Stonehenge: New take on origins

This evening, I am posting information reports in today's media carrying new information on the origins of Stonehenge near Salisbury in southern England.

Most of the information herein was sourced from today's Times newspaper.

 

             Above image shows the famous stone circle.

Archaeologists have now determined that the Stonehenge monument has its origins in an earlier stone circle located in west Wales, about 175 miles away.

It appears that a dense population of Neolithic (New Stone Age) peoples which existed in the Preseli region of west Wales around 5000 years ago suddenly relocated to the Stonehenge region and took parts of an existing stone circle with them. Refer map extract below. This must have been an heroic effort for the people who had no wheel or lifting equipment and were faced with a landscape which was untamed and probably heavily forested. (The lines on the map are intended to highlight the start and finish locations, not the actual route taken.)


 More information:

  • The original stone circle was at a site named Waun Mawn which may be the oldest known stone circle in Britain dating from 3400 BC. It was also the largest with 30-50 constituent standing stones.
  • The four stones remaining at Waun Mawn are similar in size and dimensions to the 43 bluestones remaining at Stonehenge.Moreover, the remaining Waun Mawn stones exactly match three of the Stonehenge stones in terms of type (unspotted dolerite).
  • The Welsh origin bluestones at Stonehenge are distinguished by being smaller than the giant sarsens which may have been quarried nearby.
  • One of the original Stonehenge bluestones has an unusual cross-section which exactly matches a hole/socket at Waun Mawn suggesting that it may have originally been positioned there.
  • The circular ditch at Stonehenge and the Waun Mawn site share a common diameter of 110m or 360 feet.
  • Dating evidence suggest that the Waun Mawn site was dismantled shortly before the erection of Stonehenge.
  • Isotopic analysis of people buried at Stonehenge reveal that about 15pct came from western Britain, possibly Wales.
  • To the Neolithic peoples, the stones may have represented their ancestral identities.

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