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6,000-Year-Old Tombs Found Next to Stonehenge

A prehistoric complex, including two 6,000-year-old tombs, has been discovered by archaeologists in Hampshire.

The Neolithic tombs, which until now had gone unnoticed under farmland despite being just 15 miles from Stonehenge, are some of the oldest monuments to have been found in Britain.

Archaeologists say they will hold valuable clues about how people lived at the time and what their environment was like.

The discovery is also close to Cranborne Chase, one of the most well researched prehistoric areas in Europe.

"It's one of the most famous prehistoric landscapes, a Mecca for prehistorians, and you would have thought the archaeological world would have gone over it with a fine-toothed comb," Dr. Helen Wickstead, the Kingston University archaeologist leading the project, said.

From examining similar sites, archaeologists know that complex burial rituals were common at the time.

Typically bodies would be left in the open air until the flesh had decayed, leaving only a skeleton. Then bones were put in special arrangements in the tombs.

"The tombs were like bone homes for important people in the community," Dr Wickstead said.

• Click here to read the rest of this story in the Times of London.

• Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Archaeology Center.