Stonehenge may remain one of the greatest mysteries to archaeologists. Was it a cemetery or a religious monument? How were the heavy stones placed there, and where did the stones actually come from? Archaeologists have asked themselves these questions in the past century (s). And according to a recent survey, one of those questions can already be answered.
It was previously known that some of the smaller stones on the Stonehenge site came from the Preseli Hills, some 200 miles from where Stonehenge was built. The origin of the other colossi – an average of 7 meters high, with a weight of about 20,000 kilograms – remained a mystery for centuries.
“Of course we knew that Stonehenge’s sarsen stones had to come from the region,” says one of the researchers. “But this type of stone is more common here, so we didn’t know where exactly from until now.” Until a piece of stone was recovered from the site on which a team of archaeologists from the University of Brighton was allowed to conduct research.
That cylindrical piece of stone was taken as a ‘souvenir’ by a man about sixty years ago, in 1958. The portion was recovered a year ago, allowing British researchers to compare the sample to sandstones found at twenty other sites. Until finally, a match was found.
Yesterday, the archaeologists published the results of their “groundbreaking research” and revealed that the huge stones originate from West Woods in Wiltshire, 15 miles away.
About fifty (out of 80 sandstone blocks) stones are said to come from that region. However, how the builders of Stonehenge dragged the giant stones remains a mystery.