After years of uncertainty, experts have now solved the mystery of exactly where most of the Stonehenge sarsen stones came from, made possible through the return of a missing fragment of one of the giant stones and breakthrough technology. Now researchers are better able to reconstruct the history of the world-famous prehistoric site and how it was built.
Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it dates back to the Neolithic period, around 2500 BC. It is located on Salisbury Plain and consists of a series of standing stones set in rings and it was once at the centre of a ceremonial landscape. Archaeologists believe that a number of large Stone Age settlements were adjacent to the monument. Now a team of British researchers have been able to investigate precisely the source of the massive stones.
The Enigma of the Sarsen Stones
The origins of the stones used in the structure have been debated for centuries. It has been known for a while that the 42 smaller so-called ‘bluestones’ came from Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, Wales, a substantial distance away. But the source of the massive blocks known as sarsens was still unknown. As the team of researchers wrote in Science Advances that, “the origins of the sarsen (silcrete) megaliths that form the primary architecture of Stonehenge remain unknown”.
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