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Vast ring of deep shafts found near Stonehenge

The area around Stonehenge, packed with famous Neolithic sites, is one of the most well-studied archaeological regions in the world. Yet it still has new secrets to offer: A paper published yesterday in Internet Archaeology reports on the discovery of a vast circle of deep shafts dug more than 4500 years ago. These shafts, measuring 5 meters deep and 20 meters wide, were once thought to be sinkholes or dew ponds. But researchers using ground-penetrating radar and magnetic surveys turned up at least 20 holes, arranged in a circle more than 2 kilometers in diameter, surrounding the sacred site of Durrington Walls, The Guardian reports. Building the shafts would have been a considerable feat of persistence, and the labor needed to place them accurately suggests the people who built them had developed a system of counting, scientists say.

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