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science

3-ton parts of Stonehenge may have been carried from earlier monuments

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It’s not difficult to see why Stonehenge is one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world. The 4,600-year-old stone circle on southern England’s Salisbury Plain was built by people who left no clear hints to its purpose or obvious clues to their own identity—mysteries that have long gripped archaeologists, modern-day druids, science fiction writers, and tourists.

Now, a new study published in the journal Antiquity offers another plot twist in the saga of Stonehenge: The World Heritage site may not be an original creation. A team of researchers has found a possible precursor to Stonehenge in the remains of an even older monument in Wales.

The megalithic circle at the Welsh site of Waun Mawn has comparable dimensions to Stonehenge, is similarly aligned with the sun, and appears to feature some of the same building materials. But unlike Stonehenge it has few surviving stones. 

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To ancient Britons, the bluestones “must have been considered as not just valuables, but the very essence of who they were,” says Michael Parker Pearson, an expert in British prehistory at University College London and the study’s lead author.

The study authors consider this a strong but tentative theory, and some independent experts agree. 

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https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/3-ton-parts-stonehenge-may-carried-from-earlier-monuments

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