Apparently scientists figured out where Stonehenge came from
The World Heritage site Stonehenge is known for its alignment with the movements of the sun. For centuries, who built the structure and just how they got the massive stones to the site remained a total mystery. Well, archeologists think they have solved the case!
According to new research published in the journal Science Advances, the stones came from a location approximately fifteen and a half miles from their current location! Scientists claim that the likely origin of the stones came from West Woods, which is a wooded area close to the town of Marlborough.
Scientists used portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometry to analyze the stones. This technique, in conjunction with samples from a core previously drilled by scientists revealed the likely location where the stones were moved from. Experts suspected for a long time that the stones may have originated from the Marlborough Downs region, north of the monument’s location, but it was impossible to confirm this until now.
How was the discovery of this information made possible now? After all, scientists have had access to the technology for quite some time. Well, a piece of the monument was effectively stolen some time ago. A core from one of the sarsen stones was removed in 1958. One of the employees working on the excavation at the time kept the piece. On his 90th birthday last year, he returned the missing piece!
This allowed experts to start piecing the puzzle together. Scientists carried out testing on the sarsen stones, as well as the returned core, which yielded results that concluded they all came from the same area. Scientists then analyzed sarsen rocks all throughout England as a comparison to reveal the origin was just under their noses all along!
However, there are two stones within the monument that clearly come from a different location. Archeologists believe that this indicates that the monument was built by more than one community of people and these different communities sourced their stones from different locations.
The sarsen stones that make up the Stonehenge monument are enormous. They weigh up to thirty tonnes each and stand as tall as twenty-three feet. Now that the location of the stones has been uncovered, archeologists are now working on figuring out the route of transportation that was used to get the stones to their current site.
The first part of the monument was constructed about five thousand years ago. The stone circle that exists now was built around 2500BC during the late Neolithic period.