Graphic shows the location of the archaeological find in Wiltshire, UK.
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ARCHAEOLOGY

Large Neolithic structure discovered in England

By Ninian Carter

June 22, 2020 - Archaeologists have announced the discovery of an enormous ring of Neolithic pits surrounding Durrington Walls near Stonehenge.

Archaeologists from several UK universities say they have discovered a ring of Neolithic shafts, dug thousands of years ago near Stonehenge in England.

The results of fieldwork show the arrangement was 2km in diameter, centring on the Durrington Walls Neolithic settlement – only 3km away from Stonehenge – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The circular pits had a surface diameter of around 10m or more (at least one was 20m) and a depth of at least 5m. Human-made debris recovered from the bottom of one of the excavations points to a Late Neolithic time frame – more than 4,500 years ago.

Academics believe the 20 or so shafts may have served as a boundary to a sacred area connected to the henge. About 40% of the circle is no longer available for study due to modern development.

What makes the find even more extraordinary is that it offers the first evidence that early inhabitants of Britain had developed a way to count high – constructing the ring could only have been done by tracking hundreds of paces.

The discovery was announced by a team of academics from the universities of St Andrews, Birmingham, Warwick, Glasgow and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

PUBLISHED: 22/06/2020; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Apple Maps
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