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Archaeology & History

Stonehenge builders used 'stone highway'

By T.K. Randall
June 30, 2018 · Comment icon 3 comments

How were the huge stones carried to the construction site ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Simon Wakefield
New research has indicated that the huge stones were transported over both land and water.
For thousands of years Stonehenge has dominated the Wiltshire countryside, yet there remains much we still don't know - especially with regard to how it was built without the advantages of modern tools.

Now though, researchers have revealed that the stones - which originated 100 miles away in Wales - were most likely transported to the site over what has been referred to as the 'stone highway'.

To begin with, the stones would have been placed on wooden rollers and hauled along using animals. Once the route brought them to the River Avon, rafts would have been used to carry the stones to within a mile or so of the construction site.
The findings seem to rule out a previous theory by geologist H Thomas suggesting that the builders loaded the stones on to boats and transported them along the coast by sea.

"New analytical techniques, alongside transmitted and reflected light microscopy, have recently prompted renewed scrutiny of Thomas' work," study authors Richard Bevins and Rob Ixer wrote.

The researchers have also cast doubt on Thomas' sourcing of the Stonehenge bluestones.

"While respectable for its time, the results of these new analyses, combined with a thorough checking of the archived samples consulted by Thomas, reveal that key locations long believed to be sources for the Stonehenge bluestones can be discounted in favour of newly identified locations at Craig-Rhos-y-felin and Carn Goedog," they wrote.

Source: New Zealand Herald | Comments (3)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
Wouldn't surprise me since they weren't distracted by being on their damn smartphone all the time.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Susanc241 6 years ago
Add to that the fact I saw a TV programme explaining how this was done (using the river Avon and 'stone highways') at least two or more years ago. This is not new news.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ozymandias 6 years ago
I used to wonder what made the Stonehenge bluestones that were quarried in Prescelly in Wales so important that they were man-handled over 100 miles to the Salisbury Plain by the builders of that monument. The thinking used to be that the megalithic builders considered that the stones themselves had magical properties, but it now appears that they were part of an already existing local Welsh monument that was important enough to warrant disassembly and relocation to Stonehenge. I think Geoffrey of Monmouth related a folktale with echoes of this undertaking when he recorded that Stonehenge was ... [More]


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