LONDON: Archaeologists say they’ve had found traces of a wooden structure built close to the British monument of Stonehenge, a stunning discovery that sheds new light on an ancient place of worship.
The prehistoric monument is said to be like a wooden “twin” of the collection of giant stones piled up on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, southwest England.
“This is probably the first major ceremonial monument that has been found in the past 50 years or so,” said Vince Gaffney, a professor from the University of Birmingham, who is leading the archaeological dig. “It will completely change the way we think about the landscape around Stonehenge.
Part of a large, holy complex
“People have tended to think that as Stonehenge reached its peak it was the paramount monument, existing in splendid isolation. This discovery is completely new and extremely important in how we understand Stonehenge and its landscape.”
The “henge-like” monument, found just 900 metres (2,950 feet) away from Stonehenge, is thought to have been a circular, timber structure with two entrances and was probably built around the same time, some 4,500 years ago.
The circle is about the same size as Stonehenge and consists of pits in the ground about one metre (three feet) wide, which the researchers believe could have held wooden obelisks.
It would have been visible from Stonehenge and archaeologists believe the new find suggests the stone circle was just one part of a larger, holy complex.