A group of British researchers recently researchers announced that they have discovered evidence of ancient sun worship at Stonehenge The prehistoric monument is a trademark of Great Britain.
Everybody across the world has heard about Stonehenge and wondered about its initial purpose. Now a touristic place, Stonehenge remains a mystery, although every now and then archaeologists stumble upon small breakthroughs. It is the case of the University of Birmingham’s latest findings, too.
According to UPI.com, researchers from the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Archaeological Prospection now have enough evidence to place in context Britain’s Stonehenge site. They have shifted focus in their investigations towards the Doset Cursus, which is “an immense linear enclosure, 100 meters wide and two and a half kilometers across, north of Stonehenge”.
Vince Gaffney, project leader of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, said: “This is the first time we have seen anything quite like this at Stonehenge and it provides a more sophisticated insight into how rituals may have taken place within the Cursus and the wider landscape”.
On Monday, researchers announced that they have identified two huge pits positioned on celestial alignment that are proof of Stonehenge’s association to the sun. The team of archaeologists believes that those pits might have contained tall stones, wooden posts or even fires that were used to mark the rising and setting of the sun.
Archaeologists note that the pits are aligned toward the midsummer sunrise and sunset when looked at from the Heel Stone (the outside entrance of the Stonehenge site). Scientists also believe that these pits may connect with a large enclosure north of Stonehenge and known as Cursus.
Vince Gaffney’s statement also mentioned that the present day findings are an indication that Stonehenge “may have become significant as a sacred site at a much earlier date”. The team has also discovered a horseshoe arrangement of large pits north-east of Stonehenge which researchers say that may have also contained posts that “functioned as minor shrines”.
The Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project has started in the summer of 2010 and it is often referred to as “the world’s biggest-virtual excavation”. The project uses non-invasive technologies to study the hidden part of Stonehenge and the landscape around it.