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There's more to Stonehenge - new discovery

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There's more to Stonehenge - new discovery

Postby Charles » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:30 am


Archaeologists find new structure at Stonehenge

Archaeologists have discovered a wooden version of British prehistoric monument Stonehenge at the same site, the project's leader told Reuters on Thursday. Using radar, the archaeologists found a circular ditch less than one kilometre away from the iconic stone circle, which is thought to date back to the Neolithic period 2,000 to 4,000 years ago.

"This finding is remarkable," said project leader Vince Gaffney, professor of archaeology at the University of Birmingham.

"It will completely change the way we think about the landscape around Stonehenge."

The ditch has internal pits about a metre wide which could have held timber posts. It measures 82 feet in diameter, just five metres less than Stonehenge.

"From the general shape, we would guess it dates backs to about the time when Stonehenge was emerging at its most complex," Gaffney said.

"This is probably the first major ceremonial monument that has been found in the past 50 years or so.

It was likely that the two henges were built around the same time, Gaffney added.

Radar images show the wooden henge has two entrances and inside the circle is a burial mound which was probably erected at a later time.

"We will not excavate. This is a virtual dig. We couldn't excavate at this scale anyway," Gaffney said.

He is confident the team will uncover more remains at the site as the project continues.

"I have absolutely no doubt. Stonehenge is not just by itself. We have a massive virtual landscape (to explore)," he added.

There is much speculation about what Stonehenge was used for, ranging from sacrificial rituals to astronomy.

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