Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One More Stonehenge Mystery Solved

Stonehenge, England's most famous megalithic structure, has inspired occultists and paranormal investigators for centuries. Archaeologists working at the site have finally solved one of the monument's enduring puzzles - where the rocks used by the ancient builders originally came from. This site has finally been identified as Craig Rhos-y-felin in South Wales, more than a hundred miles from the Stonehenge site.

Over the past nine months, the researchers compared mineral content and textural relationships of the rhyolite debitage stones found at Stonehenge and were finally able to pinpoint the location to within several meters of their source. Ninety-nine percent of the samples could be matched to the rocks found at Craig Rhos-y-felin, which differ from all others found in south Wales.

Further research should help the researchers eventually understand how the rocks made the long journey to Stonehenge sometime between 3000 and 1600 BC. "Many have asked the question over the years, how the stones got from Pembrokeshire to Stonehenge," said Dr. Richard Bevins, National Museum Wales. "Thanks to geological research, we now have a specific source for the rhyolite stones from which to work and an opportunity for archaeologists to answer the question that has been widely debated."

A hundred miles is a long way to move such immense rocks, but from what I've seen a number of ideas have been proposed that would have been plausible using the technology of the time. All of them would have involved an enormous amount of time and effort on the part of the builders, but if we are to assume that Stonehenge was a very important if not central religious site expending such effort upon it would not necessarily be unexpected. A site like Stonehenge is one more reminder that even though the ancients had access to less technology than we have today, they were just as intelligent and inventive as modern people in terms of working with what they had.

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