Sister monument to Stonehenge may have been found
2010-07-26 0:00

By Raphael G. Satter |

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:

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:

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

Catastrophic Fertility Rates
2015-10-14 1:00
YouTube description: Back in February, Reactionary Expat and I recorded a three-and-a-half hour conversation. ... This first instalment sees us discussing worldwide fertility rates. It's bad news everywhere. Source:
Official Working for the Swedish Government: "There Is No Native Swedish Culture."
2015-10-13 23:54
This brave woman, who is just such a counter culture rebel is trying to convince Swedes - yet again - that there isn't such a thing such as a "native Swedish culture." This courageous woman, Ingrid Lomfors, who just happens to be Jewish, has not only been educated in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University. She's also been trained at the Hebrew ...
Whistleblower doctor explains horrific reality dealing with Muslim invaders in Germany
2015-10-14 0:53
This is unbelievable. A Czech doctor, who works in a German hospital, is so disgusted and overwhelmed with the Muslim migrant invaders that she is threatening to leave the country and go back home to the Czech Republic. She explains, via an email letter (because the press is forbidden from reporting on this), how horrific the conditions are in these hospitals, ...
The Final Leaked "Secret" TPP Text is All That We Feared. Top Down Control of the Internet
2015-10-14 0:40
Since we now have the agreed text, we’ll be including some paragraph references that you can cross-reference for yourself—but be aware that some of them contain placeholders like “x” that may change in the cleaned-up text. Also, our analysis here is limited to the copyright and Internet-related provisions of the chapter, but analyses of the impacts of other parts of ...
Jewish leaders say “no” to Syrian refugees on anti-semitism concern - NL Times
2015-10-14 0:14
The Jewish community of Amsterdam-Zuid are concerned about the arrival of a refugee center in Amstelveen-Noord, which local residents were informed about on Monday night. The proposed shelter will house 400 refugees, mostly from Syria and Iraq.  This weekend it was announced that the municipality of Amstelveen intends to shelter refugees in the office building on Laan van Kronenberg – less ...
More News »