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  • The large complex was found in a city around 1.5 miles from Stonehenge
  • The 656 foot diameter complex consists of around 3,000 feet of ditches 
  • Around 300 feet (100 metres) of the ditches have been excavated so far
  • Evidence of cattle bones, ceramic dishes and human remains were found

A new discovery could help shed light on why the mysterious Stonehenge was built.

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A new discovery could help shed light on why the mysterious Stonehenge was built. The large complex, found in a city around 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the famous stone circle, is thought to date back more than 1,000 years before Stonehenge (pictured) Daily Mail

The large complex, found in a city around 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the famous stone circle, is thought to date back more than 1,000 years before Stonehenge.

The researchers say the complex was a sacred place where Neolithic people performed ceremonies, including feasting and the deliberate smashing of ceramic bowls.

The new discovery shows the entire area around Stonehenge was even more sacred and ritually active than archaeologists had thought, hundreds of years before Stonehenge appeared.

The complex was built about 5,650 years ago, around 3650 BC, more than 1,000 years before the stones of Stonehenge were erected.

The 656 foot (200 metre) diameter complex consists of around 3,000 feet (950 metres) of ditches and is the first major early Neolithic monument discovered in the Stonehenge area for more than a century.

It was discovered in a village called Larkhill in Wiltshire, just 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north east of the famous site.

A group of archaeologists found the site after the UK Ministry of Defence was preparing to build British Army houses on the land.

The researchers, led by Wessex Archaeology, found evidence of cattle bones, ceramic dishes and human remains.

Freshly broken pottery, dumps of worked flint and even a large stone saddle quern used to turn grain into flour were also found.

The researchers will now test the remains of the the findings, including the ceramic bowls, to try to determine what they were used for.

Each bowl could have held up to 10.5 pints (six litres) of beverage or partially liquid food, potentially a broth.

‘The newly found site is one of the most exciting discoveries in the Stonehenge landscape that archaeologists have ever made,’ a prehistorian from Wessex Archaeology said.

‘These discoveries are changing the way we think about prehistoric Wiltshire and about the Stonehenge landscape in particular,’ said Martin Brown, Principal Archaeologist for WYG, consultancy company WYG, which is leading the Larkhill housing development.

‘The Neolithic people whose monuments we are exploring shaped the world we inhabit: They were the first farmers and the first people who settled down in this landscape, setting us on the path to the modern world.

‘It is an enormous privilege to hold their tools and investigate their lives.’

Around 300 feet (100 metres) of the ditches have been excavated so far.

Read the full article in the Daily Mail. written by ABIGAIL BEALL

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The site of the decisive follow-up to the Battle of Hastings has been discovered, it has been claimed.

Nick Arnold says the battle of 1069 took place in this field between Appledore and Northam battlefieldbbcBest-selling author Nick Arnold said a field between Appledore and Northam, in Devon, played host to the bloody battle of 1069.

Mr Arnold, who wrote the Horrible Science series of books, described the clash as the “sequel” to the Norman victory of 1066.

Academics have described the find as “significant” to British history.

Mr Arnold started research into the battlefield, inspired by a story from his grandfather, five years ago.

Map
Image caption Around 3,000 people died in the battle according to Nick Arnold

He said the sons of the vanquished King Harold came back for a bloody “rematch” in North Devon three years after his defeat at Hastings.

More than 3,000 people died in the resulting clash, Mr Arnold said, after 64 longships “crammed with armed men” led by Godwine and Edmund arrived at Appledore on 26 June 1069.

Their army, which arrived from Ireland, met a fighting force made up of Normans, Bretons and English.

They were met and roundly defeated by forces led by Brian of Brittany in a day-long battle.

“The showdown settled once and for all who would rule England,” he said.

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The Norman Conquest

January 1066 – Edward the Confessor dies. Harold gambles and makes a bid for the Crown, supported by all the magnates of England

14 October 1066 – Harold is defeated by William at the Battle of Hastings

October to December 1066 – A state of war continues until a deal is struck in December between William and the English magnates in which he guarantees their positions in return for their support.

25 December 1066 – William is crowned King of England in London

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Mr Arnold said he was confident he had successfully narrowed down the correct site.

“By combining scientific data on the estuary with accounts of the battle it’s possible to locate the fighting in a small area,” he said.

“The amazing cast of supporting characters include a treacherous Abbot, a conscience-stricken Queen and a headless saint.”

Mr Arnold went back to original sources including the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and consulted histories of the landscape.

He also looked at times of high water and sundown and said all of the available evidence pointed to one location.

Bayeux Tapestry
Image caption The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was recorded in the Bayeux Tapestry

The Devonshire Association has published Mr Arnold’s research paper which is being republished by the Battlefields Trust.

Dr Benjamin Hudson from Pennsylvania State University in the US said the research was “a significant contribution to the history of medieval Britain”.

Elisabeth van Houts, Professor of Medieval European History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, said Mr Arnold had carried out “an exemplary piece of lucid writing, research and detective work”.

Article source: BBC Website

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