You all must know that Stonehenge is a historic monument. Now scientists have found a new monument near Stonehenge. They have discovered a circle of shafts forming a large ring. Experts have thus found the biggest prehistoric monument in England. These shafts belong to the Neolithic era and lie close to the sacred zone of Stonehenge. The Neolithic people dug these around 4,500 years before. This is estimated by testing the shafts. Archaeologists think that the 20 shafts represent a boundary between Stonehenge and sacred space. One of the lead researchers is stating that nobody has seen such big shafts in such an arrangement before in the UK. The circle or ring of shafts spreads across 1.2 miles and is more than 10 meters in diameter. The shafts are the largest ever in Britain, being a full 5 feet deep.
Exploring New Monument Near Stonehenge
Working on the project to decipher the meaning of the shafts is collaborative. Academicians from different British universities have come together to explore the monument. A team comprising of people from the University of Birmingham, Bradford, Warwick, St Andrews, Wales Trinity Saint David, and Glasgow is set up. This team will be looking to decipher the logic behind building the monument.
These shafts are set up all around the Durrington Walls which is an ancient settlement. Durrington Walls is about 2 miles away from Stonehenge. Experts found these shafts by using sampling and remote testing. This finding is important since it shows that the Neolithic people record their cosmologic belief in unanticipated ways. Nobody knew that they went to this extent. People have studied the zone around the Stonehenge the most. Despite that, experts found a new monument that too of such a massive scale. This shows that technology can help us uncover a lot of hidden secrets about monuments.
The experts after seeing the pits thought that they could be naturally present. Then they did geographical surveys and found that the shafts exist in a massive pattern. Professor Gaffney from Bradford is saying that they need to do proper excavation. Only this will allow then to assess the shafts and figure out their purpose. As of now, they believe that the shafts were acting as a boundary. Maybe it marks Durrington Walls as an important place. Or, it may mark the difference between the areas of Stonehenge and out Durrington Walls.
The shafts are really deep and almost vertical without any tapering. This is a marvel because the Neolithic people barely had any tools. Moreover, it takes a lot of labour organization and skill to create something like this. Thus, the Neolithic people can be more sophisticated than previously thought. Based on the silts, expert believe that these shafts were dug and then just left open. Over time, they slowly filled with silt.
These are astonishing findings by any measure. We believe the Neolithic people were primaeval but they can be more advanced. We need to properly excavate and study the site to come to a conclusion.