In a recent piece in Antiquity, a quarterly review of archeology, the study of parch marks in the grass on the site suggest that there were likely two huge sarsen stones that have gone missing but would have completed the outer circle on the grounds of the famed Druid creation.
Stonehenge: Groundskeeper noted grass failing to grow
Owing to a hose that was unable to water certain areas of the site due to its length, a groundskeeper noticed grass failing to grow as strongly as in other areas notified archaeologists.
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Evidence that the outer stone circle at Stonehenge was once complete has been found, because a hosepipe used to water the site was not long enough.
Parch marks in the grass, in an area that had not been watered, have revealed places where two “missing” huge sarsen stones may once have stood.
The marks were spotted by an English Heritage steward who alerted archaeologists to their existence.
Stonehenge: Susan Greaney speaks to the marks’ importance
Susan Greaney, of English heritage believes this evidence that was first discover in July 2014, shows that there are indeed missing stones from the south-west quadrant of the outer circle.
“If these stone holes actually held upright stones then we’ve got a complete circle,” she said.
“It’s really significant, and it shows us just how much we still have to learn about Stonehenge.
“A lot of people assume we’ve excavated the entire site and everything we’re ever going to know about the monument is known.
“But actually there’s quite a lot we still don’t know and there’s quite a lot that can be discovered just through non-excavation methods.”
With ISIS rampaging across Syria and Iraq and Russia threatening the sovereignty of Ukraine, it’s easy to forget that many spend their lives trying to understand the significance of the monument that brings hundreds of thousands to visit each year.
Greaney went on to note that a hi-res survey of the area that was finished a couple of years back failed to show what was found by the “gardener.”
“It’s great that people who know the site really well and look at it every day were able to spot these parch marks and recognise them for what they were,” she added.
“We maintain the grass with watering when it’s very dry in the summer, but our hosepipe doesn’t reach to the other side of the stone circle.
“If we’d had a longer hosepipe we might not have been able to see them.”
Stonehenge: The man who saw the parch marks speaks
The person in question was Tim Daw who had a bit to say about his “discovery.”
“I was standing on the public path looking at the grass near the stones and thinking that we needed to find a longer hosepipe to get the parched patches to green up.”
“A sudden lightbulb moment in my head, and I remembered that the marks were where archaeologists had looked without success for signs that there had been stone holes, and that parch marks can signify them.
“I called my colleague over and he saw them and realised their possible significance as well. Not being archaeologists we called in the professionals to evaluate them.
“I am still amazed and very pleased that simply really looking at something, that tens of thousands of people had unwittingly seen, can reveal secrets that sophisticated machinery can’t.”