Friday, September 12, 2014

Hidden Monuments Reveal 'Stonehenge Is Not Alone'

By Megan Gannon

Magnetic data image of a newly discovered monument around Stonehenge.
Data obtained from magnetometer surveys revealed impressions left by prehistoric monuments around Stonehenge. Some of the smaller monuments, researchers found, had a concentric circle design similar to Stonehenge.
Credit: © LBI ArchPro, Mario Wallner

The megaliths of Stonehenge, which were raised above England's Salisbury Plain some 5,000 years ago, may be among the most extensively studied archaeological features in the world. Still, the monument is keeping secrets.
Scientists have just unveiled the results of a four-year survey of the landscape around Stonehenge. Using non-invasive techniques like ground-penetrating radar, the researchers detected signs of at least 17 previously unknown Neolithic shrines.
"Stonehenge is undoubtedly a major ritual monument, which people may have traveled considerable distances to come to, but it isn't just standing there by itself," project leader Vincent Gaffney, an archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in the U.K., told Live Science. "It's part of a much more complex landscape with processional and ritual activities that go around it. That's very different from how this has been viewed before. The important point is Stonehenge is not alone. There was lots of other associated ritual activity going on around it." [See Images of Hidden Stonehenge Monuments]

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