- (Photo: Reuters / Kieran Doherty)
The mysterious path leading up to Stonehenge, one of the oldest monuments in the world, has been discovered.
Scientists say they have discovered two ditches that appear to construct part of a path that once led to the Stonehenge monument located in Wiltshire, England. The monument dates back to prehistoric times and has easily become one of the famous sites in the world.
While archeologists believe that Stonehenge was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000BC, its exact purpose has remained obscure. Some believe that the monument, which consists of large, boulder sized stones that at current stand in a partial circle, was once a complete circle. Recent, dry weather has helped to reveal marks in the earth that further suggest the full circle theory according to Live Science, though recent rain has destroyed all evidence of that discovery.
But it is the second discovery that was announced earlier this month that has caught the attention of many. Researchers have unveiled old ditches that likely once composed an old path to Stonehenge. The ditches were discovered after a modern road in the area was dismantled.
"We found the bottoms, the truncated ditches, that belong to the feature known as the avenue, which is the processional leading up to Stonehenge," archaeologist Heather Sebire, a property curator for English Heritage, which manages Stonehenge, said according to Live Science.
The newly discovered avenue appears to lead directly to the Stonehenge with a .3-mile path before curving and carrying on for another 1.5 miles. While the purpose of the avenue is still unclear, it could lend to the theory that Stonehenge was once used as an early burial site or a location for a specified ritual.
"We think it was a processional way; it was where people processed up into Stonehenge," Sebire told LiveScience.