A four year project named Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes, revealed hundreds of unseen structures beneath the sod of Salisbury Plain. We’ve always thought of Stonehenge as a singular entity – standing defiant and alone, daring us to ponder ancient secrets. Archeology can’t agree precisely when Bronze Age people erected this iconic monolith – all agree it is very, very old. Textbooks hold fast to a middle ground of 2000 to 3000 BC. A massive dirt bank surrounding the area has been carbon dated to 3100 BC.
Ground penetrating radar and geophysical survey techniques were used by the Hidden Landscapes project to illuminate incredible buried structures. Seventeen of which flabbergast an already puzzled gaggle of ancient history sleuths.
Underground “peeping” without excruciatingly slow excavation presents astounding Stone Age ponders. Radar imaging suggest Durrington Walls ( a super massive earth “henge” surrounding the familiar monoliths) once stood between polite rows of stone pillars – tidy rows up to 3 meters tall stretching for one and a half Kilometers. Evidence now points to long forgotten “pits” with astronomical alignments, and speculation Stonehenge evolved over a period of 11,000 years. Burial mounds predating Stonehenge, ring after buried temple ring of civilization lost, sleeping under Salisbury’s pillow.
Stonehenge is hardly my favorite ancient structure – Puma Punku or Gobekli Tepe take that honor. It is however one of the most recognizable and best known testaments to ancient kick ass. Learning further evidence of engineering wizardry rests beneath a few meters of British sod, explains the silly grin on my face. Slowly, but wielding scientific surety, evidence mounts to dispel notions of the history we memorize in school. Pondering civilization lost never grows old.