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Thursday, 4 January 2018

Mysterious 4,000-year-old 'woodhenge' found in Yorkshire may have been used as an ancient sauna

  • The 'exceptionally rare' monument would have been seen for miles, experts say
  • Monument was made from wooden posts and may have looked like Stonehenge
  • Site at Little Catwick Quarry near Hornsea could have been for ritual cremations

A 4000-year-old 'woodhenge' that has laid hidden for centuries under farmland has been spotted in aerial surveys.
Thousands of years ago the 'exceptionally rare' monument would have been seen for miles around and may have been a site for ritual cremation or even as a sauna - similar to a Native American sweat lodge.
Constructed in the late Neolithic to Bronze Age, the monument was made from wooden posts and might have looked like the infamous Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

An 4000-year-old 'Woodhenge' (pictured) that has laid hidden for centuries under farmland has been spotted in aerial surveys

An 4000-year-old 'Woodhenge' (pictured) that has laid hidden for centuries under farmland has been spotted in aerial surveys

Archaeologists have been working at the site for three months and believe it could be East Yorkshire's first qoodhenge.
The site at Little Catwick Quarry near Hornsea could have been home to ritual cremations, writes Yorkshire Post.
Experts believe there would have been two entrances - one facing north west and the other south east.
In the middle of the henge a pit was discovered containing burnt stones.
Researchers have already hand-sieved 95 tonnes of earth from the surrounding ditches.
'We found a lot of burnt stones, but they weren't burned in situ and therefore we think you could have ritual cremation there', said lead archaeologist John Tibbles.
'It is possible that bodies were brought there to be cremated and then the remains buried elsewhere', he said. 

A cemetery one mile away at Sandsfield featured a similar ditch with dozens of urns dating to the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. 
This could support the theory the wooden henge was a site for cremation and a meeting place where groups would come together.



WOODHENGE

Constructed in the late Neolithic to Bronze Age, the monument was made from wooden posts and might have looked like the infamous Stonehenge in Wiltshire.
Experts believe there would have been two entrances - one facing north west and the other south east.
In the middle of the henge a pit was discovered containing burnt stones.
Researchers have already hand-sieved 95 tonnes of earth from the surrounding ditches.
It's even possible that at some point the monument was used as a sauna.
People may have heated up stones in a fire outside and then carried them into the building and poured water on the stones.

Thousands of years ago the 'exceptionally rare' monument would have been seen for miles around and may have been a site for ritual cremation or even as a sauna
Thousands of years ago the 'exceptionally rare' monument would have been seen for miles around and may have been a site for ritual cremation or even as a sauna
Experts believe there would have been two entrances - one facing north west and the other south east. In the middle of the henge a pit was discovered containing burnt stones. Pictured (left) is lead archaeologist John Tibbles 
Experts believe there would have been two entrances - one facing north west and the other south east. In the middle of the henge a pit was discovered containing burnt stones. Pictured (left) is lead archaeologist John Tibbles 
Researchers have already hand-sieved 95 tonnes of earth from the surrounding ditches. Mr Tibbles said researchers had found a lot of burnt stones on the site 
Researchers have already hand-sieved 95 tonnes of earth from the surrounding ditches. Mr Tibbles said researchers had found a lot of burnt stones on the site 
 Archaeologists working at Little Catwick Quarry (pictured) have been working at the site for three months and believe it could be East Yorkshire's first Woodhenge
 Archaeologists working at Little Catwick Quarry (pictured) have been working at the site for three months and believe it could be East Yorkshire's first Woodhenge
It's even possible that at some point the monument was used as a sauna.
People may have heated up stones in a fire outside and then carried them into the building and poured water on the stones.
'I'd like to totally dismiss it - but they have had them in Finland for 2,000 years and there is Marden Henge', said Mr Tibbles. 

It's even possible that at some point the monument was used as a sauna. People may have heated up stones in a fire outside and then carried them into the building and poured water on the stones
It's even possible that at some point the monument was used as a sauna. People may have heated up stones in a fire outside and then carried them into the building and poured water on the stones
A cemetery one mile away at Sandsfield featured a similar ditch with dozens of urns dating to the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. This could support the theory the wooden henge (pictured) was a site for cremation and a meeting place where groups would come together
A cemetery one mile away at Sandsfield featured a similar ditch with dozens of urns dating to the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. This could support the theory the wooden henge (pictured) was a site for cremation and a meeting place where groups would come together
Constructed in the late Neolithic to Bronze Age, the monument was made from wooden posts and might have looked like the infamous Stonehenge in Wiltshire (pictured)
Constructed in the late Neolithic to Bronze Age, the monument was made from wooden posts and might have looked like the infamous Stonehenge in Wiltshire (pictured)
Archaeologists have already found a mammoth tusk and 4,000 to 5,000-year-old Cumbrian greenstone axe at the site. 
It is 'absolutely heaving' with prehistoric and late Roman finds, according to Mr Tibbles. 
There could also be links to Sandsfield, a mile away, where there was a cemetery with a ring ditch and 37 urns. The site dates to the late Neolithic early Bronze Age. 

A piece of pottery from around 4000 years old was found at Little Catwick Quarr. It is 'absolutely heaving' with prehistoric and late Roman finds, according to Mr Tibbles
A piece of pottery from around 4000 years old was found at Little Catwick Quarr. It is 'absolutely heaving' with prehistoric and late Roman finds, according to Mr Tibbles
Pictured is one of the stones found at the site. 'We found a lot of burnt stones, but they weren't burned in situ and therefore we think you could have ritual cremation there', said lead archaeologist John Tibbles
Pictured is one of the stones found at the site. 'We found a lot of burnt stones, but they weren't burned in situ and therefore we think you could have ritual cremation there', said lead archaeologist John Tibbles
'It is possible that bodies were brought there to be cremated and then the remains buried elsewhere', said Mr Tibbles (not pictured) 
'It is possible that bodies were brought there to be cremated and then the remains buried elsewhere', said Mr Tibbles (not pictured) 

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