The mystery of Stonehenge stones solved IT has at a loss for


IT has at a loss for words and captivated site visitors in equal measure for thousands of years. Now the origins of the big “sarsen” stones that create Stonehenge’s distinct profile have been’ published – with the assist of a pattern lower back from America.




Tests achieved on the core of one of the stones, which was once drilled in the course of restore work at the Neolithic website online in the 1950s, suggests the 20-ton, 23ft-high megaliths had been introduced from West Woods, close to Marlborough.

The core used to be eliminated’ by way of a Basingstoke diamond-cutting enterprise as section of measures to use metallic rods to fortify one of the upright stones in 1958 and corporation worker Robert Phillips saved it in satisfaction of location in his office.

He later took it with him when he emigrated to America and its existence remained generally unknown for six decades, until he expressed a desire for it to be back on the eve of his ninetieth birthday.

His sons introduced it over and introduced it in 2018 to English Heritage, which cares for the World Heritage site, and now it has helped remedy the query of the place the extensive stones of the world-famous monument are from’.

Research has proven the monument’s smaller bluestones come from precise spots in the Preseli Hills in Wales, however the place the historical human beings who developed Stonehenge quarried the sarsens from was once unknown.

It has lengthy been assumed they got here from Marlborough Downs, however that has in no way been fastidiously tested, in accordance to a study by way of a group of researchers posted in the journal Science Advances.

The crew used a non-destructive X-ray method to investigate the make-up of all the closing sarsen upright and lintel stones, which installed that 50 of the fifty-two final megaliths shared a steady chemistry.

This led them to conclude they have been sourced’ from a frequent area.

The core was once reduce up and sampled for its chemical composition, and in contrast with samples of sarsen boulders in 20 areas stretching from Devon to Norfolk, which includes six in the Marlborough Downs to the north of Stonehenge.


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The evaluation concludes that stone fifty eight – which the core used to be taken from – and consequently the majority of the sarsens have been mainly probably from West Woods, about 15 miles north of the stone circle on the part of the downs.

The specialists stated archaeological investigations and in addition particular sampling of sarsens from West Woods and the surrounding areas are wanted to extra intently pinpoint the stone’s supply and pick out the prehistoric quarries.

English Heritage senior residences historian Susan Greaney and one of the authors of the paper stated it was once a “real thrill” to song down the region the builders of Stonehenge sourced their substances in 2500 BC.

“Now we can begin to apprehend the route they would possibly have travelled and add every other piece to the puzzle.

“While we had our suspicions that Stonehenge’s sarsens got here from the Marlborough Downs, we didn’t be aware of for sure, and with areas of sarsens throughout Wiltshire, the stones ought to have come from anywhere.

“We can now say, when sourcing the sarsens, the over-riding goal used to be measurement – they desired the biggest, most extensive stones they ought to locate and it made feel to get them from as close by as possible,” she said.

Professor David Nash, from the University of Brighton, who led the research, said: “It has been actually thrilling to harness 21st-century science to apprehend the Neolithic past, and in the end reply a query archaeologists have been debating for centuries.”

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