“Amazing,” giant circle pits found near Stonehenge


Archaeologists have discovered a huge circle of deep pits surrounding an old settlement near Stonehenge, the opening of new lines of investigation on the origins and meaning of the mysterious monument of prehistoric.Among Britain’s most recognizable landmarks, the standing stones at Stonehenge, attract tourists from all over the world as well as people seeking spiritual connections with the past. Their exact function is still unknown to science.

The news of the discovery, by a team of archaeologists from several universities, indicates a distance of two kilometer-wide circle of trees surrounding a settlement at Durrington walls, which also included a henge, or circular structure, made of wooden poles.

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.

‘New perspectives’

“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. “


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