Showing posts with label stonehenge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stonehenge. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

4,500 Year Old New Stonehenge was Made of Wood


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.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Stonehenge II is found! Radar Search Reveals Giant Line of Standing Stones from 4,500 Years Ago


Stonehenge II Discovered – Refined Radar Equipment

For ages, Stonehenge had puzzled and captivated visitors and archaeologist alike and hence it may not be shocking that another wonder monument from prehistory has been unnoticed for some time though it seems to be a mile away. An unusual line of massive stones which could date back to more than 4,500 years have been discovered by experts.

The space around Stonehenge seems to be scattered with prehistoric sights and the 90 or more stones lying 3ft under the ground have only been discovered by refined radar equipment which had been towed by quad bikes. The buried monoliths are of 15 ft. tall each and instead of being arranged in a circle as in Stonehenge, it is presumed that they once formed a long standing line.

One of the archaeologists leading the research, Professor Vince Gaffney from the University of Bradford remarked that `they were looking at one of the largest stone monuments in Europe and it has been under our noses for something like 4,000 years and is truly remarkable. We don’t think there is anything quite like this anywhere else in the world and this is completely new and the scale is extraordinary. It is presumed to be a ritual arena of some kind and are theatrical, designed to impress’.

`Superhenge’ – Circular Settlement

The stones seemed to be placed along the south-eastern edge of what seemed later on the Durrington Walls `superhenge’, a circular settlement edged by a ditch and bank that at a third of a mile across is the biggest earthwork of its kind in the UK.

 It is unknown if someone had toppled them or the arena had been a rival attraction to Stonehenge or part of the same complex of sacred sites. It could have even been pushed over for the purpose of protection of their sacred significance, according to Professor Gaffney. The stone which are not yet excavated are presumed to be `sarsens’ – giant sandstone blocks like the ones at Stonehenge.

Its discovery at Durrington Walls had been revealed at the British Science Festival at the University of Bradford. During the same event last year, the Hidden Landscapes study had shown a host of archaeological features surrounding Stonehenge. According to National Trust archaeologist for Stonehenge, Dr Nick Snashall informed that `the Stonehenge landscape had been studied for centuries, but the work of the Hidden Landscapes team is revealing earlier unsuspected twists in its age old tale’.

Placement of Stones – A Mystery

During the same event last year, the international team also showed a host of previous unknown archaeological features which had been hidden in the landscape surrounding Stonehenge which included a 108ft long burial mound comprising of a massive wooden building, in which the timber foundation was beneath the soil.

Prof Gaffney was of the belief that the stones could have been planted by the people who had built Stonehenge but is doubtful about a direct link between the two monuments. These had been placed along a steep slope or scarpcut in a natural dry valley forming a `C’ shaped feature. The placement of these stones seems to be a mystery.

A section of Durringon Walls is associated with the rising sun on the winter solstice, being the shortest day of the year, could have been significant. The archaeologists are of the belief that at some point of time, these stones could have been pushed over and incorporated in the developing henge.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Who built Stonehenge? Part.II

The first builders of Stonehenge were probably members of a prosperous, warlike group of people called Beaker Folk, known for their use of pottery drinking vessels. Even so, one can sympathize with the archeologists who remained incredulous that a primitive Stone Age people, lacking initially both metal tools and system of writing, could build such a complex structure. The ultimate success of the builders depended on a combination of ingenuity and sweat. Stonehenge contains some marvelous, delicate touches; the upright stones, for example, were fashioned with a central bulge (as in the column of many classical Greek temples), so that a circular perspective was preserved when viewed from below. But much of its grandeur is due to the blue stones’ sheer size- and that, of course, translates into back breaking labor.

The bluestones used in the second ring came from the Preseli Mountains in Wales, some 240 miles away, transported by water with rafts and on land in wooden sleighs. (A team from the BBC demonstrated that this was possible; a group of able –bodied young men moved stones of similar size using a sleigh tied to log rollers.) The larger sarsen stones, weighing as much as 50 tons apiece, were found loose in a region 20 miles away.  They were dragged, one by one, by teams of up to 1,000 men. These stones, pounded into shape with smaller rocks, were placed into deep pits on the site, sloping to one side and later raised by using a primitive rope operated lever.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Who built Stonehenge? Part.I

Centuries ago , a visitor might have attributed Stonehenge’s construction to magical powers; a typical 12th century British legend asserted it was built” not by force but by Merlin’s Art”, and the site has been associated with Druid assemblies. More recently, its design has so impressed archeologists that they have insisted it could only be the product of an advanced, colonizing population. Mycenae, a flourishing citadel culture on the Greek mainland, and Brittany, in north western France, were suggested as possibilities for this invading force, because each boasted similar, if less impressive, gigantic structures made of stone.

  So the archeological world was shocked when in the 1960s carbon dating revealed that the original building of Stonehenge occurred possibly as early as 3000 BC, centuries before the Mycenaean period. In fact the tests confirmed that Stonehenge was built in stages spanning a period of up to 1,500 years, as later immigrants renovated the original site. Stonehenge I, the earliest version, was little more than a raised bank with a ring of 56 shallow pits just inside. Stonehenge II, begun in about 2000BCand more sophisticated in its design, consisted of a double circle of huge blue stones; some time before 1500 BC, these were replaced in Stonehenge III by a 100 foot diameter ring of 30 larger sarsen sandstone monoliths. On top of some of these stones were set huge lintels, with peg and socket joints used to secure them in place, forming a vast horseshoe of triithons.