4,500-year-old 'Timber Stonehenge' unearthed in Portugal
August 25, 2020 | 11:17 am CDT
Photo By ERA Arqueologia
PORTUGAL - Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a 66-foot wide circle of wooden posts in Portugal - dating back to between 2800 and 2600 BC.
Predating the famous Stonehenge structure in England by a few hundred years, the monument is the first like it found in Portugal. The foundation is all that remains, riddled with holes where wooden posts were punctured long ago. As with Stonehenge, the structure lines up with the rising sun on the summer solstice.
Photo by ERA Arqueologia
“We interpret it as a ceremonial place and prefer to refer to it as timber circles” rather than the catchier but less accurate “Woodhenge,” excavation leader Antonio Valera told Live Science’s Owen Jarus.
ERA, the team in charge of the project, believes the site was used for cultural and ceremonial events from the end of the Middle Neolithic period, which lasted from 3400 BC to the inception of the Bronze Age around 2000 BC.
The structure's discovery in Portugal - and its strong resemblance to other European monuments from this time period - means populations must have had more contact with each other than previously realized, according to ERA.
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