Stonehenge: a national monument, an internationally recognised British icon. For centuries, people have wondered, theorised, intrigued and argued about who, or what, might have put an isolated collection of huge standing stones in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside somewhere between five and six thousand years ago – and for what purpose.
Now, new research conducted by archaeologists and scientists from Birmingham University and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, in Vienna has revealed that Stonehenge did not sit alone within its Neolithic landscape.
The research has revealed that the area around Stonehenge was heavy with additional monuments, chapels and burial chambers, which until now have remained hidden underground or inside known earthworks.
Using motorised magnetometer systems, ground-penetrating radar arrays and electromagnetic induction sensors, the researchers surveyed six square miles around Stonehenge over a four-year period, beginning in July 2010. The technology allowed them to investigate as deep as seven metres below the ground without the need for intrusive and time-consuming digging.
Read E&T‘s exclusive feature on how the ancient secrets of Stonehenge were revealed through the archaeological use of a variety of investigative technologies.