After eons of wondering, the source of the massive boulders that make up Stonehenge has finally been discovered.
A study published this week found the sarsens â or the giant rocks used to make up the Neolithic landmark â came from about 16 miles away in the West Woods, CBS News reported.
The stones weigh up to 30 tons and are about 23 feet tall, CNN reported.
Weighing up to 30 tonnes and standing up to 7 metres tall, the sarsens form all 15 stones of Stonehenge’s central horseshoe.They also form the uprights and lintels of the outer circle, and outlying stones like the Heel Stone and the Slaughter Stone.
They were dug up around the second phase of construction at the site at about 2,500 BC.
Scientists say the evidence shows that whoever built Stonehenge were from a highly organized society.
David Nash and his team used portable x-rays to see the chemical makeup of the stones. They are 99% silica with traces of other elements, but they were all the same, suggesting they came from the same location, CBS News reported.
A test of once misplaced core samples that came from restoration work in the 1950s was more precise. The results were compared to 20 possible sites. The West Woods had the closest match.
(A man called Robert Phillips kept the core after it was removed in the 1950s!For years it had pride of place in his office before he took it with him to the USA â first to New York, then Illinois, California and finally Florida. ðºð¸)
The results showed a best match with one particular location, *finally* revealing where the giant sarsen stones probably come from…ðº West Woods, just south of Marlborough, about 40 minutes’ drive from Stonehenge. pic.twitter.com/b6wwj2ZN1A
Stonehengeâs smaller stones, known as âbluestonesâ had already been designated as coming from Wales, which is 160 miles west of the historic site.
Nash said he hopes that the new testing procedures his team used could help find more answers to the mystery of Stonehenge, including what route the builders took to move the stones from the West Woods to the site. He also would like to use the technology at other ancient sites in Britain, CBS News reported.
There are still two stones that donât match the megaliths or the bluestones that scientists still have to discover the source of, CNN reported. They also still want to find out why the builders chose the West Woods to harvest the large slabs.
World news – FI – Mystery solved? What was the source of Stonehengeâs rocks