The same environmental conditions have unveiled dozens of concealed architectural apparitions in recent weeks, but when eyes were laid on this prehistoric, epic circle invisibly cradled within the Boyne Valley, the sacred truly met the profane. …
“When we saw this, we knew straight away, this had never been seen or recorded before.”
Prompted by the recent archaeological discoveries borne out of the British heatwave, Murphy â€“ who runs the website Mythical Ireland â€“ decided to fly his drone southwards of the prehistoric monument Newgrange, never actually dreaming he’d encounter an unknown site of the same ilk. Until he did.
Co-discoverer and fellow drone photographer Ken Williams at first couldn’t believe the pictures the drones were relaying, assuming the traced outline of buried prehistoric mounds was a strange artefact of drone interference, or perhaps crop circles stamped by pranksters.
“What we were looking at seemed too good to be true,” he wrote on his blog.
“We moved in closer to look at it in detail, [and] we could see for certain that this was the colouration of standing crops that had not been interfered with. What we were looking at was beneath, within the soil, not in the crops themselves.”
The circular pattern is approximately 150 metres (492 ft) in diameter, with an interior space stretching up to 120 metres (393 ft) in diameter.
Archaeologists estimate the structure and surrounding features of interest to be somewhere around 5,000 years old, with the henge circle capable of holding a few thousand people during ancient ritual events â€“ although the exact purpose of such get togethers is still debated.
However, since the site is on private property, it’s unclear whether any future excavations will be conducted to allow archaeologists to investigate the structure in detail.
Nonetheless, these kinds of structures are so rare and so valuable to archaeologists and historians that even finding where such a mound lies is a significant scientific event.
“In all honesty, it’s going to take some time to process this,” Murphy explains on his blog.
“Archaeologists are calling it a once-in-a-lifetime find. The last time drought conditions like this might have allowed such features to be visible was in 1976.”
Already, preliminary aerial surveys carried out in the wake of the discovery have detected additional sites of interest near the henge, which will now be mapped.
18 Jul 2018