University's Neolithic 'Stonehenge' discovery features in new TV documentary
Bradford archaeologists feature in TV documentary
University of Bradford archaeologists who discovered a 2km-diameter Neolithic structure near Stonehenge will feature in a TV documentary due to be aired on the Discovery Science Channel and Channel 5.
Stonehenge: The New Revelation premiered on Science Channel on Sunday 28 November and is due to aire on Channel 5 in the UK soon.
The documentary chronicles the astonishing discovery of the Durrington Pits, a ring of prehistoric ‘shafts’ up to 10m across and 5m deep just a few miles away from Stonehenge. The mysterious construction, 20 times bigger than Stonehenge and possibly the largest Neolithic structure in the world, has been carbon dated to 2500BC, and appears to delineate a boundary around the ‘super henge’ at Durrington Walls and the famous site at Woodhenge.
The University of Bradford worked with a number of partners on the project, including: The University of St Andrews, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Chemostrat, The University of Warwick, SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, The Ludwig Boltzmann Archpro Institute, The University of Aberystwyth and the University of Bath.
Lead archaeologist on the project Professor Vince Gaffney, from the University of Bradford, said: “The recent work confirms that the circle of shafts surrounding Durrington walls is without precedent within the UK. It further demonstrates the significance of Durrington Walls Henge, the complexity of the monumental structures within the Stonehenge landscape, and provides a new insight into how the massive monuments at Durrington and Stonehenge were interlinked, in ways, and at a scale, that we had never previously anticipated.”
The two-hour special, presented by engineer Rob Bell, will look at the motivation behind the construction of what appears to be the largest prehistoric monument of its kind in the world and why its discovery is redefining historians' initial hypotheses about Neolithic society.
It will allow viewers to follow experts as they use cutting-edge technology to uncover the previously unknown subterranean ring, and to learn why the discovery completely changes our understanding of the Stonehenge landscape and the people who built it.
Stonehenge: The New Revelation is produced by Wild Blue Media for Science Channel and distributed internationally by Fremantle. It is produced and directed by Kate Dooley and executive produced by Cameron Balbirnie and Gary Hunter.
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Carley Alderman, Carley_Alderman@discovery.com
Phil Zimmerman, Phil_Zimmerman@discovery.com