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Origin of the megalithic stone used to build Stonehenge

Group’s British Heritage organization discovered 15 giant megalithic stones of the Stonehenge monument that were taken from the nearby forest.

Stonehenge stone beach is built from massive stone blocks. Photo: CNN.

On July 29, researchers announced the discovery of sandstone blocks used to build the Stonehenge monument at Salisbury originating from West Woods, a forest 24 kilometers away, near the town of Marlborough. The circular monument built by the Neolithic people mainly consists of two types of stone. Smaller rocks called green rocks come from the Preseli Hills in southwestern Wales. The larger, upright, are megaliths made of sandstone, weighing 30 tons and 7 meters high, forming 15 large pillars of Stonehenge.

For a long time, experts suspected the megaliths were taken from the Marlborough Downs, the hill cluster north of the monument, but could not prove it. The situation changed last year when a piece of stone was returned. An excavator took away the core of the megalith in 1958 and kept it for a long time. The man was asked to return the rock on his 90th birthday. Upon receiving the rock core last year, the experts could thread the evidence.

The research team conducted non-invasive tests of the lost sandstone blocks and core. They found they share the same chemistry and come from the same region. They then analyzed sandstone samples across England, from Norfolk to Devon, to compare the chemical composition with rock samples from Stonehenge. The best match is the West Woods, a 40-minute drive from Stonehenge.

However, it is unclear why the Stonehenge builders obtained sandstone from the West Woods while many other nearby areas also have this rock. They hypothesized that the reason might be the massive size of the rocks in West Wood.

(According to CNN)

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