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The Independent Online
Julie Rees Jones, one of a research team that has been studying the origins of the White Horse monument at Uffington, Oxfordshire, leaping over the neck of the carving yesterday.

The study by English Heritage and the National Trust has revealed that the giant chalk carving is about 3,000 years old - 1,000 years older than was previously thought. The lead researchers, David Miles and Simon Palmer, spent five years at the site and arrived at their conclusion with the help of an optical dating technique developed by the Oxford University Archaeological Laboratory. Their study revealed that the constructors dug deep trenches in the shape of the horse, then filled them with chalk quarried from the hill above.

Photograph: David Sandison

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