"Crop Circles" Reveal an Ancient Burial Site a Thousand Years Older Than Stonehenge

Dylan Thuras is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. Dylan is a travel blogger and the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura: A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica, with Joshua Foer.


Riffing off David's recent post about stoned wallabies making crop circles, here is yet another set of "crop circles," made this time not by marsupials but by the gravesites of prehistoric man. From National Geographic

A thousand years older than nearby Stonehenge, the site includes the remains of wooden temples and two massive, 6,000-year-old tombs that are among "Britain's first architecture," according to archaeologist Helen Wickstead, leader of the Damerham Archaeology Project.

Discovered during a routine aerial survey by English Heritage, the U.K. government's historic-preservation agency, the "crop circles" are the results of buried archaeological structures interfering with plant growth.

Link to the National Geographic article


  1. But you know the stoned wallabies pass by these sites, giggle, and say, “Dude, check it out! Crop circles.” Then they high -five each other, and chew another flower bud. Then they get pulled over by the bobbies, and Wally eats the whole poppy stash before they are taken in. He later freaks out in the holding cell, his claws grinding wide circles in the cell floor. Then he passes out, and the others turn him on his side.

  2. See? there is a lot to discover if people stop screaming “I don’t know who did it so ghosts/aliens/mutants did it!”

  3. You can hardly see anything from Google. Was this an infrared picture or something? I can’t imagine you could see all those mounds with the naked eye.

  4. On Google Earth the large circle is visible. Across the road to the NW is a 1/2-mile line running across a large field. The line is broken up by markers of some sort every 80 to 100 yards. Is this some other ancient creation the farmers have been oblivious of? Anyone have any guesses?

  5. InsertFingerHere, maybe it is about when the photo was taken. in the google photo it is very green and in the article it is yellow.

    Maybe it is only visible at some conditions…

  6. #2, 3.14chan:

    See? there is a lot to discover if people stop screaming “I don’t know who did it so ghosts/aliens/mutants did it!”

    I’m not sure if you’re joking or not… but these are completely unrelated to ‘crop circles’ composed of flattened stalks. These markings are made by plants growing at a different rate due to sub-surface features.

    Using these is an established archaelogical technique which has been used for decades.

    (Aerial archaeological survey is now over 100 years old- some photos of Stonehenge taken from a balloon were exhibited a couple of years ago).

  7. The differences between the photo’s are due to weather conditions. The image above comes after a period of drought.

    The disturbed earth the comprises the archaeological features doesn’t retain water as well as undisturbed earth around it. It’s a subtle difference and it requires a long period of dryness to really stand out. In the GM photo it’s obvious they have been watering for a while.

    How it’s not a hard and fast rule, in some cases the feature makes a positive impression because the dirt is rich in organics and if it’s hard packed it will retain water better than it’s surroundings.

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