Glaciers moved Stonehenge from Wales to Wiltshire, not ancient people, Welsh researchers claim

A recent find that provided another theory of the origins of Stonehenge was misinterpreted, the researchers claim

Doug Bolton
Tuesday 15 December 2015 21:26
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Since the people who built Stonehenge never left any written records behind, its origins and purposes are still mostly unknown
Since the people who built Stonehenge never left any written records behind, its origins and purposes are still mostly unknown

The famous monolithic rocks of Stonehenge were not dragged 140 miles from Wales to Salisbury as previously thought, but were actually moved by glaciers, a team of Welsh academics have claimed.

It was previously reported that a team of researchers had discovered holes cut into rocky outcrops in Wales that closely matched the shape of the Stonehenge bluestones.

Professor Mike Parker Pearson, who was part of the team that made the discovery, suggested that the stones used in Stonehenge could have been part of an earlier monument in Wales, and were later taken to Wiltshire to be made into the structure we know today.

Calling the discovery "fantastic", Professor Pearson's find provided another theory of the origins of Stonehenge, which are still unknown.

However, another team of archaeologists, Dr Brian John, Dr Dyfed Elis-Gruffyd and John Downes, have now published a conflicting report in the Archaeology in Wales journal, which claims the suggested 'quarry' in the Welsh Preseli Hills, where the holes were found, was actually a natural formation

They also claimed that small pieces of debris found near Stonehenge, which were traced back to the dig site in Wales, were actually transported by the movement of glaciers over half a million years ago, and not brought by ancient masons along with the bluestones.

Referring to the 'quarry' in the Preseli Hills, Dr John wrote: "It is suggested, on the basis of careful examinations of this site, that certain of the 'man made features' described have been created by the archaeologists themselves through a process of selective sediment and clast removal."

He continued, saying there appeared to be no evidence of a quarry designed to extract stones for use in Stonehenge, but accepted that there may have been temporary encampments near the site through the ages.

As Wales Online reports, Dr John added the work done by Professor Pearson's team was an "interesting piece of rock provenancing", it did not explain how the rocks were moved the hundreds of miles from Wales to Stonehenge.

Dr John commented: "We think the archaeologists have been so keen on telling a good story here that they have ignored of misinterpreted the evidence in front of them."

The quarries will be excavated further next year, so the world of archaeology will have to wait and see what is revealed.

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