Highest stone circle in southern England found on Dartmoor

“Highest stone circle in southern England found on Dartmoor”

Via “The Guardian

The newly discovered stone circle is the second largest on the moor.

The highest stone circle in southern England has been found on a weather-battered slice of moorland in Devon.

Situated 525 metres (1,722ft) above sea level, the ancient site is the first stone circle to be found on Dartmoor for more than a century.

The circle is the second largest on the moor and archaeologists believe it was probably part of a “sacred arc” of circles around the north-eastern edge.

Its discovery adds weight to the theory that there was some kind of planning and liaison between the communities living on Dartmoor in the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age 4,000 to 5,000 years ago.

Many stone circles were prodded and probed in Victorian times and before, so the opportunity to apply modern scientific methods to a previously unexamined one is particularly exciting.

Archaelogists say the stone circle provides an exciting opportunity to apply modern scientific methods to a previously unexamined circle.
Archaelogists say the stone circle provides an exciting opportunity to apply modern scientific methods to a previously unexamined circle. Photograph: Dartmoor National Park

Jane Marchand, senior archaeologist at Dartmoor national park, said: “The discovery is providing an opportunity for investigation using the very latest archaeological scientific methods to provide long-awaited insights into the chronology, construction and the purpose of these most elusive and iconic of Dartmoor’s prehistoric monuments.”

With a diameter of 34 metres (112ft), the circle consists of 30 recumbent stones, plus one more lying in a gap just outside the circle and now incorporated into an unfinished enclosure wall.

The stones probably came from the nearby Sittaford Tor itself and are of a fairly uniform size, suggesting they were carefully chosen. Packing stones visible around the bases of some of these indicate that they were originally upright. . . . .

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