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Whoa, it turns out Stonehenge is much, much bigger than we originally thought

Archaeologists working on the University of Birmingham’s Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project made the discovery after mapping the area using sophisticated surveying tools, including remote sensing techniques. 

These devices allowed them to see the grounds underneath and around Stonehenge, and what they found is nothing short of amazing: a veritable landscape of structures.

It’s part of a whole network of monuments | Follow micdotcom 

Stonehenge: ghostly outlines of missing stones appear

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It is a mystery which has intrigued archaeologists for centuries: did the huge Neolithic stones which make up Stonehenge form a complete circle?

Now the puzzle has been answered after the dry summer revealed the faint outline of the missing megaliths.

Usually the ground is watered by stewards, to keep the earth moist and the grass healthy.

But this year, the hose they used was too short to reach the whole site. By chance, the incomplete section of the inner stone circle was left to dry out.

When archaeological features have been buried in the ground for a long time, they affect the rate that grass grows above them, even long after they have disappeared. Read more.

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President Obama visits Stonehenge, his final stop on a three-day trip to Estonia and the NATO Summit in Wales.

DROMBEG STONE CIRCLE

-CORK, IRELAND

Also known as the “Druid’s Altar,” the circle is a megalithic formation that once consisted of 17 stones (only 13 remain) out in the countryside of Cork County, Ireland. Radiocarbon dating of human remains found at the site during a 1957 excavation suggests that the area was built and actively used between 1100-800 BC. Now the site is secluded, tucked away between verdant farmland and network of country roads.

Stonehenge secrets revealed by underground map

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Archaeologists have unveiled the most detailed map ever produced of the earth beneath Stonehenge and its surrounds.

They combined different instruments to scan the area to a depth of three metres, with unprecedented resolution.

Early results suggest that the iconic monument did not stand alone, but was accompanied by 17 neighbouring shrines.

Future, detailed analysis of this vast collection of data will produce a brand new account of how Stonehenge’s landscape evolved over time.

Among the surprises yielded by the research are traces of up to 60 huge stones or pillars which formed part of the 1.5km-wide “super henge” previously identified at nearby Durrington Walls. Read more.

Dried-Up Grass Reveals the Secret of Stonehenge’s Circle

An exceptionally dry summer — and a watering hose that was too short — helped archaeologists clear up a centuries-old mystery surrounding Britain’s Stonehenge monument: Did the ancient stones make a complete circle in ancient times?

The dried-up grass around Stonehenge suggests that they did. A steward at the site, Tim Daw, noticed in July 2013 that there were some particularly parched spots on the monument’s southwest side, spanning a gap in today’s incomplete arc of stones. Archaeologists say those spots represent places where the ground was disturbed by the digging of stone holes.

"If these stone holes actually held upright stones, then we’ve got a complete circle," Susan Greaney, senior properties historian for English Heritage, said in an emailed statement. “It’s really significant, and it shows us just how much we still have to learn about Stonehenge.”

Greaney explained to the BBC that the grass at Stonehenge is watered during dry spells in the summer, “but our hosepipe doesn’t reach to the other side of the stone circle.”

"If we’d had a longer hosepipe, we might not have been able to see them," she said.

Archaeologists discover 15 structures buried around Stonehenge

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Stonehenge has always held plenty of mystery for researchers. For starters, what was the roughly 5,000-year-old site built for? And how were the 4-8 tonne bluestones that created it transported almost 300 km from Wales?

Now the four-year Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project has revealed there may have been much more going on at the monument than we previously thought.

Led by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, the study used non-destructive radar and 3D laser scanning to image the ground within a 10 km2 radius of Stonehenge, and has revealed 15 previously hidden monuments. Read more.

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