Stonehenge’s origin has remained a mystery for thousands of years. Many scientists believed the “bluestones” were transported to the area from Carn Menyn in Pembrokeshire, South Wales.
In a combined effort, researchers with Aberystwyth University, the National Museum of Wales, and University College London, determined the earlier findings were most likely wrong.
In 1923, Geologist Herbert Henry Thomas theorized the stones were selected and transported to Wiltshire by Neolithic man. In his estimation, the stones were specifically quarried to be used for the monument. He determined they were transported to the region by land and sea.
Although Thomas’ theory was widely accepted, some geologists disagreed. As reported by BBC, some scientists believe the stones were carried to the Wiltshire region on a glacier during the ice age.
The most recent findings, which will be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, suggest the stones originated less than two miles from Wiltshire. The researchers theorize the Stonehenge rocks were actually harvested from Carn Goedog, in the Preseli Mountains.
Dr. Richard Bevins said the findings will help uncover further clues about the monument’s origin:
“Archaeologists can now search an area of hundreds of metres rather than hundreds of kilometres.”
Bevins said the discovery will not end the debate among geologists. However, the researchers now have a better idea of where to look for clues. Bevins said Thomas’ research was sound, but he did not have the resources to be precise.
Daily Mail reports the most recent analysis was conducted using X-ray equipment. The researchers determined the 11 bluestone rocks, which compose the inner ring, all originated from Carn Goedog.
Bevin said the findings are only one “piece of the puzzle.” While some of the stones’ origins have been determined, geologists believe the other stones came from up to six different locations.
Although some questions have been answered, Stonehenge remains an impressive and mysterious monument.
[Image via Flickr]