10,000-year-old wells found after scanning Stonehenge monument

Researchers from the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) and the University of Ghent (Belgium) have scanned the territory on which the famous Stonehenge monoliths sit and have revealed a hidden network of hundreds of large prehistoric wells.

In a study published this May 9 in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the archaeologists explain that this is the first extensive investigation of electromagnetic induction in the region.

The result helped uncover hundreds of wells more than 2.4 meters wide and thousands of other smaller wells, most of which would have been built by man thousands of years ago.

The oldest and largest of the wells is more than three meters wide and 1.85 meters deep.

For now, the exact use of these cavities is unknown, but given the lack of “utilitarian functions” associated with them, the researchers suspect that they were somehow related to the “long-term ceremonial structuring” of Stonehenge.

Some of the wells found near the parking lot of the old Stonehenge visitor center date back to 8000 BC. C. and are associated with totems, accessories for hunting and lunar observation.

The Stonehenge monoliths themselves were built about five thousand years ago.

“By combining new geophysical survey techniques with coring and point excavations, the team has revealed some of the earliest evidence of human activity yet discovered in the Stonehenge landscape,” says archaeologist Nick Snashall, who works for the Stonehenge Site. Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage.

For his part, historian Paul Garwood, co-author of the study, stresses that the ability of geophysical sensor technology to scan a territory and reveal potential archaeological sites provides unprecedented insight into prehistoric landscapes.

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“The footprints we see in our data span millennia, as indicated by the 7,000-year period between the oldest and most recent prehistoric pits we’ve excavated,” says Garwood.

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VTV / Ora / JMP

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