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Britain's Stonehenge once had a long-lost twin just a stone's throw away from the prehistoric monument, archaeologists announced Thursday.

The discovery, made completely without digging, suggests that now solitary Stonehenge may have been surrounded by "satellite Stonehenges," archaeologists say.

"This finding is remarkable," said survey-team leader Vince Gaffney, an archaeologist the University of Birmingham in the U.K. "It will completely change the way we think about the landscape around Stonehenge."

Using the latest geophysical imaging technology, Gaffney's team captured digital impressions of the now buried remains of the newfound henge formation, just over half a mile (900 meters) from its world-famous neighbor.

Measuring 82 feet (25 meters) wide, the circular feature had a segmented ditch dotted with 20 or so large holes—suspected to have been postholes for a timber, rather than stone, circle, the team says. (Also see "Wooden 'Stonehenge' Emerges From Prehistoric Ohio.")

The circle's estimated date of 2,500 to 2,200 B.C. suggests "it was operating when Stonehenge was in its final and most dramatic form," Gaffney told National Geographic News (interactive Stonehenge time line).

Currently the leading view is that the immediate area around Stonehenge was a sacred, off-limits area where only a select few, such as high priests or nobility, were allowed. (See "Stonehenge 'Hedge' Found, Shielded Secret Rituals?")

"If [the newfound henge] was there at the same time, it demonstrates there was massively more activity going on in the landscape adjacent to Stonehenge," Gaffney said.

That isn't to say Stonehenge was open to anybody, he added, "but we are saying there seems to be more activity inside that boundary.

"Stonehenge," he added, "is one of the most studied monuments on Earth but this demonstrates that there is still much more to be found."

The team suggests the supposed wooden henge, like Stonehenge, performed an important ceremonial role for ancient Britons who gathered at the summer and winter solstices to mark the passing year with sacred rituals.

Also like Stonehenge, the now vanished henge is oriented toward the solstice sunrise with entrances to the northeast and southwest.

"This new monument is part of a growing body of evidence which shows how important the summer and winter solstices were to the ancient peoples who built Stonehenge," said Amanda Chadburn, as archaeologist with English Heritage, the government agency that manages the Stonehenge World Heritage site.

Source: National Geographic
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Confucius was born in 551 BC in the Chinese state of Lu. His birth name was K'ung Ch'iu but the name Confucius is actually a Latinized version of the Chinese K'ung-fu-tzu, which he took later in life, and meant Master / Teacher K'ung.

He was a descendant of the house of Shang, which ruled China between the 17th and the 12th century BC. Confucius' father died when he was 3 years old and his mother raised him in poverty. After the age of the 15 he set his mind on studying and at the age of 17 he employed himself in book-keeping and watch-care of animals, agricultural production and state parks.

He got married when he was 20 and had two daughters and one son. His mother died by the time he was 23 and then Confucius retreated from public activities for a three-year period to mourn.

At about the age of 30 he began teaching, while always acquiring further knowledge through studying, and by the age of 35, he had a significant number of students. After the age of 50 Confucius became active in politics and was appointed minister of Justice in the State of Lu and later on he served as prime minister.

He governed the state in such a way that the community flourished, something that competing neighbouring states viewed with worry, fearing the rise of power of the Lu state. However, Confucius had to resign after 4 years, probably due to differences of opinion in State-management with the nobility in Lu.

He then travelled to other States for a period of approximately 13 years where he sought to shift people of authority towards more rightful and virtuous ways of management, in an effort to implement his dominant idea of spreading virtuousness. He seldom achieved his target, as most leaders were not so open to his advice and some were even hostile. Confucius put himself at risk on several occasions during his travel period.

At the age of 68 he was called back in the state of Lu, where internal problems were brewing, however he did not assume any governmental position, rather he continued teaching. Confucius died at the age of 72, which was considered a number of great significance in Chinese culture, and his disciples mourned for many years after his death. His tomb was later turned into a great cemetery that has been expanded over time and is in very good condition for almost two and a half millennia.

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The Plantagenet period was dominated by three major conflicts at home and abroad.

Edward I attempted to create a British empire dominated by England, conquering Wales and pronouncing his eldest son Prince of Wales, and then attacking Scotland. Scotland was to remain elusive and retain its independence until late in the reign of the Stuart kings.

In the reign of Edward III the Hundred Years War began, a struggle between England and France. At the end of the Plantagenet period, the reign of Richard II saw the beginning of the long period of civil feuding known as the War of the Roses. For the next century, the crown would be disputed by two conflicting family strands, the Lancastrians and the Yorkists.

The period also saw the development of new social institutions and a distinctive English culture. Parliament emerged and grew, while the judicial reforms begun in the reign of Henry II were continued and completed by Edward I.

Culture began to flourish. Three Plantagenet kings were patrons of Geoffrey Chaucer, the father of English poetry. During the early part of the period, the architectural style of the Normans gave way to the Gothic, with surviving examples including Salisbury Cathedral. Westminster Abbey was rebuilt and the majority of English cathedrals remodelled. Franciscan and Dominican orders began to be established in England, while the universities of Oxford and Cambridge had their origins in this period.

Amidst the order of learning and art, however, were disturbing new phenomena. The outbreak of Bubonic plague or the 'Black Death' served to undermine military campaigns and cause huge social turbulence, killing half the country's population.

The price rises and labour shortage which resulted led to social unrest, culminating in the Peasants' Revolt in 1381.

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