STONEHENGE - Have you seen the images of the latest discoveries around Stonehenge? Over the past four years, an international team of archaeologists has been making x-rays of the ground around the mysterious ancient site in Britain. They have now presented their findings, including many images that look like aerial photographs of crop-circle-like shapes.
The BBC will be airing documentaries with all the details this Thursday and next Thursday . The documentary is called “Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath”.
The archaeologists have scanned some 4.5 square miles of territory, making the Stonehenge project the worldwide largest effort ever. They used a range of x-ray techniques, which allowed them to see objects buried in the ground up to five meters deep.
The most amazing finding is a line of 50 massive stones, with a total length of some 330 meters. The stones are lying down in the ground, not standing up like the ones at Stonehenge do. It looks like they were originally meant to stand upright though, and they probably have. At some point in ancient history, the stones were possibly buried or at least taken down.
Together with an artificial elevation in the landscape, the stones almost form a circle directed towards the river Avon. This structure, called the Durrington Walls enclosure, is many times larger than Stonehenge. It could have had the most important function in the area.
Other discoveries include some 17 large, henge-like objects, thought to be Neolithic and Bronze Age religious monuments. Other findings look like the remains of houses and stables, likely from the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Besides those, mysterious pits have also been discovered. Some have a diameter of five meters. For the moment, these are being referred to as ‘ritual pits’.
The Stonehenge area is assumed to have been a sacred landscape, in which each structure had a religious function. Man-made structures were created as part of a bigger, spiritual system, in harmony with the natural landscape. Many people believe this is still the case today.
The next phase of archaeological work on the Stonehenge findings is now beginning. The research team wants to build advanced, avatar-based computer models to try and find out what the objects and structures were really used for in ancient times.
The coming years are likely to give us a lot of answers - or raise even more questions - about the Stonehenge mystery.