This is where the massive rocks of Stonehenge came from

This is where the massive rocks of Stonehenge came from

Five thousand years after people in the British Isles began building Stonehenge, scientists now know precisely where some of the massive rocks came from and how they were unearthed.

A team of 12 geologists and archaeologists from across the United Kingdom unveiled research this month that traces some of the prehistoric monument’s smaller stones to two quarries in western Wales.

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The team also found evidence of prehistoric tools, stone wedges and digging activity in those quarries, tracing them to around 3000 BC, the era when Stonehenge’s first stage was constructed.

It’s rock-solid evidence that humans were involved in moving these ‘bluestones’ to where they sit today, a full 150 miles away, the researchers say.

 

‘It finally puts to rest long-standing arguments over whether the bluestones were moved by human agency or by glacial action,’ University of Southampton Archeology Professor Joshua Pollard said.

Pollard, a lead researcher in the study, said the team since 2010 has been busy analyzing samples from Stonehenge and trying to match them to rocks in the Preseli Hills of Wales.

‘That is hard work,’ he said. ‘Research of this kind takes time.’

 

To get accurate matches, geologists crushed hundreds of rock samples into powder. Then, they did in-depth chemical tests involving X-rays and analyzed the age of crystals using zircon chemistry.

‘What is exciting from the geological point of view is that we are using a combination of standard (microscopes) and modern analytical tools, said geologist Richard Bevins of the National Museum Wales.

 

The researchers have thus concluded that at least five of the spotted dolerite bluestone pillars came from Carn Goedog quarry and at least one Rhyolite bluestone pillar came from the Craig Rhos-y-felin quarry.

This is still just a theory that needs a lot of substantiation. Similarly, quite a few chunks of the puzzle still remain missing but through studies such as these, a lot of those pieces fall in place and take us a step closer to answering the questions that have been asked for centuries about the enigmatic Stonehenge.

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