Given away by strange, crop-circle-like formations seen from the air, a huge prehistoric ceremonial complex discovered in southern England has taken archaeologists by surprise.
A thousand years older than nearby Stonehenge, the site includes the remains of wooden temples and two massive, 6,000-year-old tombs that are among "Britain's first architecture," according to archaeologist Helen Wickstead, leader of the Damerham Archaeology Project. For such a site to have lain hidden for so long is "completely amazing," said Wickstead, of Kingston University in London.
Archaeologist Joshua Pollard, who was not involved in the find, agreed. The discovery is "remarkable," he said, given the decades of intense archaeological attention to the greater Stonehenge region.
"I think everybody assumed such monument complexes were known about or had already been discovered," added Pollard, a co-leader of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, which is funded in part by the National Geographic Society.