Stonehenge: Geologists have found out exactly where some stones came from
A team of 12 geologists and archaeologists from across the UK this month uncovered research that traces some of the smaller stones from the prehistoric monument to two quarries in West Wales.
It is solid evidence that humans were involved in "Bluestones," where they are sitting today, a full 150 miles away, the researchers say.
"It has long put forward long-standing arguments as to whether the bluestones were moved by human action or glacial action," said Southampton University professor of archeology, Joshua Pollard, in an e-mail. Pollard, a lead researcher in the study, said the team since 2010 has been busy analyzing samples from Stonehenge and trying to match them with rocks in the Preseli Hills of Wales.
"That's hard work," he said. "Research of this kind takes time."
In order to obtain exact matches, geologists crushed hundreds of rock samples into powder. They then performed in-depth X-ray chemical tests and analyzed the age of crystals using zirconium chemistry.
"From a geological point of view, it's exciting to use a combination of standard (microscopes) and advanced analysis tools," geologist Richard Bevins of the National Museum Wales told CNN.
The search was "curiously under-studied"
Scientists have known for a long time that the stones came from the Preseli Hills, but the new researches help make the claims about the original rock Refuting sites made famous in 1
923 British geologist HH Thomas. The correct quarries, Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-Felin, are located on the north side of the hills – opposite their long-suspected location, the new findings show.
"By returning and looking in detail at the actual samples he studied, we were able to show that none of his proposals stand up to scrutiny," Bevins said ,
As the rocks date from the northern side of Preseli Hills, the researchers believe that the massive stones were probably pulled overland from Wales to England instead of being transported on river banks near the south side.
It is also possible that the rocks were first used to build a stone circle in the area before they were paraded into the Salisbury Plain, as the magazine "Antiquity" puts it.
Archaeologists now want to focus on the prehistoric links between early humans in the Preseli Hills and the English plains in the east, Pollard said. The team also hopes to gain access to the buried stumps in Stonehenge to confirm their provenance.
"It remains one of the most notable examples of long-range megalithic movements in antiquity, but has been strangely taught." Pollard said. "I'm sure we'll be back."