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A huge ritual monument has been uncovered under a mossy earth bank just two miles from Stonehenge, the iconic pre-historic stone circle in Wiltshire, southern England.

Archaeologists say the arrangement of almost 90 large stones was part of a C-shaped arena used for rituals, the largest surviving arena ever discovered. The arena, thought to have been built during the Neolithic era, would have directly faced the river Avon.

Scientists researching the arena found more than 30 stones completely intact, some of which are up to 4.5 meters tall, with fragments of 60 further stones and foundation pits nearby.

“What we are starting to see is the largest surviving stone monument, preserved underneath a bank, that has ever been discovered in Britain and possibly in Europe,” Bradford University archaeologist Vince Gaffney said. The stones are thought to have been put in place more than 4,500 years ago to form the edge of the arena, which linked up to a natural chalk ridge to complete the circle.

While the scientists have discovered the stones lying down, Gaffney believes they were originally placed upright, but were pushed down when the site was redeveloped into a larger structure known as the ‘superhenge’, Durrington Walls. (Russia Today)