Durrington Walls

Durrington Walls, large henge overlooking the River Avon near Stonehenge and Amesbury, Wiltshire, S England. Although damaged and diminished by farming, erosion, and road construction, the henge would have formed a rough circle about 1,600 ft (500 m) in diameter. The inner ditch was about 60 ft (18 m) across and reached a depth of 20 ft (6 m), where it was about 23 ft (7 m) across. The outer bank, formed from quarried chalk, was about 98 ft (30 m) wide and 10 ft (3 m) high. There were breaks in ditch and bank in the northwest (later closed) and southeast; a roadway linked the southeast opening with the nearby Avon. There are also possible former entrances on the north and south sides, and a number of timber circles and enclosures have been identified within the henge. Durrington Walls was probably built some 4,500 years ago. Archaelogical excavations and remote sensing since the late 1960s have revealed that it was constructed on the site of a settlement. It was preceded by the construction of a palisaded enclosure formed by as many as 300 enormous wood posts spaced about 16 ft (5 m) apart; the posts were removed, the postholes filled, and the circle they formed was covered by the henge. A series of recently identified pits some 30 ft (10 m) wide and 16 ft (5 m) deep form a ring about 1.2 mi (2 km) across around Durrington Walls and the smaller neighboring Woodhenge.

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