Researchers near Bodim in Cornwall, UK, have discovered a previously unknown ancient stone circle during the first modern archaeological study of the region.
The place in question is known as Castilly Hengewhich is thought to have been built in the late Neolithic period (3000 BC to 2500 BC), and features an outer bench and an inner moat. The henge -a prehistoric architectural structure- is an oval enclosure 68 meters long and 52 meters wide and is listed on the endangered heritage register because it is difficult to maintain due to its location. Based on previous research, it was thought that the site may have been used as a sort of theater in the Middle Ages, then used as a cannon battery during the English Civil War.
Research into the Upper Neolithic henge began in 2021, after excessive vegetation was removed from the site to allow experts a closer look. According to local media, the scientists, using ground-penetrating radar and other techniques, discovered a never-before-seen circle with seven points where the stones would have been.
There could be more pits which, combined with the others, could form a complete oval. However, scientists were unable to sufficiently examine the northern part of the site due to soil conditions.
Based on the pits they found, the researchers believe some of the stones were removed and transported, while others were pushed upside down into their own pits.
It’s a statement, Cornwall Archaeological Unit chief archaeologist Peter Dudley said 13 volunteers spent 111 hours of their time clearing weeds and bushes that hid the henge. “Now the monument looks much better,” Dudley says.
The oval-shaped henge has been dated to the Late Neolithic, around 2700 BC. At this time in British history, the islanders dominated grain farming and began to develop their crops. They used flint for their weapons and tools, built monuments such as hens, and established burial rituals.
Although the details of these rituals are unclear, experts believe the hens served as meeting places or for ritual purposes. In recent years, reports GuardianCastilly Henge may have been used as a theater in the Middle Ages and as a gunhouse during the English Civil War.
According to the English Heritage website, less than 100 hens from Britain and Ireland survive today, “although it is very likely that there were originally more”. The agency writes that Neolithic and Bronze Age hens are characterized by ring-shaped outer benches and inner flukes.
Stone hens are even rarer. These include the Stripple Stones in Cornwall and the famous Stonehenge in Wiltshire (although archaeologists argue that it is not technically a henge, as its moat lies outside its shore).
One of the great wonders of the ancient world is the fact that in times before motor vehicles or modern tools, prehistoric individuals managed to place the huge stones, called megaliths, into position to create the stone rings.. In the case of Stonehenge, some of the stones weigh up to 40 tons and are believed to have been transported from local sources up to 50 kilometers away. Scientists believe that ancient people would have moved these stones using sledges, perhaps greased with lard and mounted on rollers. PTo move a single stone, up to 150 people could be needed.
Historic England is committed to repairing and conserving the thousands of places on its Historic Risk Register, including more than 2,000 archaeological sites. Now that Castilly Henge is no longer covered in weeds, the agency said in the statement, it is visible again.
“Research at Castilly Henge has given us a better understanding of the complexity of this site and its significance to Cornish history over thousands of years,” said Ann Preston-Jones, Heritage Sites at Risk project manager at Historic. England. “This will help us make decisions about how to manage and present the monument, so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come.”