Home UK News Mystery of origin of Stonehenge megaliths solved

Mystery of origin of Stonehenge megaliths solved

The origins of the giant sarsen stones at the Stonehenge site have finally been discovered after a missing piece of the structure was returned to the historical location after 60 years

A test of the core that is a metre in length was matched with a geochemical study on the standing megaliths at the site of Stonehenge.

Archaeologists initially located the source of the stones to an area 15 miles north of the English Heritage site near Marlborough.

Susan Greaney from English Heritage has said that the discovery of the core was “a real thrill”.

The seven-metre tall sarsens, weighing at around 20 tonnes, make up the fifteen stones of Stonehenge’s central horseshoe, the upright stones and lintels of the outer circle of the formation, as well as the outlying stones.

The ancient monument’s smaller bluestones have had their origins traced back to the Preseli Hills in Wales, Stonehenge’s sarsen stones had been impossible to identify and trace up until now.

This comes after Heathrow Airport is proposing a coronavirus testing plan in a bid to reduce the 14-day quarantines and get people travelling by plane as the travel sector suffers under the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers have carried out x-ray fluorescence testing on all of the remaining sarsen stones at the site of Stonehenge, which revealed that most of them shared a similar chemistry and came from the same area.

The researchers then analysed more sarsen outcrops from areas such as Norfolk and Devon which they used to compare their chemical composition with the chemistry of a piece of the returned core.

English Heritage has said that the opportunity to do a destructive test on the core proved “decisive”, and said that it had shown that its composition matched up with the chemistry of sarsens at the West Woods site, which is just south of Marlborough.

H2B Windows Advert

Prof David Nash from Brighton University, who led the study, said: “It has been really exciting to harness 21st century science to understand the Neolithic past, and finally answer a question that archaeologists have been debating for centuries.”

“Each outcrop was found to have a different geochemical signature, but it was the chance to test the returned core that enabled us to determine the source area for the Stonehenge sarsens.”

Susan Greaney said:

Mystery of origin of Stonehenge megaliths solved
Susan Greaney from English Heritage

“To be able to pinpoint the area that Stonehenge’s builders used to source their materials around 2,500 BC is a real thrill.

“While we had our suspicions that Stonehenge’s sarsens came from the Marlborough Downs, we didn’t know for sure, and with areas of sarsens across Wiltshire, the stones could have come from anywhere.

“They wanted the biggest, most substantial stones they could find and it made sense to get them from as nearby as possible.”

Ms Greaney added the evidence highlights “just how carefully considered and deliberate the building of this phase of Stonehenge was”.

This comes after the UK has signed a deal to supply the nation with up to 60 million doses of a potential life-saving COVID-19 vaccine developed by the pharmaceutical Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

Eve Cooper
Eve Cooper
I've been writing articles and stories for as long as I can remember and in the past few years I've had the fortune of turning that love & passion for writing into my job 🙂

Breaking News Today is a small UK business struggling to stay afloat during COVID lockdown. If you enjoyed this article or found it useful please subscribe to all of our social media outlets.

288,320FansLike
813FollowersFollow
821FollowersFollow
10SubscribersSubscribe

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

288,320FansLike
813FollowersFollow
821FollowersFollow
10SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Task force launched to find replacement for Huawei in UK 5G networks

This move comes as the number of 5G equipment vendors has now slipped down to just two, which introduces long-term security risk

500 Dundee students to isolate following suspected COVID-19 outbreak

A single positive case of COVID-19 and small number of other possible infections are being investigated at a private accommodation block in...

Alexei Navalny discharged from hospital after nerve agent poisoning

The Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has now been discharged from the hospital after being treated for poisoning by a novichok agent

Misogyny could become a hate crime under new proposals

A consultation will establish whether those abusing women because of their gender should have tougher sentences Misogyny could potentially...