Given away by strange, crop circle-like formations seen from the air, a huge prehistoric ceremonial complex discovered in southern England has taken archaeologists by surprise.
A thousand years older than nearby Stonehenge, the site includes the remains of wooden temples and two massive, 6,000-year-old tombs that are among “Britain’s first architecture,” according to archaeologist Helen Wickstead, leader of the Damerham Archaeology Project.
Discovered during a routine aerial survey by English Heritage, the U.K. government’s historic-preservation agency, the “crop circles” are the results of buried archaeological structures interfering with plant growth. True crop circles are vast designs created by flattening crops.
For such a site to have lain hidden for so long is “completely amazing,” said Wickstead, of Kingston University in London.
The 500-acre (200-hectare) site is “etched” into farmland near the village of Damerham, some 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Stonehenge.
Links: English Heritage.