The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project has found the stays of a main new prehistoric stone monument lower than 3 kilometers from Stonehenge.
Durrington Partitions is likely one of the largest recognized henge monuments measuring 500m in diameter and thought to have been constructed round 4,500 years in the past. Measuring greater than 1.5 kilometers in circumference, it’s surrounded by a ditch as much as 17.6m huge and an outer financial institution c.40m huge and surviving as much as a peak of 1 meter. The henge surrounds a number of smaller enclosures and timber circles and is related to a not too long ago excavated later Neolithic settlement.
The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project workforce, utilizing non-invasive geophysical prospection and distant sensing applied sciences, has now found proof for a row of as much as 90 standing stones, a few of which can have initially measured as much as 4.5 meters in peak, Many of those stones have survived as a result of they had been pushed over and the large financial institution of the later henge raised over the recumbent stones or the pits during which they stood. Hidden for millennia, solely using innovative applied sciences has allowed archaeologists to disclose their presence with out the necessity for excavation.
At Durrington, greater than 4.5 thousand years in the past, a pure melancholy close to the river Avon seems to have been accentuated by a chalk minimize scarp after which delineated on the southern facet by the row of large stones. Primarily forming a C-shaped ‘area’, the monument might have surrounded traces of springs and a dry valley main from there into the Avon. Though not one of the stones have but been excavated a distinctive sarsen standing stone, “The Cuckoo Stone”, stays within the adjoining area and this means that different stones might have come from native sources.
Earlier, intensive research of the realm round Stonehenge had led archaeologists to consider that solely Stonehenge and a smaller henge on the finish of the Stonehenge Avenue possessed important stone buildings. The newest surveys now present proof that Stonehenge’s largest neighbor, Durrington Partitions, had an earlier part which included a giant row of standing stones in all probability of native origin and that the context of the preservation of those stones is phenomenal and the configuration distinctive to British archaeology.
This new discovery has important implications for our understanding of Stonehenge and its panorama setting. The earthwork enclosure at Durrington Partitions was constructed about a century after the Stonehenge sarsen circle (within the twenty seventh century BC), however the brand new stone row might properly be modern with or sooner than this. Not solely does this new proof display an early part of monumental structure at one of many best ceremonial websites in prehistoric Europe, it additionally raises important questions in regards to the panorama the builders of Stonehenge inhabited and the way they modified this with new monument-building throughout the third millennium BC.
The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project is a global collaboration between the College of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Digital Archaeology (LBI ArchPro) and led by Professor Wolfgang Neubauer and Professor Vincent Gaffney (College of Bradford). As a part of the venture, specialists from many various fields and establishments have been inspecting the realm round Stonehenge revealing new and beforehand recognized websites in unprecedented element and remodeling our information of this iconic panorama.
“Our excessive decision floor penetrating radar information has revealed a tremendous row of as much as 90 standing stones a variety of which have survived after being pushed over and a large financial institution positioned over the stones. Within the east as much as 30 stones, measuring as much as dimension of 4.5 m x 1.5 x 1 m, have survived under the financial institution whereas elsewhere the stones are fragmentary or represented by large basis pits,” says Professor Neubauer, director of the LBI ArchPro.
“This discovery of a main new stone monument, which has been preserved to a outstanding extent, has important implications for our understanding of Stonehenge and its panorama setting. Not solely does this new proof display a utterly surprising part of monumental structure at one of many best ceremonial websites in prehistoric Europe, the brand new stone row might properly be modern with the well-known Stonehenge sarsen circle and even earlier,” explains Professor Gaffney.
“The extraordinary scale, element and novelty of the proof produced by the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, which the brand new discoveries at Durrington Partitions exemplify, is altering essentially our understanding of Stonehenge and the world round it. Every part written beforehand in regards to the Stonehenge panorama and the traditional monuments inside it can have to be re-written,” says Paul Garwood, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology on the College of Birmingham, and the principal prehistorian on the venture.
Dr Nick Snashall, Nationwide Belief Archaeologist for the Avebury and Stonehenge World Heritage Web site, mentioned: “The Stonehenge panorama has been studied by antiquaries and archaeologists for hundreds of years. However the work of the Hidden Landscapes workforce is revealing beforehand unsuspected twists in its age-old story. These newest outcomes have produced tantalizing proof of what lies beneath the traditional earthworks at Durrington Partitions. The presence of what look like stones, surrounding the positioning of one of many largest Neolithic settlements in Europe provides a entire new chapter to the Stonehenge story.”
Dr Phil McMahon of Historic England mentioned: “The World Heritage Web site round Stonehenge has been the main focus of in depth archaeological analysis for no less than two centuries. Nonetheless this new analysis by the Hidden Landscapes Project is offering thrilling new insights into the archaeology inside it. This newest work has given us intriguing proof for beforehand unknown options buried beneath the banks of the large henge monument at Durrington Partitions. The risk that these options are stones raises fascinating questions in regards to the historical past and improvement of this monument, and its relationship to the massively vital Neolithic settlement contained inside it.”