West Woods is approximately 25 kilometers from Stonehenge. “I think we were dealing with a very organized society here,” said the study’s lead author, David Nash, about the site’s builders. Nash assumes that they have chosen the nearby location for pragmatic reasons.
A new technique enabled the team around Nash to use portable X-ray equipment to analyze the chemical composition of the rock, which consists of 99 percent silica and contains traces of various other sediments.
“It showed us that most of the stones have a common composition,” Nash said. This led to the realization that “we are looking for a main source”.
Chunks weighing up to 30 tons
Earlier studies had shown that the smaller stones in Stonehenge came from Wales, about 200 kilometers west of the site. The new results support the theory that the large rock stones were brought to Stonehenge at the same time – around 2500 BC. This in turn contradicts an earlier assumption that a megalith known as the “heel stone” comes from the immediate vicinity of the town and was built before the other stones.
How the early British were able to transport the boulders weighing up to 30 tons over a distance of 25 kilometers is still unknown. The prevailing opinion assumes that they were pulled on sledges.
The megalithic stones have been puzzling researchers for centuries. The most common theory for its creation is that people understood the astronomical calendar even then. The stones from Stonehenge were therefore aligned to the solstice. In 1986, the site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. (SDA / kes)