Stonehenge, the mystery wells. They mark a 2 km wide circle: what were they for? – The print


Pisr the first time, due to the Covid epidemic, no one was able to go to Stonehenge on the day of the solstice to witness the rising of the Sun. But fans of druids and alleged Celtic rites received the following day a news that will attenuate the their disappointment: a few hundred meters from the most mysterious site in England there is another mystery. Researchers from the universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Wales, together with scholars from Birmingham and Warwick, have combined their knowledge to better study the Durrington Walls site, and have discovered very interesting things.

Around all ‘henge of Durrington, a circular prehistoric architectural structure protected by a moat, a circle of two kilometers in diameter was identified, marked by circular holes 5 meters deep and 10 wide. 20 of these wells have already been identified, but it is likely that some find others. The geologists and archaeobotanical experts of the research group are very happy: thanks to the collected sediments they will have to work for years and will be able to reconstruct the landscape in the Stonehenge valley in the four millennia that have passed since its construction. Palaeontologists are once again perplexed. What were those holes for? Were they the basis of a huge protective fence? And to protect what?

Anyone who has researched the many mysteries of the Salisbury plain will have noticed how often, in the explanations provided by scientists, the word “ceremonial” occurs. It seems that prehistoric men in the area had no other concern than to erect giant monoliths after cutting and transporting them for hundreds of kilometers, or to dig holes and huge circular ditches, or to erect mounds that required the work of thousands of people, just to meet needs rituals or religious. Between Stonehenge and Durrington Walls there is the Greater Cursus, a portion of land 150 meters wide and leveled for a length of three kilometers, in 3600 BC, also that for “ceremonial” needs, such as the smaller Lesser Cursus found in the close. Nearby there is also the Robin Hood’s Ball, a Neolithic enclosure from 4000 BC. which seen from above looks like a fried egg, made of that too … for what? “Tribal ceremonies”.

The scientists who found the wells of Durrington Walls belong to different disciplines and mixing interests and knowledge has made great progress in archeology in recent years: now it is increasingly difficult to catalog anything that is not understood as ritual and ceremonial . Durrington Walls had between 2,800 and 2,100 BC. about 1,000 homes and 4,000 inhabitants. They seem few, but at the time the village was a metropolis of Northern Europe, enclosed in a circle of 500 meters in diameter. Only to dig the moat that surrounds it, 5 meters deep and 7 wide at the bottom and 15 at the apex, it would have required the work of all its inhabitants. And in the meantime who was hunting? Who cultivated? Who defended the village and their family? How did they do it? The radar revealed that there are at least 60 menhirs 4.5 meters high underground, 30 of which are still in a vertical position. Perhaps it was a field similar to that of Carnac in Brittany, with its 3000 monoliths erected for no one knows what, but certainly not for ceremonial reasons.

Dr. Richard Bates of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences in St Andrews acknowledged: “The multidisciplinary approach has opened up a glimpse into the past which reveals a more complex society than we could ever have imagined. Very sophisticated practices show that these people were in tune with natural events in a way that we can hardly conceive of in the modern world in which we live. ” Scholars begin to think that Stonehenge was not a monumental complex in itself, difficult to interpret also because of the messes made more than a century ago by archaeologists in putting the stones back in place more or less at random. It was part of a larger complex that may have arisen even earlier, and whose meaning still eludes us. Dating the stones is always very complicated and lends itself to errors. The dates could be wrong, Neolithic humans could have erected those sites or could have inhabited them only when they were abandoned by their unknown builders, as is likely also in the case of Durrington Walls.

At the next solstice, hundreds of contemporary druids and Celts will be able to return, hopefully, to celebrate their ceremonies in Stonehenge, convinced that only those stones were needed. But the truth is still hidden around there, and while they continue to worship the rising Sun, some scientist with an open mind will one day finally find out.

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