What has long since been a mystery that has baffled archeologists and scientists alike, Stonehenge is starting to reveal some of its secrets. Archaeologists that are busy carrying out the largest virtual excavation of its kind believe that sun worship may have taken place at Stonehenge some 5,000 years ago; before even the stones were erected.
A research team comprised of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Vienna and the University of Birmingham’s IBM Visual and Spatial Technology Centre (VISTA) discovered two large pits when using geographical imagery and radar. These pits were three feet deep, roughly 16 feet across, and positioned in a celestial alignment.
These pits predate the stone monuments by 500 years and according to projected leader Vince Gaffney, “This is the first time we have seen anything quite like this at Stonehenge.” Gaffney went on to further state, “When viewed from the Heel Stone, a rather enigmatic stone which stands just outside the entrance to Stonehenge, the pits effectively mark the raising and setting of the sun at midsummer days.”
Could this be proof of ancient worship? Maybe, as Henry Chapman the senior lecturer in archaeology and visualization at the University of Birmingham states, “This is more than just a coincidence, indicating that the exact length of the Cursus and the positioning of the pits are of significance.”
For now, the team continues their research and fully expects to find new discoveries that will further our knowledge of Stonehenge and the activities that may or may not have taken place there.