British archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a mysterious prehistoric structure that might be older than Egypt’s pyramids. Discovered during work at a housing development in Monmouth, Wales, the bulky feature consists of a series of trenches possibly housing the timber foundations of a massive building.
“We have what appear to be huge parallel sleeper beams set close to the edge of an ancient, dried up lake,” archaeologist Steve Clarke of Monmouth Archaeology told Discovery News. Made from what seems to be entire tree trunks, the sleeper beams are huge, measuring more than 50 ft in lenght and more than 3 ft across. “It’s huge and presumably prehistoric but otherwise we haven’t a clue what it is, we don’t know how old it is and we don’t know how long it is,” Clarke said.
Continuing beyond the excavations, the timber structure was cut into the surface of a burnt mound, presumably dating to the Bronze Age. Experts believe the structure could date to at least the Bronze Age, but could be early Neolithic, about 6,500 years old, thus predating Egypt’s pyramids by about 2,000 years.
“I am in touch with various wetland specialists. Everyone says that they have not seen anything like it,” Clarke said.
Speculations range from interpreting the structure as the foundation of an early Neolithic long house to seeing it as a large platform constructed on water-saturated soil. What the platform was used for, and what might have been built on top of it, remains a mystery. Radio-carbon tests of the foundations are being carried at the moment. Results are expected within a couple of weeks.