Large rocks at Stonehenge in the south of England came from just 15.5 miles away, according to new research.
Most of the sarsens, or rock rocks, came from West Woods in the English county of Wiltshire, the researchers explain, and mentioned the chemical composition of the stone. Sarsens are up to 30 feet tall and can weigh as much as 25 tons.
The research is published in the journal Science Advances.
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“Until recently we didn’t know it was possible to make a stone like sarsen,” David Nash, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “It was really exciting to use 21st century science to understand the Neolithic past and answer a question that archaeologists have been debating for centuries.”
X-ray portable fluorescence spectrometry (PXRF) was used to analyze the stones. “Subsequently, the researchers performed inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and ICP-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) of samples from a pre-drilled core from a single sarsen stone. and a range of sarsen rocks from all over southern Britain, “the scientists explained, in the statement.
This led scientists to West Woods. “The reason the monument builders chose this site remains a mystery, although researchers suggest the size and quality of West Woods stones, and the ease with which builders could access to them, could have been taken in the decision, “they explained in the statement.
A piece of stone that returned 60 years after it was removed during the excavation
Stonehenge continues to be a source of fascination for historians. Earlier this year the English Heritage, which oversees the famous site, noted that parts of Stonehenge bear a resemblance to “old Lego”.
In 2018, experts said the site could have been built using the famous theorem of the philosopher Pythagoras 2 millennia before the mathematical equation was developed.
Last year a missing piece of Stonehenge was returned 60 years after it went missing during an archaeological excavation.
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The first monument on the site, an early “henge” monument, was built about 5,000 years ago. The world-famous ring was built around 2,500 BC during the late Neolithic period.
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The World Heritage site is known for its alignment with the movements of the sun – thousands travel to the site near Amesbury in the south of England to mark the summer and winter solstices.
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this article.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers