Stonehenge

Scientists find origin of Stonehenge stones

(Read the article on one page)

A team of geologists in Wales have conducted a study which has identified the source of the stones used to build Stonehenge and their results conflict with the location that has been believed to be the origin for nearly a century.

The study concerns the origin of the Stonehenge ‘bluestones’, a term used in a loose sense to cover all of the ‘foreign’ stones which are not native to Salisbury Plain where Stonehenge stands. The name actually refers to the spotted dolerite, an igneous rock that looks blue when broken and is spotted with small pellets of feldspar and other minerals that got into the molten matrix when the rocks were forming geological ages ago. Nearly a century ago, in 1923, the eminent petrographer, Herbert Thomas, was able to identify their source as the Preseli hills of southwest Wales, approximately 150 miles from Stonehenge.

It was initially believed that the stones came from a hill called Carn Meini. However, research techniques have advanced since then and now, through a comparison of x-rays taken on the dolerites from Stonehenge and the dolerites at a hill called Carn Geodog, approximately 1 mile from the previously believed location, the geologists have now confirmed that Carn Geodog is the source.

“This is an incredibly exciting project and we didn’t want to announce our findings before they had been properly evaluated in advance of publication. We got confirmation last week that they have been verified,” said Dr Richard Bevins, Keeper of Natural Sciences at the National Museum of Wales.

Much archaeological debate has been expended on how the bluestones arrived at Stonehenge – whether by human effort, floating the stones (each weighing several tonnes apiece) across water and dragging them across land, or whether they were deposited on Salisbury Plain naturally by glacial action. Although a small number of archaeologists still belief in the latter theory, most now believe the bluestones were brought by human transportation because glacial movement in the region does not support the transport of glacial erratics in the required manner.  Now that the origin of the stones has been located, scientists may be able to unravel the mystery surrounding how they were transported.

However, another mystery also remains - why did our ancient ancestors specifically wish to use bluestones for the construction of their stone circle instead of using stones that were already native to the region? For now, this question remains unsolved.

The geologists’ research will be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in about six months.

By April Holloway

Source: Epoch Times

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

Myths & Legends

Sak K'uk'/Lady Cormorant – Public Domain, Palenque, Mexico, Jiuguang Wang - CC BY SA 2.0
In the mountain rain forest of Chiapas, México, sits the ruins of Palenque, considered the most beautiful ancient Maya city. Silhouetted against a backdrop of natural hills and valleys, the elegant pyramids and palace offer fine Maya bas-relief carvings of high-grade limestone and stucco.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article