Vast 5600-year-old religious centre found near Stonehenge

Archaeologists discovered a prehistoric religious and ceremonial complex near Britain’s Stonehenge. The newly found site is said to be more than 1000 years older than the famous stone circle complex.

Excavations at the newly discovered site near Stonehenge(by Wessex Archaeology)
Excavations at the newly discovered site near Stonehenge (by Wessex Archaeology)

The newly discovered complex is nearly 200 metres in diameter and is the first major early Neolithic monument to be discovered in the Stonehenge area for more than a century. It is said to have been built about 5650 years ago and is located just nearly 2.5 kilometres north-east of Stonehenge. It consists of around 950 metres of segmented ditches, potentially palisaded earthen banks, arranged in two great concentric circles. So far archaeologists excavated around 100 metres worth of the outer ditch, possible representing around 17 percent of the monument’s outer circuit. The new discovery shows that hundreds of years before Stonehenge was erected the local area was used as a sacred and ritually active ground. The archaeologists found four human cranial fragments in one ditch location, probably belonging to a single individual. There are likely to have been additional human skull fragment ritual depositions in some of the monument’s other ditches as the ritual deposition of human skull is known from other funerary monuments like the nearby long barrow tombs.

(after Independent & Wessex Archaeology)

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