‘Superhenge’ once lined Stonehenge neighborhood


Ground-penetrating radar has revealed as many 90 large stones that once lined the outskirts of village near Stonehenge in southern England. A recreation of what that “Superhenge” looked like is shown here.

Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology

A village in southern England near Stonehenge boasted an imposing stone monument of its own. As many as 90 large stones once surrounded Durrington Walls before being intentionally buried, archaeologist Vince Gaffney of the University of Bradford announced on September 7 at the British Science Festival.

Durrington Walls dates to around 4,600 years ago, (SN: 2/3/07, p. 67). Ground-penetrating radar has revealed a set of massive stones, some of which were up to 4.5 meters high, lying under an earthen bank bordering part of the site. These stones were pushed over and covered by soil used to construct the bank, Gaffney said. As many as 30 stones remain intact. Other stones are fragmentary or denoted only by massive pits.

The newly discovered stone row may date at least to Stonehenge’s inception, nearly 5,000 years ago, Gaffney speculated.

Bruce Bower

Bruce Bower has written about the behavioral sciences for Science News since 1984. He writes about psychology, anthropology, archaeology and mental health issues.

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