Mysterious giant holes from the Stone Age amaze archaeologists

Mysterious giant holes from the Stone Age amaze archaeologists

‘There are very few Mesolithic sites in Britain as large as this one,’ say the Mola archaeologists. Watchman.

They add: “Discoveries from this period are often limited to flint tools and sometimes animal bones.”

Work has been done to dig 25 holes with a diameter of 5 meters and a depth of 1.85 meters. The question now is how and why the early hunter-gatherers went to such lengths to excavate these great pits.

From routine work to massive research

The discovery of the holes was a surprise. The first excavations took place in 2019, in connection with a building project. It was purely a chore, as no major finds had been made in the area before.

But as the excavations progressed, more and more holes appeared. In 2021 Mola takes over the job and it is decided to open a larger area.

At first, archaeologists thought the holes were used as storage in the Middle Ages – or to hunt animals, because of the animal bones found in them. But then the archaeologists noticed that the holes were dug with exact coordinates: they are located in long, straight lines, up to 500 meters long.

However, carbon-14 dating showed the animal bones to be about 8,000 years old — and the holes were suddenly much more mysterious. Archaeologists are now faced with a massive building project that relatively primitive hunter-gatherer societies could have pulled off 3,000 years before Stonehenge.

“It was great to have the whole team working on such an important Paleolithic fossil. It really shows how important Carbon 14 dating can be alongside fieldwork – otherwise we wouldn’t have realized the importance of our find,” says project leader Yvonne Wolfram Murray. .

The holes may have religious significance

Archaeologists believe that the holes had a spiritual purpose, so it will now be investigated whether they were placed in relation to the luminaries or the orbit of the sun.

Unlike other Mesolithic pits in Britain, Linmere Holes appear to have been associated with earlier watercourses.

The craters found cover a large area and the excavation continues, because there may be more to discover. Archaeologists hope to find out if all the pits were dug at the same time and gather information about the plants that grew nearby.

“This will help us understand the environment in which these people lived and hopefully answer the question: What is the purpose of using these pits?” says Wolfram Murray.

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