He said that the discovery of the demonstration of the ability and willingness of communities from Neolithic to save their cosmological belief systems in ways, and to scale, of what we had expected. “