The prehistoric builders of Stonehenge are renowned for hauling the megalithic bluestones 140 miles from the Preseli Mountains in north Pembrokeshire, west Wales, to their final home on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.
However, perhaps the mammoth journey, roughly 4,500 years ago, proved too much for them – for when it came to later sourcing the larger sarsen stones, they looked closer to home.
Archaeologists from English Heritage and the University of Sheffield have solved a centuries-old mystery and concluded that the sarsens originated in the West Woods of the Marlborough Downs, just 15 miles north of Stonehenge.
It is not far from the Neolithic monument site of Avebury, and the area is likely to have been a significant or ritual landscape. The monument at Avebury is a Neolithic henge containing three stone circles, around the village of Avebury, Wiltshire.
The breakthrough came when a piece of core – drilled from Stonehenge’s “Stone 58” during repair work in the 1950s – was returned to English Heritage from the US last year, which gave archaeologists the chance to analyze the chemical make-up without damaging the monument.
Read more: The Telegraph