Was Stonehenge built somewhere else and then moved?

A new study appears to demonstrate that Stonehenge may have been built in Wales and then transported to its current location.

Courtesy of Adam Stanford © Aerial-Cam Ltd
Excavations at Craig Rhos-y-felin, United Kingdom

Stonehenge might have been built somewhere else and transported to its current location, according to a new study.

Scientists affiliated with University College London (UCL) have performed a detailed examination of the bluestone rock used to create Stonehenge’s smaller inner rings. They have sourced the rock to two quarries in Wales, Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin, which suggests that Stonehenge’s Neolithic builders may have created this famous monument very far away from its current home.

“The two outcrops are really impressive – they may well have had special significance for prehistoric people. When we saw them for the first time, we knew immediately that we had found the source,” Professor Colin Richards (University of Manchester), an expert in Neolithic quarries, said in the press release.

The findings may also provide additional clues to the longstanding mystery of why Stonehenge was created, and when.

This study is one of several in recent years to use carbon dating in an attempt to yield new information about Stonehenge. Because Stonehenge’s builders didn’t leave any written records, it is difficult for archaeologists to make precise determinations about what its makers intended for the massive structure.

“Stonehenge was a Welsh monument from its very beginning. If we can find the original monument in Wales from which it was built, we will finally be able to solve the mystery of why Stonehenge was built and why some of its stones were brought so far,” Professor Mike Parker Pearson, of the UCL Institute of Archaeology and the project’s director, said in the release.

The scientists suggest that because of the age of the bluestones, Stonehenge may possibly have been built in Wales, and then dismantled and carried in pieces over a long distance to its current home. The larger sarsen stones, which are made of a type of rock local to the Stonehenge area called sarsen sandstone, were possibly erected many hundreds of years later.

“We have dates of around 3400 BC for Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3200 BC for Carn Goedog, which is intriguing because the bluestones didn’t get put up at Stonehenge until around 2900 BC” Professor Parker Pearson said.

“It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view,” he added. “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.”

The researchers are planning to do further excavations and research at both of the quarry sites in order to make more precise determinations.

“We’ve been conducting geophysical surveys, trial excavations and aerial photographic analysis throughout the area and we think we have the most likely spot. The results are very promising. We may find something big in 2016,” Professor Kate Welham, of Bournemouth University in England, told The Guardian.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Was Stonehenge built somewhere else and then moved?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today