Geologists in Wales have identified the source of stones used to build Stonehenge, they told local publication the Western Mail on Tuesday, Nov. 19. The stones were transported from a hill in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK, about 150 miles away from the Stonehenge site and about a mile away from where they were previously thought to originate.
The team of geologists—Dr. Richard Bevins, Keeper of Natural Sciences at the National Museum of Wales; Dr. Rob Ixer of University College, London; and Professor Nick Pearce of Aberystwyth—received confirmation from the peer-reviewed Journal of Archaeological Science last week that their findings had been verified.
The stones were previously thought to come from another hill called Carn Meini, based on research by H.H. Thomas in 1923. Research techniques have become more advanced, however. Through a comparison of X-rays taken on the dolerites from Stonehenge and the dolerites at a hill called Carn Geodog, the geologists have confirmed Carn Geodog as the source.
It is still unclear how the stones were transported—perhaps by humans, perhaps by natural rock movements during the last Ice Age. Having identified the site of origin, however, could help in the search for evidence of how the stones were moved.
“If they were transported during the last Ice Age, physical evidence should be present,” Bevins told the Western Mail.
The geologists’ research will be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science in about six months.