Stonehenge "Hedge" Found, Shielded Secret Rituals?

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Stonehenge may have been surrounded by a "Stonehedge" that blocked onlookers from seeing secret rituals, according to a new study.

Evidence for two encircling hedges—possibly thorn bushes—planted some 3,600 years ago was uncovered during a survey of the site by English Heritage, the government agency responsible for maintaining the monument in southern England.

The idea that Stonehedge was a shield against prying eyes isn’t yet firmly rooted, but it's archaeologists' leading theory. For instance the newfound banks are too low and unsubstantial to have had a defensive role.

The shallow earthworks—each runs inside a ring of known Bronze Age pits—are just visible to an expert eye, "but you need to get down on your hands and knees" to see them, Field added.

The archaeologists didn't find any physical evidence of vegetation, but the shallow features resemble former hedge banks that are seen around formerly hedged fields.

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