ARCHAEOLOGISTS from the University of Bradford have helped carry out a ground-breaking survey of Britain's most famous monument, which could forever change how people view the site.

They were part of a team that has used hi-tech mapping techniques to look at the area around Stonehenge.

The project has revealed that rather than an isolated monument in an empty field, there were other ritual monuments and burial sites around the ancient site as well as a nearby "super henge" monument, which has a 1.5 kilometre circumference.

The results from the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project are unveiled today at the British Science Festival in Birmingham and will show how the team used remote sensing techniques and geophysical surveys to map the landscape.

Hundreds of burial mounds and settlements from the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman period have also been surveyed at a level of detail never previously seen.

Head of Archaeological Sciences at the university, Dr Chris Gaffney, said the findings would change how people viewed the site.

He has studied the monument for around 20 years and said: "The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes project is the pinnacle of a recent trend to apply new and rapid technologies to collect accurate non-invasive data for mapping our buried heritage.

"In many respects, the Stonehenge project goes far beyond any other project - both in the complexity of the data sets generated but also in the immense impact it will have on our understanding of Britain’s greatest and best-known archaeological site.

"Every archaeologist wants to work in or around Stonehenge. It is something everyone wants on their CVs. It is an extremely busy site for English Heritage, so it is great to be able to add to its story.

"It is very important for the university to be part of this project which is extremely visible. It highlights the research we do and helps attract more students.

"Stonehenge has always been a ritual landscape, and we have found there were a lot of previously unknown monuments scattered across the landscape. There were chapels that people visiting Stonehenge would visit on the way.

"This research will give a better understanding of the world heritage site. It has been a privilege to go on the site and research like this."

British project leader Professor Vincent Gaffney, Chair man in Landscape Archaeology and Geomatics at the University of Birmingham and Dr Chris Gaffney's brother, said: "All of this information has been placed within a single digital map, which will guide how Stonehenge and its landscape are studied in the future. Stonehenge may never be the same again."

The results of the project will be featured in a BBC 2 series, Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath, to be broadcast on Thursday.