|26 July 2010
Marden Henge discovery
Work started recently at a site near Devizes, Wiltshire (England), known as Marden Henge. The area covered by the prehistoric henge is approximately 15 hectares (37 acres) but, due to extensive farming and ploughing most archaeology has already been destroyed and there are no longer any standing stones. The area currently under investigation is a mound in the centre of the site, where the remains of a Neolithic building (2,400 - 2,500 BCE) have been found. Unusual for this typer of find flint flakes, pottery and bone pins have been found and it is thought that the building was a priest's quarters.
The dig is being conducted by English Heritage and one of their archaeologists, Jim Leary, is quoted as saying "We are potentially looking at a much more intricate system of Neolithic ritual sites in this part of the world than we previously thought. Marden Henge deserves to be understood more partly because of its size, but also due to its proximity to the more famous stone circles at Avebury and Stonehenge".
Similar buildings of this type had previously been found at Dunnington Walls, 2 miles north-east of Stonehenge, where it is thought that the remains of up to 300 buildings survive, although only a few have been excavated. Marden is thought to be the largest henge in Britain and extensive aerial, geophysical and field surveys have been carried out. The site is also famous for the location of Hatfield Barrow, which wasc levelled in the early 1800s.
Source: BBC News (19 July 2010)
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