A Bronze age timber structure dubbed Seahenge will go on display at the British Museum 20 years after it was uncovered by a low tide on the Norfolk coastline.
A major exhibition on Stonehenge featuring 430 objects and artefacts is due to open at the museum from February 17.
The World Of Stonehenge will include elaborate gold hats depicting the cosmos and Seahenge, an ancient wooden monument.
The exhibition will run until July 17, 2022, and will tell the story of Stonehenge, the mysterious stone circle in Wiltshire.
A key part of the collection is a 4,000-year-old Bronze Age timber structure, nicknamed the Stonehenge of the Sea after it re-emerged on a Norfolk beach in 1998.
It consists of a large upturned tree stump surrounded by 54 wooden posts.
The World Of Stonehenge will include elaborate gold hats depicting the cosmos and Seahenge (pictured), an ancient wooden monument. It consists of a large upturned tree stump surrounded by 54 wooden posts
A decorated sun-disc from a woman’s belt dated around 1400BC, left, and a Nebra Sky Disc found in Germany that was dated around 1600BC, right, are included in the exhibition
The oak posts, some up to nine ft tall, form a 21ft-diameter circle around the upturned oak, creating a giant tree-like spectacle.
A narrow entrance-way was built aligning to the rising midsummer sun and it is speculated the monument was used for ritual purposes.
Dr Jennifer Wexler, project curator of the World Of Stonehenge at the British Museum, said: ‘If Stonehenge is one of the world’s most remarkable surviving ancient stone circles, then Seahenge is the equivalent in timber.
‘But as it was only rediscovered in 1998, it is still relatively unknown.
‘We know about some aspects of the monument, including that it was constructed in the spring and summer of 2049 BC, from mighty oaks.
Bone-bead necklace, part of the finds from Skara Brae in Scotland, c. 3100-2500 BC
The Schifferstadt gold hat, c. 1600 BC, which was found with three bronze axes in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (left) and a gold flange twisted spiral torc that was dated between 1400BC-1100BC and found in Dover will be on display
Seahenge timber posts on display in the Lynn Museum. They are on long term loan to Norfolk Museums Service from the Le Strange Estate
A major exhibition on Stonehenge (pictured) featuring 430 objects and artefacts is due to open at the museum from February 17. Stonehenge was built 4,500 years ago around the same time as the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt
A dagger from the Bush Barrow grave goods (with replica handle) was dated between 1950-1600 BC after it was found in Amesbury, Wiltshire
The Mold Gold Cape, dated 1900-1600 BC and found in Mold, Flintshire, Wales, in 1833. It is a solid sheet-gold object dating from the European Bronze Age. It is thought to have formed part of a ceremonial dress, perhaps with religious connections
The gold lozenge of the Bush Barrow grave goods dated between 1950-1600 BC and found in Amesbury, Wiltshire
Lunula, dated between 2400-2000 BC and found in Blessington, County Wicklow, Republic of Ireland
Bronze twin horse-snake hybrid from hoard is dated 1200-1000 BC and was found in Kallerup, Thy, Jutland, Denmark
‘But there’s much that still eludes us, including exactly what it was used for.
‘Perhaps the central upturned trunk was used in funerary rituals to support a dead body. Perhaps entering the circular shrine brought worshippers closer to the otherworld.
‘By displaying Seahenge in this exhibition we hope to bring it to a wider audience, and it provides an unparalleled opportunity to time-travel back to the moment when circles of stone and timber were at the heart of people’s beliefs.’
Seahenge comes to the British Museum from the Norfolk Museums Service and is the first time it has ever gone on loan.
Stonehenge was built 4,500 years ago around the same time as the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
According to the British Museum, nearly two-thirds of the objects going on display in the exhibition will be loans, with artefacts coming from 35 lenders across the UK, the Republic of Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland.
The majority of the items have never been seen in the UK before.
Tickets for the exhibition are now on sale.