Archaeology & History
Did European megaliths inspire Stonehenge ?
By T.K. Randall
February 12, 2019 · 10 comments
Where did the idea of building a stone circle come from ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Simon Wakefield
A new study has suggested that European neolithic stone monuments may have first arisen in France.
Stonehenge, which was built around 5,000 years ago in Wiltshire, England, may be the best known megalithic structure of its kind in the world, but it certainly wasn't the first.
Bettina Schulz Paulsson of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has spent over ten years using radio carbon dating to analyze over 2,000 megalithic structures across Europe.
Her findings have indicated that the first such structures - which arose around 7,000 years ago in the northwest of France - may have ultimately inspired the builders of Stonehenge.
There is also reason to believe that the culture surrounding the construction of these enigmatic neolithic structures was spread throughout Europe via ancient sea routes.
If true, it would mean that the maritime skills and technology of the people of the time were a lot more advanced than had been previously realized.
The idea is also further cemented by the fact that a lot of these structures seemed to have been built in coastal regions - thus implying a maritime influence.
"We have thus been able to demonstrate that the earliest megaliths originated in northwest France and spread along the sea routes of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts in three successive principal phases," Paulsson wrote.
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