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To the astonishment of archaeologists” the largest prehistoric structure ever found in Britain has just been discovered in the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. “A series of vast shafts – each more than five metres deep and up to 20 metres across – were found to have been aligned to form a circle 1.2 miles in diameter.

It’s a lucky site as it’s not in the path of Highways England’s bulldozers, so will survive and be studied far into the future. But what about Unluckyhenge, as we dubbed any sites yet to be discovered on the route of the new access roads? They will have to be recorded very hurriedly and therefore not fully before being destroyed totally, surviving only as incomplete digital records.

Professor Mike Parker Pearson summarised the grim lesson this latest new discovery has delivered: The problem is that this is a scheme that was hatched back in the 1980s when they really had no idea about the potential of what might be there.” Professor Gaffney of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes project says “future generations are unlikely to forgive us if we damage this unique landscape”. But the Unluckyhenges won’t just be damaged. They’ll be obliterated.

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“Unluckyhenge”. If it falls anywhere within Highways England’s “total destruction corridor” it will be briefly available for study, and then never. Highways England say their investigation of the whole destruction corridor has been to “Historic England-required standards”. But they haven’t said there’s nothing there – they can’t, there will be lots.

 

 

 

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