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Marden Henge

19 July 2010

BBC News July 19th (accessible on their website at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-10684042/ ) reports on a Neolithic building found at Marden Henge near Devizes. The excavations were also a story in the Daily Mail of June 30th (see www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1290843/ with the headlines, ‘Archaeologists begin dig on buried stone circle ten times bigger than Stonehenge’ a typical tabloid headline as nobody knows if there were any stones at Marden – or what might have happened to them if there was any. However, it may be that it is Britain’s biggest prehistoric structure, covering some 10 and half hectares (or 10 football pitches to most of us). English Heritage is carrying out a 6 week dig at a site that has been largely ploughed out of existence. It once had a massive ring and ditch , a 45 feet high mound surrounded by water (how do they know that?). The Mail journalist is also convinced that sacrificial offerings were made at the site – which has never been properly investigated before. What is intriguing is that the henge is located very near the source of the river Avon – which flows south towards Durrington Walls and Stonehenge and eventually reaches the sea at Christchurch in Dorset.

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