Scientists Find Source of Stonehenge Rock

Neolothic builders used stone from 160 miles away
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2011 3:20 PM CST
The sun is rising behind the Stonehenge monument in England, during the summer solstice shortly after 04.52 am, Monday, June 21, 2010.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

(Newser) – Scientists have for the first time pinpointed the exact location of rock used to build part of Stonehenge, the Independent reports. British geologists say rock in some of the early, smaller standing stones—not the big "sarsen" ones—originated in a 70-yard-long outcropping about 160 miles away. Did the builders of Stonehenge actually quarry the stone 5,000 years ago and carry it that far? Possibly—unless it had floated down on a glacier hundreds of thousands of years before.

If prehistoric builders did drag the rock from the county of Pembrokeshire in south-west Wales, there must be a reason, the Independent notes. Earlier research suggests that Pembrokeshire stones had a magical or ideological significance, perhaps associated with local stone circles and sacred springs. Consider that builders would have had to haul the stones over mountains or around St. David's Head, a rather precarious trip for a Neolithic boat. (Apparently Stonehenge was a tourist hot-spot even back then.)

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