A major archaeological effort beginning this summer will explore Marden Henge, a Neolithic monument that rivaled Avebury and Stonehenge but is less well known.
Excavation within the Henge will focus on the surface of what is thought to be one of the oldest houses in Britain, a Neolithic building revealed during earlier excavations. The people who used this building will have seen Stonehenge in full swing, perhaps even helped to haul the huge stones upright.
Dr Jim Leary, from the University of Reading’s Department of Archaeology and Director of the Archaeology Field School, said: “This excavation is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of Stonehenge and its surrounds. The Vale of Pewsey is a relatively untouched archaeological treasure-chest under the shadow of one of the wonders of the world.
But, perhaps unike those two, it had a sauna. Maybe.
Archaeologist Jim Leary told his audience at Devizes town hall on Saturday that the chalk foundations contained a sunken hearth that would have given out intense heat. “It brings to mind the sweat lodges found in North America,” he said. “It could have been used as part of a purification ceremony.”
Dude. You are in Europe and you have to reach for a North American image? Hello, what does “indigenous” mean to you? Sauna? Banya?
Here is a rather breathless article from the Sunday Express (UK), which makes it sound as though the Henge is a new discovery (it is not), but does have a photo.