The Durrington Walls

Durrington Walls is the largest known Neolithic henge in the United Kingdom. 

Located near Amesbury, Wiltshire, it is about 1.9 miles (3 km) northeast of Stonehenge and 76 yards (70 m) north of Woodhenge. 

It is believed to have been used for ritual or ceremonial activity from roughly 2000 to 1600 BCE and is part of the Stonehenge landscape. 

Measuring about 500 m in diameter, it features a 17.7 m wide ditch, surrounded by an outer bank composed of quarried chalk 40 m wide and 1 m high. 

It has two entrances, one on the west side and one on the east. 

In 1966–67, archaeologist Geoffrey Wainwright led the first major excavation at the site and uncovered the ditch and outer banks, at least 

  • Two timber circles
  • Stone tools
  • Grooved-ware pottery
  • Pig and cattle bones

Excavation suggested that Durrington Walls was used for feasts rather than ceremonies or rituals related to death.

These ceremonies were likely carried out at Stonehenge. 

In 2005, Mike Parker Pearson’s excavation revealed a 30 m wide road that connected the site to the river and seven houses along the route. 

This suggested that Durrington Walls was part of a larger Neolithic complex that included Stonehenge and Woodhenge, both of which had roads to the river. 

In 2015, Vincent Gaffney and Wolfgang Neubauer led the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project.

Using non-invasive ground-penetrating radar technology, they discovered a line of 4.5 m high stones buried in a C-shape around the site. 

This discovery of the underground stones may have been a ritual procession route used at an early phase of the site’s existence. 

A phase that may have been contemporary with or earlier than Stonehenge. 

This discovery has sparked further research into the history of the Stonehenge region.

Featured Image: Jtorrejon.Artstation.com

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