Planet Earth

Stonehenge's Buried Secrets Uncovered

The stones are just one small part of a massive network of Neolithic sites.

By Carl EngelkingNov 26, 2014 12:00 AM
stonehenge1.jpg
The new digital map of Stonehenge’s environs shows details of numerous still-buried sites that had never before been identified, including pits, burial mounds and additional stone circles. | LBI ArchPro/Mario Wallner

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LBI ArchPro/Geert Verhoeven

Stonehenge is the 5,000-year-old gift that keeps on giving. Using ground-penetrating radar and 3-D laser-mapping techniques, British scientists identified 17 additional Neolithic shrines hidden beneath a 4.5-square-mile swath of land surrounding the iconic site, 90 miles west of London.

The new geophysical survey, released in September, includes several previously unidentified burial mounds and an earth and timber chamber, called a long barrow, that was likely used for excarnation: the act of removing flesh from the bones of the deceased in preparation for burial.

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