Stonehenge breakthrough after ‘amazing discovery’ in Israel could unveil site’s mystery

Stonehenge: Osteoarchaeologist discusses find of human bones

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Stone circles can be found the world over, often built thousands of years apart. They are usually arranged in a circle or an ellipse shape, and have been constructed for many different reasons: ritual, sacrifice, religion. The best-known tradition of stone circle construction occurred across the British Isles and Brittany in the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age.

Currently, there are over 1,000 surviving examples of these stone circles, including Avebury, the Ring of Brodgar, and Stonehenge.

In all, there are around 50,000 examples of existing stone circles in Western Europe alone.

Tonight, adventurer and engineer Rob Bell explores a new discovery found deep in the soil of the surrounding area of Stonehenge, claiming that what we know about the great monoliths is “being turned on its head”, during Channel 5’s, ‘The Stonehenge Enigma: What Lies Beneath?’

But these mysterious constructions are not only located in Western Europe: they have also appeared in places like Bulgaria, Morocco, Japan, Poland, Syria and Israel.

The exact reason why ancient humans may have wanted to build stone circles was explored during the Smithsonian Channel’s short video ‘Stonehenge-like Structures Have Been Found All Over the World’, where one discovery off the coast of Israel could explain why Stonehenge was erected.

The video’s narrator noted of the discovery in the small Israeli town of Atlit: “Now, an amazing discovery could finally help reveal the answer.”

Atlit sits on the country’s Mediterranean coast.

In 1984, maritime archaeologist Ehud Galili made a routine dive around 400 metres offshore.

He was searching for shipwrecks exposed by the shifting sands of the seabed after a heavy storm.

But what he found was much bigger and more important than any shipwreck: he discovered an ancient sunken settlement.

He told the short documentary: “Usually we find remnants from shipwrecks like anchors, metal, nails, all kinds of artefacts.

“But while we were diving here we found a wall.”

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Further investigation revealed that the wall was once part of a house, and vitally, it was not alone.

Within days of the initial discovery, more foundations were revealed.

Skeletons of the people who once lived were also discovered.

Mr Galili said: “We found about 15 family houses.

“We estimated that the population was between 70 to 150 people at one time.”

Incredibly, Mr Galili and his team stumbled upon a major archaeological site, as he explained: “We found walls, dwellings, structure in situ as they were left.

“Little by little, we came to realise that it is a huge site, 40,000 square metres.”


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Radiocarbon dating revealed that the site was almost 9,000 years old, making it one of the oldest human settlements on Earth.

The relics were so well-preserved that a mysterious stone circle still stood as it was first erected.

One of the oldest and largest sunken settlements ever found, the settlement sheds new light on the daily lives of its ancient inhabitants — but also goes some way in helping to understand other stone circle constructions.

At the centre of the settlement, seven megaliths weighing up to 600 kilograms were found arranged in a stone semicircle.

The stones have cup marks carved into them and were once placed around a fresh spring, suggesting that they may have been used for a water ritual.

Another installation consists of three oval stones, two of which are circumscribed by grooves forming schematic anthropomorphic figures.

While the settlement is thousands of miles away from Stonehenge, archaeologists and researchers told of how other stone circle discoveries, regardless of where they are, are vital in understanding the purpose of Stonehenge.

Mary-Ann Ochota, an anthropologist and archaeologist, said: “When you’re looking at Stonehenge you’re seeing a culmination of the labour of people, extraordinary use of resources, and an astonishingly complex, perfectly executed idea.

“Every time we find a new stone monument, it gives us another piece of evidence on that detective hunt to try and work out ‘what were the ancestors thinking?; why did they build this? And what did it all mean?’”

‘The Stonehenge Enigma: What Lies Beneath?’ airs on Channel 5 at 9pm.

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