Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Durrington Walls

 From Atlas Obscura:

Stonehenge is notorious for its scale, with its trilithons (the Jenga-block constructions of two upright stones with a large stone lying flat across the top) clocking in at over 20 feet, and a total site diameter of nearly 100 feet. The newly found pits—20 have been found so far, and there are likely more—are about two miles from Stonehenge, near the town of Durrington, and are about 16 feet deep. The pits form an arc with a diameter of over a mile, with a gap on its western side—like a giant crescent moon partially encircling the site of Durrington Walls, another “superhenge” enclosure. It brings to mind a giant eye, with Durrington Walls, itself 1,600 feet across, as the pupil. The complex is just a couple of miles from Stonehenge.

It’s clear that across Salisbury and beyond, such sites were an inescapable part of Neolithic life. They were used by people across the island, likely for ritual purposes (though Durrington Walls also hosted a village at some point). The Wilsford Shaft, a 90-foot hole just southwest of Stonehenge and excavated in the mid-1960s, turned up a number of ancient objects at the bottom. Gaffney’s team found bone and struck flint at the bottom of the holes near Durrington. (Read more.)

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