London, September 1 : Archeologists have uncovered the remains of what they believe to be a 20 ft fence designed to screen Stonehenge from the view of 'lower classes' in Stone Age Britain.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the wooden construction extended nearly two miles across Salisbury Plain more than 5,000 years ago, and would have served to shield the sacred site from the prying eyes of ordinary lower-class locals.
Trenches have been dug around the monument, tracing the course of the fence that meanders around the stone circle.
The construction must have taken a lot of manpower, according to the dig's co-director Dr Josh Pollard, of Bristol University in the UK.
"The palisade is an open structure which would not have been defensive and was too high to be practical for controlling livestock," said Pollard. "It certainly wasn't for hunting herded animals and so, like everything else in this ceremonial landscape, we have to believe it must have had a religious significance," he added.
"The most plausible explanation is that it was built at huge cost to the community to screen the environs of Stonehenge from view. Basically, we think it was to keep the lower classes from seeing what exactly their rulers and the priestly class were doing," said Pollard.
According to Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology Magazine, this is a fantastic insight into what the landscape would have looked like.
"This huge wooden palisade would have snaked across the landscape, blotting out views to Stonehenge from one side. The other side was the ceremonial route to the Henge from the River Avon and would have been shielded by the contours," he said. "The palisade would have heightened the mystery of whatever ceremonies were performed and it would have endowed those who were privy to those secrets with more power and prestige. In modern terms, you had to be invited or have a ticket to get in," he added.