Stonehenge: new discoveries are still stunning archaeologists!
Durrington’s mile-wide circle
To the astonishment of archaeologists, the largest ‘prehistoric’ structure ever found in Britain has recently been unearthed—just under two miles north-east of Stonehenge, the UK’s iconic Neolithic site on Salisbury Plain, near Amesbury, Wiltshire. The newly discovered site is a huge circle, 1.2 miles (2km) in diameter, consisting of twenty shafts which are five metres deep (16 ft) and up to 20 metres (65 ft) in diameter. This construction encircles an existing structure called the Durrington Walls, the site of a large settlement and later wooden henge circle, described as ‘Neolithic’ (from the so-called ‘Stone Age’).
Professor Vincent Gaffney of Bradford University, one of the leading archaeologists working on the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, stated: “This is an unprecedented find of major significance within the UK. Key researchers on Stonehenge and its landscape have been taken aback by the scale of the structure and the fact that it hadn’t been discovered, until now, so close to Stonehenge.”1
The new circular structure was revealed using ground penetrating technologies a ‘fluxgate gradiometer’ (measures earth’s magnetic field) geophysical survey (ground penetrating radar), and mechanical coring.
Early man—still fully human
Archaeologists leading the investigations are stunned at ‘early man’s’ abilities. For instance, geoscientist Richard Bates, of St Andrews University, said the new Durrington circle discovery offered “an insight to the past that shows an even more complex society than we could ever imagine.”1 Henry Chapman, of Birmingham University, professor of archaeology, described the structure as “an incredible new monument.”1 The new Durrington circle discovery, is considered all the more extraordinary by researchers because, in their opinion, it provides the first evidence that the early Britons—who were thought to be from farming communities—were able to count! They come to this conclusion because the site required people to count out paces to survey and construct it.2
Regarding the construction of the pit circle, Professor Gaffney stated: “I can’t emphasise enough the effort that would have gone in to digging such large shafts with tools of stone, wood and bone.”1
But researchers shouldn’t be so surprised, considering Stonehenge was made by the same people who transported ‘bluestones’ (weighing up to five tons) 150 miles (240 km) to Salisbury Plain from south-west Wales. Ancient man likely had technology and ingenious means to achieve such great feats, which we have so far failed to uncover. Archaeology is replete with examples of out-of-place artefacts (e.g. this ancient battery), examples that demonstrate humans have always been intelligent and resourceful and are not the product of evolution from primitive ancestors.3
This comes as no surprise to Bible-believing Christians, who hold the history of Scripture as real. Genesis 1:26–27 tells us that humans were made in God’s Image from the beginning, so faculties such as mathematics and the ability to plan and make complex constructions would have been fully formed in the first couple. Within the first few generations, Genesis 4 makes it clear that humans were able to farm (v. 2, 20), build cities (v. 17), make complex musical instruments (v. 21), and work with iron and bronze (v. 22).
How old is the Durrington circle?
Silts (fine mud) extracted from core samples and the circle’s pits, contained bones and shells, which were sent for carbon-14 dating. A wide range of dates were calculated, some as old as 7,179 ± 28 years BC for shell, and 1130 BC for bone (calibrated), but all from the same deposits. The archaeological report admits: “There is a wide range of time represented in the radiocarbon dates… early dates are on shells and suggest that the determinations from these samples are not reliable…”2
However, carbon-14 dating is a method full of assumptions. All the monuments discovered so far, and those still to be discovered, must be placed after the Flood. Even mighty monuments like Stonehenge could not have survived the Deluge; in fact, the larger ‘Sarsen stones’ are made of sedimentary rock that was formed during the Flood, and chemically altered afterwards. These monuments, therefore, would have been constructed sometime after Babel, when people-groups were scattered over the face of the earth, after their common language was confused (Genesis 11:1–9). Some of them, likely Japheth’s descendants,4 eventually settled in Britain and constructed Stonehenge along with many associated monuments like the newly identified Durrington circle. The likely reasons were to bring order to their emerging society through a shared sense of worship, a place for ceremonial burial, and possibly as a means to understand the seasons and cosmology using the monuments as a sort of calendar.
This brand new discovery is an amazing find and has been unearthed using some clever technology and techniques. The uncovered shaft structures demonstrate that, as far as archaeologists peer back into history, humans have always been humans, displaying their God-given abilities of great intelligence and ingenuity. Radiocarbon ages that are offered so confidently, far in excess of the date of Noah’s Flood, should be dismissed. The Bible’s history is confirmed by such discoveries.
References and notes
- Alberge, D., Vast Neolithic circle of deep shafts found near Stonehenge, 22 June 2020, theguardian.com; accessed 22 June 2020. Return to text.
- Gaffney, V. et al., A Massive, late Neolithic pit structure associated with Durrington Walls Henge, Internet Archaeology 55, 2020, doi.org/10.11141/ia.55.4; accessed 22 June 2020. Return to text.
- Chittick, D.E., The puzzle of ancient man, Creation Compass, Oregon, pp. 95–204, 2006. Return to text.
- Cooper, B., After the Flood, Creation Science Movement, Portsmouth, pp. 153–161, 2015. Return to text.