The famous Stonehenge monument in Wiltshire, England.

Startling New Evidence Suggests Stonehenge was First Built in Wales then Transported and Reconstructed 500 Years Later in England

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Archaeologists have found the exact holes in a rocky outcrop in Wales from where the bluestones found at Stonehenge originated, revealing that they were quarried 500 years before they were assembled into the famous stone circle that still stands today in Wiltshire, England. The dramatic discovery suggests that the ancient monument was first erected in Wales and later dismantled, transported, and reassembled over 140 miles away in Salisbury Plain.

The Guardian reports that the finding was made during a project run by the University College London (UCL), in cooperation with the universities of Manchester, Bournemouth and Southampton, among others, to investigate quarries in the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

It has long been known that the bluestones – a term used in a loose sense to cover all of the ‘foreign’ stones which are not native to Salisbury Plain – originated in southwest Wales.  Their 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 .

Now archaeologists have been able to identify a series of holes in rocky outcrops that exactly match the size, shape, and consistency of Stonehenge’s bluestones at Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin, to the north of Preseli hills.

Bluestones at Carn Menyn in Wales

Bluestones at Carn Menyn in Wales ( public domain )

The holes have been radiocarbon dated – from nut shells and charcoal from the quarry workers’ campfires – to 3,400 BC at Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3,200 BC at Carn Goedeg. However, the bluestones were not assembled at Stonehenge until 2,900 BC, which raises the question as to why they were quarried centuries before their use in the famous stone monument in Wiltshire, England.

“It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view,” Prof Mike Parker Pearson, director of the project, told The Guardian. “It’s more likely that the stones were first used in a local monument, somewhere near the quarries, that was then dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire.”

One hypothesis is that the current dating of Stonehenge is wrong and it is actually much older. However, Professor Pearson believes “it’s more likely that they were building their own monument [in Wales], that somewhere near the quarries there is the first Stonehenge and that what we’re seeing at Stonehenge is a second-hand monument.” [via The Guardian]

Reconstruction drawing of Stonehenge as it might have appeared in 1000BC by Alan Sorrell

Reconstruction drawing of Stonehenge as it might have appeared in 1000BC by Alan Sorrell

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.  The latest discovery certainly suggests that the stones were intentionally transported to England.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England. 2014.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England. 2014.  Diego Delso , Wikimedia Commons, License  CC-BY-SA 3.0

According to The Guardian, the research team will now be carrying out geophysical surveys, trial excavations and aerial photographic analyses in the area between the two quarries in Wales to identify the area where a Stonehenge-like stone circle was originally assembled. The researchers have hinted at the fact that they may already have found a promising location and that a big discovery may follow in 2016. 

Featured Image:  The famous Stonehenge monument in Wiltshire, England.  Howard Ignatius/ Flickr

By April Holloway


Mesolithic Posts: 40 Mile Marker

1. Glaciers transport Bluestones to the Salisbury Plain.
2. Ice Age hunters destroy forests in Wales, England.
3. Coal miners from the West see their same Rocks.
4. Exploration for Surface Coal below Chalk begins.
5. Pembrokeshire-South Wales-Bristol Trend fails.
6. Wales, England coal miners build cemeteries.
7. How to Shore a Coal Mine ancient Message.

Avebury coal duster, Cursus coal duster, Durrington Walls coal duster, Long Barrow coal duster, Robin Hood's Ball coal duster, Stonehenge coal duster, Woodhenge coal duster, etc, all being originally surface coal hunting failures. Every one of them were coal exploration sites that did not yield any coal.

Take away all of the dressed up cemetery headstone rocks and what have you got? Nothing more than a bunch of coal exploratory ditches and holes, that is what. Afterwards, these ditches and holes were utilized as grave plots, for tired disappointed coal explorers, and their cold disheartened families.

Coal is King

YHWH Allah's picture

Speaking of Snow and Stonehenge...

Glacier, it's not a question of How were the Stones moved,
it's a question of How many Stones were moved at a time.

Blue Stones Sled

Sarsens Sled

Altar Stones Sled

Pleistocene & Holocene Horses

Both Theories are correct, Glacier, both.

Beware of Oxen

Mishkan 1.2m below Heel Stone
@ Stonehenge, United Kingdom

Much of the story of the domestication of cattle has been uncovered in the last five years. This research shows that the evolutionary origins of all domestic cattle lie in the wild aurochs, which ranged through Europe, Asia, and North Africa, before being driven extinct in 1627. Aurochsen, immortalized in the 17,000 year old cave paintings of Lascaux, looked something like cows on steroids; they were bigger, more muscled, and had larger horns than most modern cows.

Between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago, people in the Middle East began to domesticate wild aurochsen living nearby through the process of artificial selection. These early humans saw the advantage of maintaining aurochs for their personal use, as opposed to relying on what they could gain from hunting wild animals. As they began to live more closely with aurochsen, they spurred the evolution of their animals by selecting for individuals with particular traits. This may have been done consciously or unconsciously. For example, perhaps naturally docile animals were the only ones that the herdspeople could prevent from escaping, so without anyone intending it, ancestral cattle herds ended up with an unusually high frequency of gene versions that confer a quiet temperament. Other traits that differentiate domestic cattle from aurochs (like small horns) may have been consciously chosen. In either case, humans likely selected which individuals would be part of their herds and which individuals would be mated to maintain the herd — all the while, favoring individuals with traits that made them more useful to us. Through many generations of this process, an ancestral population of wild aurochs evolved into the animals that we recognize as cows.

Interesting Stuff, thanks.

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