For nearly a century, archaeologists doing their darndest to figure out the mystery behind Stonehenge recently found out they might have been digging in the wrong place the whole time.
This deserves a well-placed “doh!”
Researchers from Aberystwyth University, University College London and National Museum of Wales using “geochemical” technology found the rocks composing the structure in Wiltshire, England, likely originated from a hill called Carn Goedog about a mile away from Carn Meini, which is where archaeologists had been studying rocks since the 1920s.
“I don’t expect to be getting Christmas cards from the archaeologists who have been excavating at the wrong place over all these years,” Dr. Richard Bevins with the National Museum Wales told The Guardian.
Bevins doesn’t think this will alone help answer the mystery as to how Stonehenge was built and its purpose, but it will “better (inform) the debate,” he told BBC.
Here’s more from BBC on Bevins’ perspective on the new study’s findings:
In 2011, Dr Bevins’s team located the source of another of Stonehenge’s Pembrokeshire Bluestones – the rhyolites – 3km away from the spotted dolerites at Craig Rhos y Felin.
Although the relative proximity of the two discoveries offers evidence to both camps.
“Three kilometres is both closer and farther away than expected, depending on which theory you support.
“From a geologist’s point of view, 3km is nothing, and the rocks which ended up close to each other in Wiltshire could easily have been carried on the same glacier.
“However, for the archaeologists a distance of 3km between the potential quarries could be seen as evidence of planning and forethought, and a suggestion that the different types of stone were chosen for some specific purpose.”
All in all, Bevins said the chance of the rocks coming anywhere other than this new location is “statistically-speaking, infinitesimally small,” based on the team’s laser mass spectrometry techniques and analysis comparing rocks from Stonehenge to those at Carn Goedog.
“Almost everything we believed 10 years ago about the bluestones has been shown to be partially or completely incorrect. We are still in the stages of redress and shall continue to research the bluestones for answers,” Rob Ixer with University College London told The Guardian.
Scientists are still puzzled as to how exactly the monoliths traveled 190 miles from Wales to southwest England, but hope these latest clues will help someday lead to the answer.
The new discovery about the source of the bluestones is published in published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
(H/T: Yahoo News)