Archaeologists Pinpoint Origins of Stonehenge’s Mysterious Megaliths
For some 60 years, Englishman Robert Phillips displayed an illicit souvenir in his office and later his home. From time to time, he gazed at the broomstick-sized cylinder of polished rock, perhaps with a twinkle in his eye at the thought of its backstory. Then, on the eve of his 90th birthday in 2018, the British expatriate decided to send the three-and-a-half-foot chunk of rock back to its original home: Stonehenge.
Now, the pilfered object has played a crucial role in a new study that may solve the longstanding mystery of where Stonehenge’s famous boulders came from, reports Steven Morris for the Guardian.
Geochemical analyses published this week in the journal Science Advances have determined that 50 of the 52 sarsen megaliths in the English heritage site’s outer ring originated in the West Woods of Wiltshire—a full 15 miles away.
As Franz Lidz reports for the New York Times, investigations conducted around 100 years ago previously determined that the smaller “bluestones” at Stonehenge’s center were sourced from somewhere in the Preseli Hills of western Wales, roughly 180 miles from the ancient monument.