Archeologists have just identified a Scottish "Stonehenge" that has remained undetected for nearly 5,000 years. Buzz60s Tony Spitz has the details.

Although Stonehenge is the most famous of the megaliths in Europe, it is by no means the only one: there are about 35,000 of these mysterious stone structures across the continent.

Now, a new study suggests that an ancient civilization that originated in present-day Brittany in northwestern France began building these buildings and monuments around 7,000 years ago.

Study author Bettina Schulz Paulsson from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden said that the megalithic building was probably started in France and spread from there via sea routes across Europe over the next 1,000 years.

For the exhausting ten years, Schulz Paulson has created a "megalithic evolution" with radio-carbon dating to more than 2,000 historical sites across Europe. "We were able to show that the first megaliths came from north-west France and spread along the Mediterranean and Atlantic routes in three successive major phases," she wrote in the study.

The old French may not have built Stonehenge, they have inspired the people who built it – and given the idea.

If true, the maritime skills and technologies of such societies may be far more advanced than previously thought

A woman dances during an Autumn Equinox in Stonehenge. (Photo: Matt Cardy, Getty Images)

Famous Stonehenge is one of the youngest built megaliths, probably around 2.500 BC.

Other theories suggest that they originated either in the Middle East or possibly independently, but this new research seems to rule out these ideas.

"This shows absolutely that Brittany is the origin of the European megalith phenomenon". Michael Parker Pearson, archaeologist and Stonehenge specialist at University College London, told The Science Magazine .

The findings were released on Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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