Archaeologists discover a massive circle of prehistoric shafts near Stonehenge

(press release 2020)

Stonehenge may be one of the best-known archaeological sites on earth, but a team of archaeologists are celebrating the discovery of a major new prehistoric monument only a short distance away from Stonehenge. Recent fieldwork and analysis have revealed evidence for 20 or more massive, prehistoric shafts, measuring more than 10 metres in diameter and 5 metres deep. These shafts form a circle more than 2 kilometres in diameter and enclose an area greater than 3 square kilometres around the Durrington Walls henge, one of Britain’s largest henge monuments, and the famous, smaller prehistoric circle at Woodhenge.

Research on the pits at Durrington was led by the University of Bradford and undertaken by a consortium of archaeologists as part of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project. Partners include the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in cooperation with the Universities of Birmingham, St Andrews, Warwick, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (University of Glasgow).

Prof. Wolfgang Neubauer (LBI ArchPro, University of Vienna) on the new discovery “It is amazing that our seamless survey of the Stonehenge landscape, which applies the latest technology and extends over kilometres of countryside, has revealed major new features including these huge shafts. They are not only clearly visible in the geophysical data sets, but the survey also provides the opportunity to place these features within a wider context comprising the many monuments associated with Stonehenge including the super-henge at Durrington Walls, three kilometres north-east from the iconic stone circle.”

Full publication of research at Durrington has been published as an open access article by Internet Archaeology at: Gaffney, V. et al. 2020 A Massive, Late Neolithic Pit Structure associated with Durrington Walls Henge, Internet Archaeology 55.

You can read the article here:


Wolfgang Neubauer
Wolfgang Neubauer
Professor of Archaeology

My research interests include Archaeological Stratigraphy, Geophysical Prospection and 3D Laser Scanning.