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26 February 2006
Neolithic henge found in Herefordshire

A Neolithic henge has been discovered in rural Herefordshire (England). The discovery was made in Stapleton, and represents a 'first' for this southeastern county. The find was made by experts from Herefordshire Archaeology, the county  archaeological service, which spotted the outline of a henge in aerial  photographs taken for a land survey. A dig in January, 2006 confirmed its existence.
      County archaeologist Dr Keith Ray said deposits found during the dig date the henge at around 2,500 BCE - the Neolithic period. Further evidence indicates its use around 1,000 BCE or the Bronze Age.
     Henges were sacred sites for ceremonies and rituals, especially those associated with death. Built as chambers and protected by ditches, they were dug into sites of geographic or seasonal significance. "In a way they were like village halls, focal points for a community," said Dr Ray. His team continues to look for other henges in the area.

Sources: Hereford Times, This is Hereford (21 February 2006)

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