Stonehenge was ultimately only part of a much larger complex

The Salisbury Plain in southwest England has become famous around the world thanks to the impressive megaliths of Stonehenge. These structures from another age have been enthroned there for 4,500 years. Years after their discovery, researchers are still trying to unravel their mystery.

A article published on January 21, 2021 by National Geographic brings us new information on the structures of Stonehenge. We learn that these megaliths are in fact part of a much larger complex including other monuments. Other structures cited include the Durrington Walls, Woodhenge, and West Amesbury, also known as Bluestonehenge.

Stonehenge Was Ultimately Only Part Of A Much Larger Complex
Photo by Robert Koorenny – Unsplash

According to archaeologists, they are all linked "by cultural relations and spiritual meanings. "

Durrington Walls, the home of those who built Stonehenge?

All the evidence that has been found in the vicinity of Stonehenge suggests that it was a gathering place for the inhabitants of England. All of these monuments are presented as a “ritual landscape” by the experts. According to archaeologists, the history of Durrington Walls is closely related to that of Stonehenge.

The people who built the megaliths that stand today on Salisbury Plain are believed to have lived at this site, located about 3 km northeast of Stonehenge. On site, archaeologists also discovered animal bones that would have been used for ritual ceremonies. Most of the remains found there belonged to pigs.

Read also: Stonehenge would have had surprising acoustic properties

Gathering places

Archaeologists have performed isotopic analyzes on these bones. The results revealed that the bones found at Durrington Walls were from pigs that were not raised in the same locations. Some are said to be from Wales and Scotland.

This tends to confirm the hypothesis that the surroundings of Stonehenge served as places of ceremonial gatherings for people from all over England. Researchers also turned their attention to the Woodhenge site which was discovered in 1925. The presence of a split skull found there suggests that it was previously the scene of ritual sacrifices.

The West Amesbury, or Bluestonehenge, completes this vast collection of monuments. It is about a circular structure which would have also gathered stones of approximately 2 meters high. It is located in an avenue not far from the Avon.

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