New ‘Superhenge’ Discovery Near Stonehenge

By Javin Dana ‘17

On Monday, Sept. 7, less than 3 kilometers from the world-renowned heritage site, Stonehenge, archeologists discovered remnants of much larger bluestone monuments.  

By utilizing new radar-technology, the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project team claims to have uncovered a new series of standing stones under Durrington Walls. The new monuments, also commonly referred to as “Superhenge,” are one of the largest known henge formations built before Stonehenge. This is notable considering that Stonehenge is recorded to have been erected nearly 3,500 years ago.

Large henge monuments have recently been discovered less than 3 kilometers from Stonehenge (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Large henge monuments have recently been discovered less than 3 kilometers from Stonehenge (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Our high-resolution ground penetrating radar data has revealed an amazing row of up to 90 standing stones, a number of which have survived after being pushed over, and a massive bank placed over the stones,” said professor Wolfgang Neubauer, director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, in an interview with CNN. “In the east up to 30 stones, measuring up to size of 4.5 x 1.5 x 1 meters (14.7 x 5 x 3.3 feet), have survived below the bank whereas elsewhere the stones are fragmentary or represented by massive foundation pits.”

This new discovery raises questions regarding the environment Stonehenge and “Superhenge” constructors inhabited, and the reasons behind the construction of henge monuments during the third (and fourth) millennium B.C.

In an interview with CNN, Paul Garwood, an archeologist and lead historian on the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, commented, “everything written previously about the Stonehenge landscape and the ancient monuments within it will need to be rewritten.”