Wednesday, July 6

Incredible find at Stonehenge: underground wells | Digital Trends Spanish

An important discovery was made by a group of researchers from the universities of Ghent in Belgium and Birmingham in England: hundreds of possible large prehistoric pits, and thousands of smaller ones, in the heart of the stonehenge ruins.

The find dates back more than 10,000 years and was possibly used by collectors and hunters in the early Mesolithic. They are 4 meters wide and 2 meters deep.

These results were achieved by uniquely combining the first study Extensive electromagnetic induction survey conducted on the Stonehenge landscape with evidence from more than 60 geoarchaeological pits, 20 specific archaeological excavations, and computer-generated analyzes of thousands of subsurface features, such as pits, revealed by geophysical data.

Philippe De Smedt, Associate Professor at the University of Ghent, said: “Geophysical survey allows us to visualize what is buried below the surface of entire landscapes. The maps we create offer a high-resolution view of subsurface soil variation that can be targeted with unprecedented precision. Using this as a guide to sample the landscape, taking archaeological ‘biopsies’ of underground deposits, we were able to add archaeological significance to the complex variations discovered in the landscape.”

For his part, Henry Chapman, professor of archeology at Birmingham added that, “When used correctly, geophysical sensors do not ‘lie’. They represent a physical reality. Converting that observed reality into archaeological knowledge, however, is not a simple process. As archaeologists, we need information about things like chronology and function as a basis for understanding past human behavior. That puzzle contains pieces that can only be recovered through excavation.”

Paul Garwood, Senior Lecturer in Prehistory at the University of Birmingham argued on the other hand that “what we are seeing is not a snapshot of a moment in time. The traces we see in our data span millennia, as indicated by the 7,000-year time frame between the oldest and most recent prehistoric pits we’ve excavated. From early Holocene hunter-gatherers to later Bronze Age inhabitants of farm and field systems, the archeology we are detecting is the result of a complex and ever-changing occupation of the landscape.”

Finally, Dr Nick Snashall, archaeologist at the Stonehenge & Avebury World Heritage Site, said: “The discovery of the largest known Early Mesolithic pit in North West Europe shows that this was a special place for hunting communities – collectors thousands of years before the first stones were erected.

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