Stonehenge has always been a mysterious place. For years, people have been pondering its meaning and whether or not humans had a hand in building the massive circular monument of up-right stones. Just recently, the plot thickened at Stonehenge.

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A new study which, prior to, had never been done before suggests that there are 15 previously undiscovered monuments hidden underneath the ancient stone monument of Stonehenge.

Lead researcher Prof. Vincee Gaffney explained “This is among the most important landscapes, and probably the most studied landscape in the world,” he says. “And the area has been absolutely transformed by this survey. [It] won’t be the same again.”

Researchers Used Radar & Laser Scanning Technology

To conduct the study, researchers used a number of technologies to find out what lies beneath Stonehenge. They used a non invasive ground penetrating radar as well as 3D laser scanning to get highly detailed maps of the subsurface area of Stonehenge. According to the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, these technologies are notable for being much less destructive than traditional, digging-based exploratory techniques. Something that proved to be very important in keeping this discovery as intact as possible.

The Findings

Thus far the team has found gaps in the almost two-mile-long Stonehenge Cursus (a series of banks and ditches). While the use and meaning of these cursus are debated, many scientists believe that they were processional routes given that many of them align with astronomical events. In the case of the Stonehenge cursus, they align with the Spring and Fall equinoxes.

The newly discovered trough and the other subsurface monuments have “absolutely transformed” how archeologists will view the Stonehenge area, Gaffney said. Yet “until you dig holes,” he acknowledged, “you just don’t know what you’ve got.”

Previously, science proposed that the area of very private and only visited during special occasion. These new findings suggest that this theory now has to be updated as it appears much more has gone on at Stonehenge. “The perceived wisdom was driven by the monuments we knew about,” Gaffney told Smithsonian. “We’ve put in the data between the monuments.”

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The full map of the findings are set to be released Sept 9th 2014 at the British Science Festival. Hopefully we continue to learn more about these structures in the coming years as well.

A full map of the project’s findings is to be presented September 9 at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, England. (David Preiss)

A full map of the project’s findings is to be presented September 9 at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, England. (David Preiss)

The Hidden Landscape Project

This project has been a collaboration going on for the last 4 years. Stonehenge is one of the most studied landscapes in the world and some believe it is also the most important. This new discovery shows there is a lot more going on with Stonehenge than was previously thought. Mysteries that could become clear in the coming years as we discover more about what these monuments mean.

If you are not new to alternative streams of information and theories, you may have heard various theories about the meaning and use of Stonehenge, anything from UFO landing places to special healing energies that exist around the monument. Nothing has been proven correct or ruled out at this point, making Stonehenge an even greater mystery when you think of the potential implications a full discovery could have. Then again, would we ever truly find out the truth if the implications were extra terrestrial? I like to believe the world is ready for that.

What’s Your Theory?

What does Stonehenge mean to you? Have you been there and felt any interesting energy? Feel free to share your thoughts on what the true meaning of Stonehenge is and what experiences you may have had there.

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