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21 February 2018
Stonehenge architects' camp maybe found

On army land at Larkhill close to Stonehenge, a team of archaeologists believe they may have discovered a site where some of the architects of Stonehenge gathered and camped. A team investigating a causewayed enclosure - thought to be ancient meeting places or centres of trade - found an alignment of posts that matches the orientation of the circle at Stonehenge, leading to the theory that Larkhill could have been some sort of blueprint for the temple.
     Si Cleggett, of Wessex Archaeology, concedes it is possible to suggest that any evidence of prehistoric settlement could be connected to the creation of Stonehenge, but argues that the close proximity of Larkhill and the coincidence of the alignment of the nine posts gives weight to the idea that the people who created and visited the enclosure could have had a hand in the conceptualisation of Stonehenge.
     The first version of Stonehenge was built in around 3,000 BCE as a simple circular ditch and bank with upright timber posts. The stones began to arrive around 500 years later. Cleggett's team believes the causewayed enclosure was built between 3,750 and 3,650 BCE.
     Cleggett says: "The causewayed enclosure at Larkhill was constructed during the late Stone Age, a period of transition when our ancestors gradually moved away from a mobile hunter-gatherer lifestyle and embraced a farming existence. My contention is there is a fair chance the people who met at the causewayed enclosure could have been the architects of the Stonehenge landscape as we understand it. That nine post alignment could be an early blueprint for the laying out of the stones at Stonehenge."

Edited from The Guardian (2 February 2018)

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