Scientists have made a mind-blowing discovery about Stonehenge, coming to the conclusion that the instantly recognizable monument was initially built in Wales.
Ever since the 1920’s, it had been determined that the bluestones arranged in a horse shoe shape and situated at the center of the neolithic structure had originated from the Preseli hills, in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
However, now a team of experts led by Mike Parker Pearson, professor of British Later Prehistory at University College London has revealed something sensational.
Apparently, small rock niches which correspond precisely with the size and shape of the Stonehenge bluestones have been discovered north of the Preseli hills, and they were formed around 500 years before the iconic monument was known to have been erected.
Experts from the universities of Southampton, Bournemouth and Manchester, alongside researchers from Dyfed Archaeological Trust, the National Museum of Wales and University London College managed to identify traces of charcoal and burned hazelnut casings in those recesses, and were able to estimate their age.
For example, one such hollow which had contained dolerite slabs identical to the ones brought to Salisbury Plain was found in Carn Goedog, and dates back to approximately 3200 BC.
The other indentation, which appears to have been the origin of Stonehenge’s second type of igneous rock, known as rhyolite, was encountered in Craig Rhos-y-felin, and according to carbon-dating measurements it has been created in 3400 BC.
In contrast, Stonehenge was built in 2900 BC and it’s highly unlikely that quarry workers actually spent half a millennium moving the stones from Wales to their current location in Wiltshire, England, which is around 150 miles away from the Preseli Hills.
A more satisfying explanation is that there was another precursor of the prehistoric site, which was built much closer to the excavation grounds, and there might even be remnants of that original Stonehenge to be unearthed today.
After the local monument was used for a few centuries, probably as a burial ground and worship site, it was eventually disassembled and transported piece by piece to its new location on Salisbury Plain.
That’s probably because the Welsh community that been carrying out religious and healing rituals there decided to move home, and settle in England.
An alternative theory professes that the stones were indeed taken to their current setting as early as 3200 BC, and were the only ones included in an early version of Stonehenge.
Eventually, somewhere around 2500 BC, workers also added the larger sarsen sandstones which now form the outer circle of the legendary structure.
The surprising revelations regarding the origins of Stonehenge have been detailed in the latest edition of the British journal Antiquity, published on Monday, December 7.
They have already been challenged by experts such as Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd and John Downes, who both insist that the concavities incorrectly considered to be quarry grounds are actually natural formations, shaped during the Holocene.
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