Sister monument to Stonehenge may have been found
2010 07 26

By Raphael G. Satter | MetroNews.ca



Scientists scouring the area around Stonehenge said Thursday they have uncovered a circular structure only a few hundred meters (yards) from the world famous monument.

There’s some debate about what exactly has been found. The survey team which uncovered the structure said it could be the foundation for a circle of freestanding pieces of timber, a wooden version of Stonehenge.


Wooden circle found new Stonehenge

Video from: YouTube.com



But Tim Darvill, a professor of archaeology at Bournemouth University in southern England, expressed skepticism, saying he believed it was more likely a barrow, or prehistoric tomb.

Darvill did say that the circle was one of an expanding number of discoveries being made around Stonehenge which "really shows how much there is still to learn and how extensive the site really was."


The team involved in the new find at Stonehenge from left, archeologist Eamonn Baldwin, University of Birmingham with archeological geophysicist Dr Chris Gaffney of University of Bradford with Professor Wolfgang Neubauer, director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Vienna; near Stonehenge, near the city of Salisbury, Britain. British archeologists working near Stonehenge have discovered a ’timber equivalent’ of the world-renowned prehistoric monument. The scientists found a circular ditch containing deep pits about 900 metres away from the giant stones. EPA/UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

"In its day Stonehenge was at the centre of the largest ceremonial centre in Europe," he said.

The stonehenge that is visible today is thought to have been completed about 3,500 years ago, although the first earthwork henge on the site was probably built more than 5,000 yeas ago.

Although antiquarians have been poking around the area since the 18th century, excavations are now tightly restricted. So archeologists have been scanning the surrounding fields and pastures with magnetic and radar sensors pulled across the grass by tractors or quad bikes.

The new structure was found when scans identified a cluster of deep pits surrounded by a ring of smaller holes about 900 metres (a little over half a mile) from Stonehenge and within sight of its famous standing stones.

University of Birmingham archaeologist Henry Chapman said he was convinced the small holes were used to secure a circle of wooden poles which stood "possibly three or more meters (10 or more feet) high."

The timber henge — a name given to prehistoric monuments surrounded by a circular ditch — would have been constructed and modified at the same time as its more famous relative, and probably had some allied ceremonial or religious function, Chapman said in a telephone interview from Stonehenge.

Exactly what kind of ceremonies those were is unclear. The new henge joins a growing complex of tombs and mysterious Neolithic structures found across the area.

The closest equivalent is probably the nearby Woodhenge, a monument once composed of six rings of wooden posts enclosed by an earth embankment. Excavations there in the 1970s revealed the body of child whose skull had been split buried at the centre of the henge — hinting at the possibility of human sacrifice.

A stone’s throw from the newly found henge is a formation known as the Cursus, a 3-kilometre-long (1.8-mile-long) earthwork whose purpose remains unknown. Also nearby is a puzzling chunk of land known as the Northern Kite Enclosure; Bronze Age farmers seem to have avoided cultivating crops there, although no one is sure quite why.

The whole area around Stonehenge is dotted with prehistoric cemeteries — some of which predate the monument itself — and new discoveries are made occasionally.

Last year, researchers said they had found a small circle of stones on the banks of the nearby River Avon. Experts speculated the stone circle — dubbed "Bluehenge" because it was built with bluestones — may have served as the starting point of a processional walk that began at the river and ended at Stonehenge.

Chapman’s team is still in the early stages of its work, having surveyed only about four square kilometres (1.5 square miles) of the 16 square kilometres (six square miles) it eventually plans to map.

The survey is being led by the University of Birmingham and the Austria-based Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, with support from other institutions and researchers from Germany, Norway and Sweden.

Henges of various descriptions exist throughout Britain — from the Standing Stones o’ Stenness on the northern island of Orkney to the Maumbury Rings in southern England county of Dorset.

Stonehenge, a World Heritage Site, remains the best-known.


Article from: metronews.ca



Related Articles
Stonehenge Historic Site
Crop Circle at Stonehenge - May 2010
Sister Monument to Stonehenge Found by Scientists Using Magnetic and Radar Sensors
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge June 21st, 2010
Google Stonehenge-View: Virtual Tour
Stonehenge could be part of massive funeral complex
Huge Pre-Stonehenge Complex Found via "Crop Circles"
American Stonehenge: Monumental Instructions for the Post-Apocalypse
Stonehenge Beneath the Waters of Lake Michigan?
UK experts say Stonehenge was place of healing
Stonehenge centre ’will be ready for Olympics’
First dig at Stonehenge in 40 years to unravel mystery of original blue stones
Stonehenge Amulets Worn by Elite
A new Medieval view of Stonehenge


Latest News from our Front Page

Pre-historic tokens used in conjunction with cuneiform
2014 07 22
An archaeological dig in southeast Turkey has uncovered a large number of clay tokens that were used as records of trade until the advent of writing, or so it had been believed. But a new find of tokens, dates from a time when writing was commonplace – thousands of years after it was previously assumed this technology had become obsolete. Researchers ...
Are immigration opponents Nazis?
2014 07 22
It seems the usual suspects are calling anyone who opposes unlimited immigration to be a "Nazi". The Left seems to be in constant fear of "Nazis" that lurk in public policy discussions and I assume under their beds. If you oppose any Leftist position, you are a.... take a wild guess...wait for it.... a NAZI! Tim Wise recently went ...
What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?
2014 07 22
Exclusive: The U.S. media’s Ukraine bias has been obvious, siding with the Kiev regime and bashing ethnic Russian rebels and Russia’s President Putin. But now – with the scramble to blame Putin for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down – the shoddy journalism has grown truly dangerous, says Robert Parry. In the heat of the U.S. media’s latest war hysteria – rushing to ...
Oh, Great: Robots Are Set to Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews
2014 07 22
Advancing a career in the US government might soon require an interview with a computer-generated head who wants to know about that time you took ketamine. Psychologists at the National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA) are developing an interview system that uses a responsive on-screen avatar for the first stage of the national security clearance process. Initial screening for a variety ...
Is Anything on the Internet Real Anymore?
2014 07 22
Is there anybody…out there? I promise I’m a real person asking this question and typing this article…but beyond that, I can’t promise much else about anything you or I see on the Internet. This article on ZDNet, “GCHQ’s dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping,” confirms — beyond a shadow of any possible doubt — that a barrage of ...
More News »