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Researchers have found evidence suggesting that ‘bluestones’ were actually quarried 500 years before they were put into place in Wiltshire, prompting a theory that Stonehenge might actually be a second-hand monument’
Archeologists have known for a long period of time that the bluestones located in the inner horseshoe of Stonehenge originate from the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, located roughly 150 miles from Salisbury Plain. New evidence has led numerous researchers to question mainstream theories about the British monument suggesting that the great prehistoric monument could have been first erected in Wales.
Many historians agree that Stonehenge was a place of great importance for over 1,000 years, but we may never know what attracted early Britons to Salisbury Plain and inspired them to continue developing this incredible monument. Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Radiocarbon dating in 2008 suggested that the first stones were raised between 2400 and 2200 BC.
A new, mind-boggling discovery
Archaeologists have recently found a series of recesses that match the Stonehenge bluestones in size and shape in the rocky outcrops of Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin.
Prof Mike Parker Pearson, director of the project and professor of British later prehistory at University College London (UCL) said that the discoveries were simply amazing.
“We have dates of around 3400 BC for Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3200 BC for Carn Goedog, which is intriguing because the bluestones didn’t get put up at Stonehenge until around 2900 BC,” he said. “It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view. It’s more likely that the stones were first used in a local monument, somewhere near the quarries, that was then dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire,” added Prof Mike Parker Pearson
Researchers have also discovered nearly identical stones that the ancient builders had extracted but for some reason, mysteriously left behind. Among the numerous findings, researchers also discovered shells and charcoal from the quarry workers’ campfires which have been radiocarbon dated in order to reveal the date when the stones would have been extracted.
According to researchers, there is enough evidence to suggest that Stonehenge could, in fact, be much older than previously thought.
“…we think it’s more likely that they were building their own monument [in Wales], that somewhere near the quarries there is the first Stonehenge and that what we’re seeing at Stonehenge is a second-hand monument,” said Pearson
Pearson suggests that it is possible that the boulders were taken to Salisbury Plain sometime around 3200 BC and that the giant sarsens, found within 20 miles of the site were added at a much later date. “Normally we don’t get to make that many fantastic discoveries in our lives,” Parker Pearson said. “But this is one.”
Prof Kate Welham of the Bournemouth University believes it is very likely that the ruins of a dismantled monument could lie somewhere between the two megalithic quarries.
“We’ve been conducting geophysical surveys, trial excavations, and aerial photographic analysis throughout the area and we think we have the most likely spot. The results are very promising. We may find something big in 2016,” she said.
Researchers agree that the long-distance transport of the bluestones from Wales to Stonehenge is without a doubt, one of the most remarkable accomplishments of society thousands of years ago. While many experts have several theories as to how ancient man managed to transport huge boulders across long distances, no one can say for certain how it was done. The transport of some of these stones remains as one of the greatest enigmas of modern-day archaeology.
While several theories try to explain the real purpose of Stonehenge, according to Pearson it might have been a monument of unification.
“One of the latest theories is that Stonehenge is a monument of unification, bringing together people from across the many parts of Britain,” said Pearson.