Scientists from the University of Birmingham (UK) and the University of Ghent (Belgium) They found a set of hundreds of large pits under the ground where the world famous monoliths of stonehenge. In addition, thousands of other smaller graves were found.
Among the findings in stonehengeone of the most studied archaeological sites, highlights a huge pit four meters wide and two meters deep. This is the oldest evidence of land use ever found at this location.
According to scientists, this evidence of prehistoric activity at the site of stonehenge it is more than 10 thousand years old and testifies to how hunter-gatherer communities roamed these lands in the early Mesolithic, when Britain was beginning to be inhabited again after the last ice age.
Based on the size and shape of the pit, scientists estimate that it was probably dug as a trap to hunt large animals., such as deer, wild boar and aurochs (an extinct animal). However, it was not the only one found. Some 400 potentially large pits (greater than 2.5 meters in diameter) were identified in the investigation.
The wells found in this place they were built between the Early Mesolithic (8,000 BC) to the mid-Bronze Age (1,300 BC). “What we see here is not a snapshot of a moment in history,” said historian Paul Garwood, co-author of the study.
“The traces we see in our data span millennia, as indicated by the 7,000-year period between the oldest and the most recent prehistoric pits we’ve excavated,” the researcher continued, adding: “The archeology that we are detecting is the result of a complex and ever-changing occupation of the landscape.”
The technique used
This investigation is the first of electromagnetic induction in the region of stonehenge. “Geophysical surveying allows us to visualize what is buried under the surface of entire landscapes,” said Philippe De Smedt, a researcher at Ghent University, and co-author of the study. However, this mapping is not enough.
“As archaeologists, we need information about things like chronology and the function of places, as a basis for understanding past human behavior. The puzzle contains pieces that can only be recovered with excavation”, pointed out another of the scientists. That is why, in addition to high technology, the well-known old excavation was needed in six of the pits.