Riddles of Stonehenge; Tim Griggs; The Australian

Australia – Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
A PALE sun creeps over the rim of the world. Stonehenge throws a gallows shadow across turf crisp with frost.

Romantic? Yes. Mysterious? Oh, yes. Also, blinking cold. Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire on a bleak midwinter’s dawn is the kind of place that induces dreams of mulled wine and hot roast pork.

Apparently our ancestors felt the same way. Four and a half millennia ago, wild parties were all the go around here.

A couple of miles away from UNESCO-listed Stonehenge is Durrington Walls, today just a hollow of farmed downland on the edge of a village. But archeologists have uncovered something startling here: a massive enclosure almost 470m across, with ditches originally 6m deep and walls of twice that thickness. A giant circle of wooden columns stood here, and from it a gravelled avenue led down towards the River Avon.

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