British researchers said Monday that they had discovered evidence of a larger version of Stonehenge located approximately 2 miles from the famous prehistoric site.
The site at Durrington Walls, located about 90 miles southwest of London, has been dubbed a “superhenge” containing as many as 90 large stones.
The researchers from the University of Bradford said they believed the monument was built about 4,500 years ago, according to Sky News. The stones were located using ground-penetrating radar on Salisbury Plain. They were found lying on their sides and buried under three feet of earth.
Some of the stones stood nearly 15 feet high and were originally placed along the south-eastern edge of a circular enclosure facing the Avon River that measured nearly a mile wide – making it the largest earthwork of its kind in Britain.
“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,” University of Bradford professor Vince Gaffney, who led the research, told Sky News. “We don’t think there’s anything quite like this anywhere else in the world. This is completely new and the scale is extraordinary.”
Gaffney told the Guardian that he believes the site was used as a “ritual arena of some sort.”
The researchers were working on the so-called Hidden Landscape project, which is aimed at improving understanding of the area around Stonehenge. The Guardian reports that last year, researchers found the 17 chapels and other archaeological features at the site.