Mystery of origin of Stonehenge megaliths solved

Archaeologists have pinpointed the source of the stones to an area 15 miles north of the site.

Mystery of origin of Stonehenge megaliths solved

The origin of the standing sarsens at Stonehenge had been impossible to identify until now

Image copyrightPA


The origin of the giant sarsen stones at Stonehenge has finally been discovered with the help of a missing piece of the site which was returned after 60 years.

A test of the metre-long core was matched with a geochemical study of the standing megaliths.

Archaeologists pinpointed the source of the stones to an area 15 miles (25km) north of the site near Marlborough.

English Heritage's Susan Greaney said the discovery was "a real thrill".

The seven-metre tall sarsens, which weigh about 20 tonnes, form all fifteen stones of Stonehenge's central horseshoe, the uprights and lintels of the outer circle, as well as outlying stones. 

The monument's smaller bluestones have been traced to the Preseli Hills in Wales, but the sarsens had been impossible to identify until now.

The return of the core, which was removed during archaeological excavations in 1958, enabled archaeologists to analyse its chemical composition.

No-one knew where it was until Robert Phillips, 89, who was involved in those works, decided to return part of it last year.

Researchers first carried out x-ray fluorescence testing of all the remaining sarsens at Stonehenge which revealed most shared a similar chemistry and came from the same area.

 

They then analysed sarsen outcrops from Norfolk to Devon and compared their chemical composition with the chemistry of a piece of the returned core.

English Heritage said the opportunity to do a destructive test on the core proved "decisive", as it showed its composition matched the chemistry of sarsens at West Woods, just south of Marlborough.

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.

'Substantial stones'

"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."

Ms Greaney said: "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". BBC

 
 

Other News

.
Indicators for digital transformation of enterprises to be issued
Indicators for digital transformation of enterprises to be issued
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  16/12/2021 

Consisting of three indexes for three types of businesses, the set of indicators developed by the Ministry of Information and Communications will be a common tool to assess the readiness and level of digital transformation of Vietnamese businesses.

Data is resource for Vietnam's economic development
Data is resource for Vietnam's economic development
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  16/12/2021 

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Pham Duc Long at the Vietnam Internet Day 2021 spoke on the topic "Recovery and breakthrough in the era of datafication".

Heavy sanctions needed to prevent illegal trade of personal data
Heavy sanctions needed to prevent illegal trade of personal data
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  16/12/2021 

The personal data of many Vietnamese users is being illegally appropriated and even traded in the cyberspace.

Covid-19, other topics dominate Facebook in Vietnam in 2021
Covid-19, other topics dominate Facebook in Vietnam in 2021
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  16/12/2021 

Meta has announced the four most discussed topics of the year in Vietnam on their two social networking platforms Facebook and Instagram.

Vietnam Internet Day 2021 launched in Hanoi
Vietnam Internet Day 2021 launched in Hanoi
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/12/2021 

Internet Day 2021, themed “Recovery and breakthrough in the era of datafication”, was launched in Hanoi on December 15 by the Vietnam Internet Association (VIA) in coordination with relevant agencies.

Winners of National Innovative Technopreneur Contest announced
Winners of National Innovative Technopreneur Contest announced
BUSINESSicon  15/12/2021 

Otrafy, a startup that provides quality management and supply-chain software to the food industry, will represent Vietnam at the Startup World Cup next year after championing the National Innovative Technopreneur Contest today.

Free 5G mobile network launched in Da Nang
Free 5G mobile network launched in Da Nang
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/12/2021 

On December 13, Viettel’s 5G mobile network opened in Da Nang, providing free 5G service with unlimited capacity.

Investment in Vietnam’s start-ups exceeds US$1.3 billion
Investment in Vietnam’s start-ups exceeds US$1.3 billion
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/12/2021 

Digital technology is forecast to create US$74 billion for Vietnam's economy by 2027. However, Vietnam must attract investment capital from around the world, especially investment in startups.

Vietnamese still lack confidence in Vietnam-made technological products
Vietnamese still lack confidence in Vietnam-made technological products
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  15/12/2021 

Vietnam’s technology firms are capable of creating technological solutions that solve Vietnamese problems, but they still cannot overcome users’ doubts about their products.

VN tech firms take on mission of developing national digital platforms
VN tech firms take on mission of developing national digital platforms
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  14/12/2021 

The Ministry of Information and Communications has announced the list of 35 national digital platforms need to be developed, and has assigned Vietnam's key tech corporations to research and create these platforms.

Inspiring Characters 2021: The developers of Vietnamese game worth billions of USD
Inspiring Characters 2021: The developers of Vietnamese game worth billions of USD
FEATUREicon  14/12/2021 

Axie Infinity, one of a few Vietnamese technology startups with global influence, has gained far more value than the Vietnamese game Flappy Bird that was internationally popular a number of years ago.

Mekong Delta expands environmentally-friendly shrimp-rice farms
Mekong Delta expands environmentally-friendly shrimp-rice farms
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  14/12/2021 

The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta is expanding its shrimp – rice farming areas as the cultivation model is efficient and sustainable, adapts to climate change, and is environmentally friendly.

Google Doodle celebrates Vietnam's "pho"
Google Doodle celebrates Vietnam's "pho"
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  13/12/2021 

The digital world honors one of the most outstanding Vietnamese dishes - "Pho" or hot noodle soup with beef.

Winners of Make in Vietnam Digital Technology Product 2021 Awards announced
Winners of Make in Vietnam Digital Technology Product 2021 Awards announced
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  13/12/2021 

Four products received the gold prizes of Make in Vietnam Digital Product Awards 2021 at a ceremony held on December 11.

Digital transformation to be the focus of socio-economic development
Digital transformation to be the focus of socio-economic development
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  12/12/2021 

Digital transformation will be the focus to effectively control the pandemic and restore socio-economic development over the next two years, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has confirmed.

Strong commitment needed for sustainable development of planet: Minister
Strong commitment needed for sustainable development of planet: Minister
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  12/12/2021 

Vietnam’s commitment at COP26 was appreciated by leaders of countries and big corporations around the world.

Stricter measures needed to protect wild animals in Vietnam
Stricter measures needed to protect wild animals in Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  12/12/2021 

Illegal trafficking of wild animals remains a problem in Vietnam despite the efforts of the Government and wildlife preservation organisations. 

EURO 2021 schedule, materials for online learning top internet searches in Vietnam in 2021
EURO 2021 schedule, materials for online learning top internet searches in Vietnam in 2021
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/12/2021 

Google has announced the Top 10 trending searches in Vietnam 2021 which show the great impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

3rd Vietnamese wins Noam Chomsky Award
3rd Vietnamese wins Noam Chomsky Award
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/12/2021 

Tran Le Huu Nghia - a Vietnamese origin doctor - is the third Vietnamese to receive the A. Noam Chomsky Global Connection Award.

Vietnam transfers 5 million tons of CO2 to get US$52 million for forest protection
Vietnam transfers 5 million tons of CO2 to get US$52 million for forest protection
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  11/12/2021 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has signed an agreement with EMERGENT on the transfer of emission reductions.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN