Archaeologists said on Monday that they have discovered a major prehistoric monument under the earth near Stonehenge that could shed new light on the origins of the mystical stone circle in southwestern England

Experts from a group of British universities led by the University of Bradford say the site consists of at least 20 huge shafts, more than 10 metres (32 feet) in diameter and 5 metres (16 feet) deep, forming a circle more than 2 kilometres (1,2 miles) in diameter.

The new find is at Durrington Walls, the site of a Neolithic village about 2 kilometres (1,2 miles) from Stonehenge.

Researchers say the shafts appear to have been dug around 4 500 years ago, and could mark the boundary of a sacred area or precinct around a circular monument known as the Durrington Walls henge.

Richard Bates, of the University of St. Andrews School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said the findings – made with remote sensing and sampling – provided “an insight to the past that shows an even more complex society than we could ever imagine.”

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter


University of Bradford archaeologist Vince Gaffney said it was “remarkable” that Stonehenge, one of the most studied archaeological landscapes in the world, could yield such a major new discovery.

“When these pits were first noted it was thought they might be natural features — solution hollows in the chalk,” he said. But geophysical surveys allowed scientists to “join the dots and see there was a pattern on a massive scale.”

Britain is dotted with stone circles built thousands of years ago for reasons that remain mysterious.

The most famous is Stonehenge, a huge monument built between 3000 B.C. and 1600 B.C. that is one of Britain’s most popular tourist attractions.

It’s also a spiritual home for thousands of druids and mystics who visit at the summer and winter solstices – though this weekend’s summer solstice celebrations were scuttled by a ban on mass gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Accommodation offers from

20,000 listings in 2,000 locations with 10,000 reviews.

18% DISCOUNT – From R1222 p/night

Hudsons on Twelfth

Rivonia, Gauteng

Valid until April 30 2020

66% DISCOUNT – From R1440 R518 p/night

Silver Forest Boutique Lodge and Spa

Helderberg, Somerset West

For stays between 1 Jul & 30 Sep 2020

35% DISCOUNT – From R1524 p/night

The Atrium 30

Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

Valid until April 30 2020


Author: ANA Newswire