Archaeologists unearth Neolithic henge at Stonehenge





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....


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