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Stonehenge built after ‘geological accident' inspired early Britons

Daily Express logo Daily Express 11/06/2021 Callum Hoare
a group of people in a field with Ring of Brodgar in the background: Incredible 'scars' were found at Stonehenge © GETTY Incredible 'scars' were found at Stonehenge

Professor Mike Parker Pearson, from University College London, made a breakthrough in understanding the famed structure when he found a similar stone structure at Waun Mawn, in the Preseli Hills earlier this year. Experts now theorise the dismantled monument in Wales became the "building blocks" of the Stonehenge attraction that stands today in Salisbury, Wiltshire. But there could be a further explanation as to why the site was chosen 5,000 years ago.

Presenter Adam Mastrelli investigated an incredible theory during Smithsonian's 'Secrets Unlocked' series.

He said: "Parker Pearson believes that the landscape of Salisbury Plain was uniquely suited to the faith and rituals of Stone Age Britons.

"Looking at the site from above, a pair of parallel lines are visible, forming an avenue that runs straight towards the stone circle.

"This Neolithic road was constructed at the same time as Stonehenge and it lines up perfectly with the Sun on the shortest day of the year.

a stone building with a large rock with Stonehenge in the background: The ancient monument dates back to 3000BC © GETTY The ancient monument dates back to 3000BC

"As worshipers entered the final stretch of the avenue, their path would take them towards their final goal - a vast monument to an ancient cemetery."

The series detailed how these lines matched up with the winter and summer solstice, leading experts to believe they were created by an ancient civilisation.

It added: "Parker Pearson now believes there was something that made this landscape sacred before a single stone was erected, before a single body was buried.

a man in a green field: Professor Parker Pearson at the site © SMITHSONIAN Professor Parker Pearson at the site

"An excavation in the Fifties found a series of deep grooves running in a straight line within the avenue.

"And just like the avenue, they ran in a line, setting with the mid-winter Sun.

"Could they be an even earlier phase of building?"

a sunset over a fire with Stonehenge in the background: The marks lined up with the summer solstice © GETTY The marks lined up with the summer solstice

Prof Parker Pearson explained how it led his team to "assume that they were manmade".

But they were proved wrong.

He added: "We came and excavated. To our surprise, we found the lines were not manmade, they were natural and were formed in an ancient ice age."

A photo was taken in the Fifties © SMITHSONIAN A photo was taken in the Fifties

And Mr Mastrelli detailed the potential consequences.

He explained last year: "It proves that the grooves weren't part of the original avenue built 4,500 years ago, they were much older.

"Their alignment to the Sun was coincidental, a geological accident. But to the Stone Age people, these scars in the landscape would have seemed like a sign.

"They may be the ultimate explanation for Stonehenge's existence."

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