Archaeologists are excited to discover a “new” ancient monument just a couple of miles from Stonehenge. The Guardian reports that archaeologist Vince Gaffney, of Bradford University, is calling the find “archaeology on steroids.” He adds, “We presume it to be a ritual arena of some sort.”
Two huge pits have been discovered in a two mile-long monument called the Cursus that lies to the north of Stonehenge. The pits seem to form an astronomical arrangement: on midsummer’s day, the eastern pit’s alignment with the rising sun and the western pit’s alignment with the setting sun intersect where Stonehenge was built 400 years later.
The rise and fall of the newly discovered monument at Durrington Walls suggests that buildings were modified and recycled since the first stones were laid around 3100BC. A large timber building encased in chalk is thought to have been a house of the dead where defleshing was performed as a burial ritual.
University of Birmingham archaeologist Paul Garwood commented,
Everything written previously about the Stonehenge landscape and the ancient monuments within it will need to be rewritten.
Picture credit: The Guardian