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Neolithic Discovery at Stonehenge

Archaeologists have described the discovery of a circle of 20 shafts (each over five meters deep and 10 meters in diameter) near Stonehenge as the “largest prehistoric structure ever found in Britain.” The 4,500-year-old pits provide evidence of these Neolithic people’s immense ability—not only to count and design (as each shaft is carefully positioned) but also their desire and determination, as Vincent Gaffney (professor at the University of Bradford) explains, “I can’t emphasize enough the effort that would have gone in to digging such large shafts with tools of stone, wood and bone.” While it’s commonly understood that Stonehenge itself was built in accordance to the sun’s movement (more specifically the solstices), Gaffney says the circle of pits was probably a “huge cosmological statement” so important that these people (mostly farmers) needed “to inscribe it into the earth itself.” The shafts, which create a boundary, “may have guided people towards a sacred site within its centre or warned against entering it.” Perhaps equally astounding, these enormous ditches had been believed to be natural sinkholes until newer tech, “including geophysical prospection, ground-penetrating radar and magnetometry,” revealed them to be carefully created by humans. Read more at The Guardian.

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