Archaeologists have accused street workers of damaging a 6000-year-old structure near Stonehenge, the famous prehistoric stone circle monument in the United Kingdom.
Highways England, the body responsible for building a new controversial tunnel that will re-route traffic under the Stonehenge site, has been accused of digging a hole through a platform made of flint and animal bones around 4000 B.C. The damage would have been done when the workers of Blick Mead – an archaeological site 1.5 miles from Stonehenge – dug a 10-foot hole through a platform that retained the imprints of orcs, wild animals extinct for hundreds of years.
The incident has irritated the archaeological team that is working with Highways England to preserve the prehistoric site. David Jacques, the principal archaeologist, told the BBC that the engineers did not consult him before starting work. He described the damage as "a parody".
"We have been paying close attention to digging this platform and the hoofprints of the auroch," he said. "We believe that hunters considered this area a sacred place even before Stonehenge."
The masons had tried to ascertain whether the proposed tunnel would have caused the fall of the Blick Mead groundwater, with damage to the remains stored in the ground.
"We are not aware of any damage caused to the archaeological strata," a Highways England spokesman said in a statement. "We have informed Professor David Jacques about the positions of our groundwater monitoring and we have adhered to the guidelines for carrying out the work".
Stonehenge is one of the most famous monuments in the United Kingdom and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1