‘Super Stonehenge’: Super circle of stones surround existing monument

Sep 16, 2015

© LBI ArchPro, Juan Torrejón Valdelomar, Joachim Brandtner

By Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology

The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project reveals traces of standing stones beneath Durrington Walls super-henge.

The remains of a major new prehistoric stone monument have been discovered less than 3 kilometres from Stonehenge. Using cutting edge, multi-sensor technologies the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project has revealed evidence for a large stone monument hidden beneath the bank of the later Durrington Walls ‘super-henge’.

Durrington Walls is one of the largest known henge monuments measuring 500m in diameter and thought to have been built around 4,500 years ago. Measuring more than 1.5 kilometres in circumference, it is surrounded by a ditch up to 17.6m wide and an outer bank c.40m wide and surviving up to a height of 1 metre. The henge surrounds several smaller enclosures and timber circles and is associated with a recently excavated later Neolithic settlement.

The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project team, using non-invasive geophysical prospection and remote sensing technologies, has now discovered evidence for a row of up to 90 standing stones, some of which may have originally measured up to 4.5 metres in height. Many of these stones have survived because they were pushed over and the massive bank of the later henge raised over the recumbent stones or the pits in which they stood. Hidden for millennia, only the use of cutting edge technologies has allowed archaeologists to reveal their presence without the need for excavation.

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One comment on “‘Super Stonehenge’: Super circle of stones surround existing monument”

  • It’s beside the point but…

    There was a time when I used to be irritated by the archaeologists who, whenever they found something inexplicable, would say “probably a religious artefact”, or “most likely of ceremonial use”; it very much seemed their universal answer rather than “don’t know!”.

    Back then, one might think, people would be busy enough just surviving, but… looking at the current insanity operating in the Muslim world perhaps archaeologists in 4,800 years from now will have a point, if they explain the fall of civilisation with “religion”.

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