Stone implements dating from 9000 to 2400bc
Archaeologists know that after this date Stonehenge consisted of some 80 Welsh blue stones and 83 local sarsen stones.Some of the bluestones that once stood at the riverside probably now stand within the centre of Stonehenge.Within the next few months, radiocarbon dating of these antler picks will provide more precise dates and reveal whether the circle was built at the same time as Stonehenge itself (in the decades after 3000 BC) or at some other time.In the meantime, the discovery of this unknown stone circle may well be exciting confirmation of the Stonehenge Riverside Project’s theory that the River Avon linked a ‘domain of the living’ – marked by timber circles and houses upstream at the Neolithic village of Durrington Walls (discovered by the Project in 2005) – with a ‘domain of the dead’ marked by Stonehenge and this new Bluestonehenge circle.Archeologist points to a small fragment of charred wood found between the large rocks of Feature 4B, one of the large hearths/earth ovens found in the midden at Pavo Real.The charcoal sample was later dated to about 4,000 years old (2000 B. The Archaic deposits proved to be shallowno more than 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) thick and sometimes only half that.Yet this was not a place where anyone lived: the pottery, animal bones, food residues and flint tools used in domestic life during the Stone Age were absent.
As a result, partially exposed features such as this one were difficult to evaluate.
There is no evidence that the circle had a particular orientation or even an entrance.
Soil that fell into the holes when the stones were removed was full of charcoal, showing that plenty of wood was burned here.
It is directed by Professor Mike Parker Pearson of Sheffield University, with co-directors Dr Josh Pollard (Bristol University), Professor Julian Thomas (Manchester University), Dr Kate Welham (Bournemouth University) and Dr Colin Richards (Manchester University).
The 2009 excavation was funded by the National Geographic Society, Google, the Society of Antiquaries of London, and the Society of Northern Antiquaries.
The stones from the new-found circle were removed thousands of years ago but the sizes of the holes in which they stood indicate that this was a circle of bluestones that were brought from the Preseli mountains of Wales 150 miles away, like the inner stones at Stonehenge.