When it comes to the ancient and precious gem that is the Stonehenge Landscape it seems the harder we look the more we find. From the sixteenth century onwards this special place has been a source of fascination and inspiration to antiquarians and archaeologists. John Aubrey, Inigo Jones, William Cunnington and William Stukeley all played their part in unlocking its secrets.
In the last decade the latest generation of voyagers into our prehistoric past have transformed our knowledge of the people who built and used its sites and monuments. Yet despite this the discoveries made by the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes team (a collaborative project between the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute) have charted a clutch of new and previously unsuspected sites that reveal how much of the Stonehenge Landscape remains to be explored. By applying cutting edge geophysical techniques that their predecessors could never have dreamed of they have shown that the landscape we thought we had begun to understand still contains hidden mysteries.
Working closely with the National Trust and English Heritage over several years without lifting a single sod of turf the team have revealed not only completely unexpected monuments but episodes of activity at some sites that mean we will need to rewrite their histories. Unpicking the story that underlies the results of this survey will keep archaeologists busy for decades to come. The Hidden Landscapes project has reminded us once again that the Stonehenge Landscape is among the most precious places on the planet.