Neolithic Monument in Wiltshire
It is believed that an excavation at a 4,500 year old superhenge would have over 90 stones hidden underground which have failed in locating any evidence of rock monoliths. It was presumed to be a huge prehistoric stone monument which could have once dwarfed the enormous Stonehenge.
Experts are not of the belief that the Neolithic monument in Wiltshire could have been developed utilising large wooden posts which had been sunk in the ground. At first archaeologist believed that the site concealed a series of stones of around 15 ft. long lying down which had been buried below a massive earthwork. It has been revealed through ground penetrating radar of the `irregularities’ which were believed to be the stones scattered around the large site.
However, on excavating two of them, the researcher found huge pits which seemed to have contained timber post earlier. An archaeologist with the National Trust, Dr Nicola Snashall, who had been working on the site, informed Mail Online that they are certain that they do not have any stones and what they have on the contrary are at least 120 pits which were created to take great big timber posts.
Enormous Earthwork – Durrington Walls
They think that there could have been as many as 200 or more since they have some gaps in the ground penetrating radar data. The site that is just outside Durrington, Wiltshire, is said to have been a large Neolithic settlement earlier, housing the builders of Stonehenge less than two miles away.
The earlier excavations have exposed seven houses and it has been proposed that around 4,000 people may have inhabited the village. However, Dr Snashall has stated that the settlement seems to be decommissioned after about 10 to 12 years of use and it was after this that the timbers had been set up surrounding the site in a huge ring.
This seems to follow the line of what is presently an enormous earthwork which is called Durrington Walls. The earthwork is said to encircle an area of 1,575 feet across, measuring just less than a mile in circumference. It is surrounded by a ditch to around 58 feet wide, with an outer bank of about 131 feet wide which is raised to around 10 feet high.
Henge Earlier Constructed from Wood
The radar scans by the team from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Austria and Birmingham University last year, had disclosed something which seemed to be up to 90 standing stones that could have earlier measured up to 15 feet tall, lying on their side below the enormous bank of Earth.
However, the latest excavation indicates that his henge had been earlier constructed from wood instead of stone and the new research had been led by the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, the Stonehenge Riverside Project and the National Trust.
This could mean that it could have appeared more like the nearby Woodhenge, which is a Neolithic site near to Stonehenge, presumed to be built around 2300BC. According to Dr Snashall it seems that the earthworks were built on top of the pits where once the post seemed to be.
She commented that earlier to the timber posts being put in, the place was presumed to have housed the builders of Stonehenge and it was only after they had left, that the timbers were put in, probably as a means of setting aside this place as somewhere important.