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Archaeologists Locate Stonehenge's Rock Source

Archaeologists Locate Stonehenge’s Rock Source

New Discovery Made At Mysterious Stonehenge

Over the years, archaeologists have searched for more understanding of what Stonehenge is, how it was built, who built it, and what it might represent. It’s estimated the enormous rocks, carefully placed into a curious formation, took around 1,500 years to build and have withstood nearly 4000 years of time. There are multiple theories surrounding how it all came to be… Some rational, some not so much. But just recently a big discovery was made during a new study and published in the Journal of Archaeological Science that could help put another piece of the puzzle into its proper place. Archaeologists believe they have pinpointed the exact source of another type of the rocks used to build Stonehenge opening up a whole new series of questions. But as with everything, science always holds the rational answers.

This find show that the rocks, called bluestones, came from a site in the Preseli Hills, a mountain range in the United Kingdom near Wales, nearly 2 miles from where they originally thought they had come from. By confirming the source of the rocks, the researchers now hope to find answers to the long standing question of how around 80 of these bluestones, weighing up to 6000 pounds a piece, were transported over 150 miles from southwest Wales to where Stonehenge sits at Wiltshire. “The Holy Grail question is how were the stones moved and why,” explained Dr Richard Bevins of the National Museum of Wales who led the research team.

 

Theories Regarding The Stones Of Stonehenge

Besides hocus pocus and little green men, there are two plausible theories being regarded as to how the huge rocks were moved to where they are now. “We’re trying to discover the source of the stones so archaeologists can excavate sites in order to see if they can find evidence for people working the source stones,” Dr. Bevins continued. “Many people think humans somehow transported the stones south, down from the Preseli Hills and then up the Bristol Channel on rafts. But a second school of thought says these rocks are glacial erratics that were transported by ice to the Salisbury Plain and so were available in the local environment.”

In 1923 geologist H. H. Thomas from NERC’s British Geological Survey recognized the distinctive dark grey spotty rocks, known as spotted dolerites, during fieldwork in Carn Meini giving scientists an idea where the bluestones originated from. Recent studies then tried to nail down the specific locations of the rocks origin by matching the chemistry of the Stonehenge bluestones with those at the proposed origin site. New analysis of the rocks’ chemical makeup has now pointed at Carn Goedog as the true home of at least 55% of those rocks used at Stonehenge, reports Planet Earth. This realization is described as “astonishing” because the location of the stones has not been questioned since the original publication by Thomas. According to the BBC, in 2011 Dr. Bevins team found the source of another type of Stonehenge’s bluestones called rhyolites a few miles away from Carn Goedog at Craig Rhos y Felin. The locations are only a couple miles apart, but it throws a wrench into one of the existing theories.

If these are in fact the true origins of the stones Bevins says “it does bring into question the stones being transported by rafts down to the Bristol Channel, because both of these outcrops lie on the northern side of the Preseli Hills,” meaning they would have to be dragged across the hills’ summits to then access the water. Keep in mind this was 4000 years ago, and these bad boys couldn’t just be loaded onto a truck. The other theory, that an ice age glacier moved the rocks seems logical, but Dr. Bevin is not ready to commit to that just yet. “We’ve located two of the sources, and there’s another five or possibly six to go. By the time we have identified those then I’m certain we’ll have an answer.”

 

The History Of Stonehenge

If you want to learn more about the history of Stonehenge the History Channel is your source for this. Check out this page loaded with information as well as a couple entertaining videos.

 

 

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