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Archaeologists unearth Neolithic henge at Stonehenge

 
 
djjd62
 
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 04:58 pm
22 July 2010 Last updated at 08:53 ET
Archaeologists unearth Neolithic henge at Stonehenge

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/48452000/gif/_48452352_woodhenge_464.gif

The new "henge" is about 900m (2,950ft) from the giant stones
Archaeologists have discovered a second henge at Stonehenge, described as the most exciting find there in 50 years.

The circular ditch surrounding a smaller circle of deep pits about a metre (3ft) wide has been unearthed at the world-famous site in Wiltshire.

Archaeologists conducting a multi-million pound study believe timber posts were in the pits.

Project leader Professor Vince Gaffney, from the University of Birmingham, said the discovery was "exceptional".

The new "henge" - which means a circular monument dating to Neolithic and Bronze Ages - is situated about 900m (2,950ft) from the giant stones on Salisbury Plain.

Images show it has two entrances on the north-east and south-west sides and inside the circle is a burial mound on top which appeared much later, Professor Gaffney said.

"You seem to have a large-ditched feature, but it seems to be made of individual scoops rather than just a straight trench," he said.

"When we looked a bit more closely, we then realised there was a ring of pits about a metre wide going all the way around the edge.

"When you see that as an archaeologist, you just looked at it and thought, 'that's a henge monument' - it's a timber equivalent to Stonehenge.

"From the general shape, we would guess it dates backs to about the time when Stonehenge was emerging at its most complex.

"This is probably the first major ceremonial monument that has been found in the past 50 years or so.

"This is really quite interesting and exceptional, it starts to give us a different perspective of the landscape."

Other wooden structures have been found in the area, one of these being Durrington Walls about 3km (1.86 miles) to the north east of the stones.

Data from the site is being collected as part of a virtual excavation to see what the area looked like when Stonehenge was built.

Speculation as to why the 4,500-year-old landmark was built will continue for years to come, but various experts believe it was a cemetery for 500 years, from the point of its inception.

In 2008, the first excavation in nearly half a century was carried out at the iconic site on Salisbury Plain.

This latest project is being funded by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, in Vienna, and the University of Birmingham, and is assisted by the National Trust and English Heritage.

Professor Gaffney said he was "certain" they would make further discoveries as 90% of the landscape around the giant stones was "terra incognita" - an unexplored region.

"The presumption was this was just an empty field - now you've got a major ceremonial monument looking at Stonehenge," he said.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 8 • Views: 1,092 • Replies: 15
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 05:04 pm
cool.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 05:07 pm
@dyslexia,
cool 2...
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 05:08 pm
Aerial photography is a boon to archeology. I have just been reading about the first balloon flights in Europe and how they changed man's view of the earth literally and figuratively. Even then (late 1700s) they realized the potential.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 05:10 pm
@djjd62,
There seems to be another "mott and Bailey" type streucture to the left of the STonehenge sign. Its left a trace in the sopil. Also, you can see several trails about the area.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 05:19 pm
@littlek,
especially with the advancements in photographic technologies and some geographical changes, as noted when i posted this last year

Aerial Photos of Italian Farms Reveal Outline of An Ancient City

weird i posted the city story almost exactly one year ago
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 05:34 pm
@djjd62,
It doesn't look like there are any more news bites from this arch-site!
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 08:14 pm
Next up: Bronze Henge.

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 08:27 pm
After the Second World War, the ordnance survey people in England did a lot of aerial photography to produce new, more current maps. They discovered entire villages which had disappeared in the 14th century, during the great waves of plague in Europe. The entire populations had died off or fled, and the villages were soon grown over and forgotten. For literally generations now, young scholars, mostly graduate assistants, have combed through old records trying to identify the "ghost" villages.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 08:51 pm
@djjd62,
Wow!!! Love this stuff!!
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 09:09 pm
@dlowan,
Me, too!
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 09:39 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

After the Second World War, the ordnance survey people in England did a lot of aerial photography to produce new, more current maps. They discovered entire villages which had disappeared in the 14th century, during the great waves of plague in Europe. The entire populations had died off or fled, and the villages were soon grown over and forgotten. For literally generations now, young scholars, mostly graduate assistants, have combed through old records trying to identify the "ghost" villages.

That sounds like pretty cool graduate work. Then again, it's probably ultra boring. So I guess modern day archeology is fueled by grad students munching on Doritos and chugging Redbull.

A
R
T
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Jul, 2010 04:29 am
There's the "dogman" back. Love ancient history and the by products thereof.

ART, I use to bury things and then dig them up later pretending that I had found a new oldie. Smile
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 04:06 pm
National Geographic has an article up. It has one sort of lame artist representation....
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/07/100723-stonehenge-woodhenge-twin-timber-circle-gaffney-science/

http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/238/cache/new-henge-stonehenge-reconstruction_23874_600x450.jpg
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 04:10 pm
@littlek,
computer graphics are like a video game arent they? No life
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jul, 2010 02:59 pm
@farmerman,
TORONTO – Canadian archeologists have found a ship abandoned more than 150 years ago in the quest for the fabled Northwest Passage and which was lost in the search for the doomed expedition of Sir John Franklin, the head of the team said Wednesday.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100728/ap_on_re_ca/cn_canada_franklin_ship_found

Alas, I cannot find a photo.
0 Replies
 
 

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