On September 7, 2015, researchers announced they have discovered evidence for the remains of a major new prehistoric stone monument, buried below ground less than 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from Stonehenge. The site is 15 times the size of Stonehenge. The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project team – a group of British archaeologists – used multi-sensor technologies to reveal evidence for a row of about 90 standing stones hidden beneath the bank of what is now called Durrington Walls, a super-henge in Britain.
Durrington Walls is one of the largest known henge monuments measuring 500 meters (0.3 miles) in diameter. It’s thought to have been built around 4,500 years ago. The word henge refers to a particular type of earthwork, typically consisting of a roughly circular or oval-shaped bank with an internal ditch surrounding a central flat area. Henges may have contained (or may still contain) ritual structures such as stone circles, timber circles and coves.
Artist’s concept of how the stones at Durrington Walls may have been positioned. Image via LBI ArchPro, Juan Torrejón Valdelomar, Joachim Brandtner
Durrington Walls may have contained an ancient village at one time. 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, discovered evidence for a row of up to 90 standing stones, some of which may have originally measured up to 4.5 meters (14.8 feet) 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.
These stones have been hidden for millennia.
Artist’s concept of standing stones beneath Durrington Walls super-henge. Image via LBI ArchPro, Juan Torrejón Valdelomar, Joachim Brandtner
SOURCES – Earth and sky