Victoria Woollaston, writing in the Mail Online yesterday, reports that –
…research by Norfolk County Council’s historic environment team has confirmed that Seahenge’s sister circle was made from trees felled in the spring or summer of 2049BC.
David Robertson, historic environment officer with Norfolk County Council, said: ‘The felling date on them is the spring or early summer of 2049 BC. Those trees were felled at exactly the same time. Having one was fantastic – and having two just adds to the story. We have to try to understand not just why they were built, but what were they used for.’
One theory is that the upturned stump was the final resting place of an important person after death, where his or her body would be allowed to break down in the open air. The second circle could have been the burial place, or mound, where the wooden posts acted as a revetment, or sloping structures, into which soil was placed on top of the body.
Tree ring dating, or dendrochronology tests, were carried out on samples from the second circle last summer. While the results confirm it was almost certainly built by the same people as Seahenge, Robertson said the second structure would not be excavated. ‘Since 1999 it’s been visible at some times and covered by the sand at other times,’ he said. ‘There are no plans to dig it up. It’s been decided with the second circle to let nature take its course. Over the years, the sea has claimed parts of the structure.’
Erosion and the loss of its timbers prompted the dating project, the results of which are expected to be published soon.
The central bole from Seahenge I. Now in the Seahenge Gallery, Lynn Museum, Norfolk
The Heritage Trust