Stonehenge Quarry Found in Wales

Stonehenge Quarry Found in Wales(Wiltshire, England) – Stonehenge’s megaliths come from the mountains of Wales, according to a study which pinpoints the quarry where the bluestones were cut around 2500 B.C.Writing in the July-August issue of British Archaeology, Timothy Darvill, professor of archaeology at Bournemouth University, and Geoff Wainwright, a retired English Heritage archaeologist, describe a “small crag-edged promontory with a stone bank across its neck” at one of the highest points of Carn Menyn, a mountain in the Preseli Hills of Pembrokeshire, in southwest Wales.Measuring less than half a hectare, the site is “a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of made-to-measure pillars for aspiring circle builders,” according to Darvill.”Within and outside the enclosure are numerous prone pillar stones with clear signs of working. Some are fairly recent and a handful of drill holes attest to the technology used. Other blocks may have been wrenched from the ground or the crags in ancient times,” write the researchers.Archaeologists have long suspected that the bluestones, which form Stonehenge’s inner circle, came from the Preseli Hills, but no evidence of a quarry had been found in the area.Darvill and Wainwright report that geochemical analysis show that the rock formations at the prehistoric quarry are identical to those at Stonehenge.Weighing about four tons and between six and nine feet in height, the bluestones would have been transported 240 miles to the famous site at Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England.According to Darvill, the huge stones were taken on such a journey from their Welsh location because they were regarded as holy.”Their color and the presence of distinctive white spots make them very pleasing stones aesthetically,” Darvill told Discovery News. However, these were very special hills. The remoteness of the place and its mountaintop situation had a special meaning to the people living around Stonehenge. As a result, they brought the stones to Wiltshire to recreate that meaning at their own temple. Moving stones about was fairly common at that time.” According to Gwilym Hughes, director of Cambria Archaeology, the south west Wales archaeological trust, more work has to be done to prove the theory beyond doubt. But he described the archaeologists’ argument as “very convincing and very compelling.”Indeed, the discovery of the quarry comes a year after scientists proved that the remains of a “band of brothers” – three children, a teenager and three men – found near Stonehenge were Welshmen who most certainly accompanied the bluestones on their epic journey. Chemical analysis of minerals in their teeth established that the brothers came from the Preseli Hills. By Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News

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