Archeologists have discovered traces of much larger stone monuments just 2 miles away from the prehistoric Stonehenge. Dubbed Superhenge, the site contains as many as 90 large stones that were built even before Stonehenge. Researchers estimate the newly discovered relics were erected at least 4,500-years ago, while the Stonehenge monuments are believed to have been completed 3,500-years ago.
Ground-penetrating radar reveals giant stones
The Superhenge monuments were uncovered beneath Durrington Walls, about 90 miles southwest of London. Researchers located the stones using high-resolution ground-penetrating radar as part of the Hidden Landscape Project. Wolfgang Neubauer, director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, said the radar data revealed a row of up to 90 stones.
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Many of these giant stones have survived after being pushed over, and a huge bank placed over them. About 30 stones have survived below the bank. Most of the other stones were fragmentary or represented by giant foundation pits. The stones were buried 3-feet beneath the surface. Stonehenge has been shrouded in mystery for centuries. The discovery of new structures has further complicated this incomplete story from the Neolithic period.
Superhenge five times larger than Stonehenge
Researchers said the Superhenge was five times bigger than the iconic Stonehenge circle. It raises questions about the landscape the people who built Stonehenge inhabited. They believe the stones were erected to define an area of special significant, most likely a temple or public forum. While researchers have to do plenty of research to figure out the purpose of the Superhenge, they are quite sure that the Stonehenge acted as a large clock to track the seasons through the movement of the sun.
Vince Gaffney of the University of Birmingham said this is one of the largest stone monuments in Europe, and it has been there for about 4,500 years. The extraordinary scale and detail of the evidence provided by the Hidden Landscape Project would change our understanding of Stonehenge and the world around it.