Huge Pre-Stonehenge Complex Found via “Crop Circles”

06.26.09

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Given away by strange, crop circle-like formations seen from the air, a huge prehistoric ceremonial complex discovered in southern England has taken archaeologists by surprise.

Etched into crops, the outlines of Bronze Age burial mounds surround a roughly 190-foot (57-meter) circular Stone Age temple site about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Stonehenge in southern England in an undated aerial photo.

Discovered during a routine aerial survey by English Heritage, the U.K. government’s historic-preservation agency, the “crop circles” are the results of buried archaeological structures interfering with plant growth. True crop circles are vast designs created by flattening crops.

The features are part of a newfound 500-acre (200-hectare) prehistoric ceremonial site which was unknown until the aerial survey, archaeologists announced in June 2009.

– via James Owen in London for National Geographic News

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