Stonehenge is already an established landmark on the cultural sites map of the world. What if the long-held assumption that it wasn’t build as a solitary construction holds true? The discovery of a new Super Henge is rekindling the Giants’ Dance charm and offers new insight on this hypothesis.
Lying almost two miles away from the famed monument, the Super Henge was detected using remote sensors scanning the underground and scouting for possible anomalies. To the surprise of researchers with the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, 100 stones are buried under the Durrington Walls.
Constructed on the ruins of a Neolithic settlement, the Super Henge is now believed to hold the key not only to an abundant treasure trove of data on Neolithic settlements and practices within, but to the purpose of the Stonehenge – Super Henge ensemble.
Thus, underneath the Salisbury Plain, one mile and a half from the Stonehenge, lies the buried yet massive Super Henge. Protuberances of the stones are curving the edges of the ground, yet not many clues gave away the majestic ensemble dated to be 4,500 years old.
According to the researchers partaking in the discovery, the Super Henge may have counted as much as 200 imposingly standing stones. Approximately 100 were detected using the cutting-edge remote sensing technology. As Professor Vincent Gaffney of Bradford University stated:
“These things are theatrical. They’re designed to impress and impose; to give the idea of authority to the living and the dead. It really does create a massive impression, and was clearly important enough to have been drawn into the developing landscape”.
Measurements revealed that some of the impressive stones in the Super Henge ensemble are 15 feet in length and lie 3 feet underneath the surface of the Salisbury Plain.
These dramatic findings rekindle what archaeologists have long held: Stonehenge did not exist a solitary construction. All around it traces of settlements and other ensembles are waiting to be unearthed.
Yet, the gloomy perspective of the A303 road being sunk into a tunnel passing the Stonehenge clouds the perspective that the Super Henge would ever be brought to light. It would be a pity to cover an invaluable site in concrete when the first glimmers of hope that the origins of the Stonehenge and human settlements in Britain could be explained had made their way to our realm.
Photo Credits: Discovery Magazine