Archaeologists working at Stonehenge are said to be “astonished” after discovering the largest prehistoric structure ever found in Britain, a circle of deep underground passages, dating back some 4,500 years.
The same Neolithic people behind the mysterious Stonehenge monument, which continues to baffle scientists and archaeologists alike to this day, also dug a circle of radially aligned tunnels spanning 1.2 miles (1.93 km) in diameter. They encircle Durrington Walls, one of Britain’s largest henge monuments, which is located precisely in the center.
The Guardian has a good graphic showing the size of the “new” neolithic monument found at Stonehenge.
It would be easier to see it from space. pic.twitter.com/9v87n1z9dL
— Jim Edwards (@Jim_Edwards) June 22, 2020
The new discovery was made some 1.9 miles north-east of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, in an area that – despite decades of research and discovery – still yields unfathomable wonders from the ancient world.
“This is an unprecedented find of major significance within the UK. Key researchers on Stonehenge and its landscape have been taken aback by the scale of the structure and the fact that it hadn’t been discovered until now so close to Stonehenge,” said Professor Vincent Gaffney, one of the lead researchers on the project.
“We are starting to see things we could never see through standard archaeology, things we could not imagine.”
To put the scale of the discovery in perspective, each underground shaft is over five meters (16ft) deep and 10 meters (32ft) wide, and at least 20 have been discovered so far at an average distance of 864 meters from Durrington Walls henge – though the team suspects there may be over 30 such shafts in total.
Sadly, approximately 40 percent of the circle can no longer be studied, as a result of modern developments in the area.
Also on rt.com
The researchers suspect the latest discovery may have served either as a guide for people to reach the sacred site, or as a potential warning not to enter the hallowed ground without permission.
The startling news may serve as some consolation for revellers who were unable to attend this year’s summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge on June 20 due to the ban on mass gatherings resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!