‘Astonishing’ circle of pits found near Stonehenge

Archaeologists have made an exciting new discovery near Stonehenge, one of Britain’s most famous landmarks. A circle of deep pits two kilometers wide was found near the site. It may raise new questions as to the origins and meaning of the mysterious, prehistoric monument. It surrounds an ancient settlement at Durrington Walls, where archaeologists say the builders of Stonehenge once lived and feasted. Evidence suggests the pits date back to the same period some 4,500 years ago. Archaeologist Dr. Richard Bates explains. “These are 20 metre diameter, at least five metres deep, sometimes even deeper, we think, shafts or pits that have been dug into the chalk and are oriented in a kind of an arc both to the south and the north of Durrington Walls. The orientation of them, the spacing of them, would suggest that they have some organised sort of ritualistic reason for being there.” The circle of pits is significantly larger than any comparable prehistoric monument in Britain. The discovery was made by a team of archaeologists from several universities, only using remote sensing technology and sampling, without any need for excavations. The exact purpose of the standing stones at Stonehenge still remains unknown to scientists. But the latest discovery provides insight into how our Neolithic ancestors may have lived.

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