Stonehenge has lengthy bewildered researchers and onlookers. Now, a brand new research reveals that one of many greatest mysteries connected to the traditional monument has been solved — the place the enormous rocks got here from.
The research, printed within the archaeological journal Antiquity, reveals that the quarry the place the stones originated from is roughly 180 miles away, in Pembrokeshire, within the western a part of Wales.
“Each different Neolithic monument in Europe was constructed of megaliths introduced from not more than 10 miles away,” mentioned Mike Parker Pearson, archaeology professor on the College School London, in a press release.
“We’re now seeking to discover out simply what was so particular concerning the Preseli hills 5,000 years in the past, and whether or not there have been any necessary stone circles right here, constructed earlier than the bluestones had been moved to Stonehenge.”
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Pearson added: “What’s actually thrilling about these discoveries is that they take us a step nearer to unlocking Stonehenge’s best thriller — why its stones got here from so distant.”
Although the research doesn’t reply why the stones originated from so distant, researchers consider it is as a result of the bluestone outcrops had been made from pure, vertical pillars, making them simpler to maneuver.
“Bluestone pillars may very well be eased down onto this platform, which acted as a loading bay for decreasing them onto picket sledges earlier than dragging them away,” mentioned College of the Highlands and Islands professor Colin Richards within the assertion.
The brand new research concurs with different current papers, that the stones had been quarried round three,000 B.C., as researchers discovered items of charcoal which might be dated again to then.
The archaeologists now consider that the megalithic construction was initially a circle of unworked bluestone pillars put into pits, with the sandstone blocks added roughly 500 years later.
“Some individuals suppose that the bluestones had been taken southward to Milford Haven and positioned on rafts or slung between boats after which paddled up the Bristol Channel and alongside the Bristol Avon in the direction of Salisbury Plain,” mentioned Bournemouth College professor Kate Welham. “However these quarries are on the north facet of the Preseli hills so the megaliths might have merely gone overland all the best way to Salisbury Plain.”
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The origins of Stonehenge have been extensively debated. In August 2018, a research discovered that 10 of the cremated stays buried on the prehistoric monument got here from western Britain, with some from southwest Wales, versus Wiltshire, the place the monument was constructed.
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