New Stonehenge Ancient Monuments From 4,500 Years Ago Discovered With Radar [Video]

For centuries, Stonehenge has captivated and mystified archaeologists and visitors from all over the world. A recent discovery by experts unveiled Stonehenge II when they found an “extraordinary” line of giant stones dating back more than 4,500 years, about a mile away from Stonehenge.

Stonhenge II Stones
The buried monoliths are each up to 15 feet tall. Instead of being arranged in a circle as they are at Stonehenge, it is thought they once formed a long standing line, as shown in this artist's impression. (Photo courtesy of Ludwig Boltzmann Institute)

It’s no surprise to find prehistoric sights littered in the area around Stonehenge. However, this new discovery of Stonehenge II comprises of 90 or more stones, lying 3 feet underground. Researchers used sophisticated radar equipment towed by quad bikes in discovering the ancient monuments.

The huge stones are buried, but researchers believe the monoliths are as high as 15 feet. In contrast to the circle arrangement of the original Stonehenge monuments, Stonehenge II stones are thought to form a long-standing line.

Stone Monumnet Of Stonehenge II
The buried monoliths are each up to 15 feet tall. Instead of being arranged in a circle as they are at Stonehenge, it is thought they once formed a long standing line, as shown in this artist's impression. (Photo courtesy of Ludwig Boltzmann Institute)

Professor Vince Gaffney from the University of Bradford, and one of the archaeologists leading the research, offered a comment about the recent Stonehenge II discovery.

“We’re looking at one of the largest stone monuments in Europe and it has been under our noses for something like 4,000 years. It’s truly remarkable. We don’t think there’s anything quite like this anywhere else in the world.”

Professor Gaffney added his belief regarding the construction of Stonehenge II.

“This is completely new and the scale is extraordinary. We presume it to be a ritual arena of some sort. These things are theatrical… designed to impress.”

The Daily Mirror cites the Stonehenge II stones are placed along the southeastern edge of what later became the Durrington Walls superhenge – a circular settlement ringed by a ditch and bank that, about a third of a mile across, is the largest earthwork of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Stonehenge II Computer Generated Image
Experts believe they were not originally part of the henge but were deliberately toppled. Above, a computer generated image of how they may have looked when first erected more than 4,500 years ago. (Photo courtesy of Ludwig Boltzmann Institute)

It’s unclear whether the area around Stonehenge II was a competing attraction to Stonehenge or whether the arena was a rival attraction to Stonehenge. Who toppled them is a mystery, as well. Professor Gaffney said the stones might have been pushed over to protect their sacred essence.

Though the stones have not been excavated, the belief is they are giant sandstone blocks, or sarsens, similar to the blocks used at Stonehenge.

Radar Found Stonehenge II
The stones have only recently been discovered by sophisticated radar technology which detected them underground. (Photo courtesy of Ludwig Boltzmann Institute)

British Science Festival at the University of Bradford initiated the discovery. Last year, the Hidden Landscapes study revealed a number of archaeological features around Stonehenge.