Stonehenge has long been a mystery to us. The stones are too big for us to understand how they were moved to their location. They are clearly from a location far away (no, not outer space far ) from the site. We still don’t know if it was built as a burial site, a ceremonial site, a place for religious pilgrimages, or a memorial (or something entirely different).
(In case you’re in the dark entirely about Stonehenge, here’s a good primer.)
Humans began building it 5000 years ago and added the rest of the stones 2500 years ago. We know there are burial mounds surrounding the site (some of which seem to date back 8500 years). But, now, we have another mystery to add – thousands of pits dug nearby.
Oh, and the oldest of these appear to be around 10,000 years old. Others were constructed long after Stonehenge was completed.
Some seem pretty straightforward – they were used to trap animals that would fall into the pit and provide food for hunters and their families. But others don’t seem to have been dug for the same reason.
Using an algorithm, archaeologists have identified 415 locations likely to hold large pits (over 7.9 feet) and over 3000 smaller pits. They’ve excavated 9 of the large pits and found hunting tools and the like in a few while others seem to be dug in a way that would relate to some kind of ceremonial purpose.
All we can say is the mystery continues! – WTF fun fact