The mysterious Stonehenge rocks may have naturally occurred on Salisbury Plain, explaining why the monument’s seemingly random location was chosen.
STONEHENGE is one of Britain’s greatest mysteries, but one scientist thinks he’s cracked the secrets to its existence.
Mike Pitts has mustered up an explanation as to why Stonehenge is where it is, and reckons the rocks were already there – millions of years “before humans arrived”.
One of the biggest questions around Stonehenge is why the rocks were dragged miles across the English countryside to a seemingly random spot on the Salisbury Plain.
It’s made especially surprising given that most scientists agree the monument of standing rocks – or sarsens – were assembled by Neolithic people who would’ve found it difficult to shift the gargantuan boulders.
According to Mike, two of the biggest (and most important) sarsens were there “millions of years before people arrived”.
His theory, which was published in British Archaeology, suggest that the rocks’ alignment with the solstice sun was merely a coincidence.
It was this accidental alignment that got the boulders noticed by early Brits, who then decided to build it up into a proper monument.
The largest sarsen as Stonehenge is the heel stone, which weighs around 60 tonnes and sits 75 metres away from the centre of the circle.
Back in the ’70s, Mike discovered a six-metre-wide hole next to the heel stone.
This now-filled pit was too large to be a “socket” for one of the standing stones, but could have been the site for a huge boulder.
It was originally believed that these sandstone sarsens didn’t occur naturally on the Salisbury Plain, but that’s since been proved wrong.
So it’s entirely possible that key Stonehenge sarsens already existed at the site, rather than it being randomly selected as a place to build a monument.
“The assumption used to be that all the sarsens at Stonehenge had come from the Marlborough Downs more than 20 miles away,” Mike told The Times.
“The idea has since been growing that some may be local and the heel stone came out of that big pit.
“If you are going to move something that large you would dress it before you move it, to get rid of some of the bulk.
“That suggests it has not been moved very far.
“It makes sense that the heel stone has always been more or less where it is now, half-buried.”
There’s also another unexplained pit (similar to the one near the heel stone) beside the centre of the Stonehenge circle.
Mike says it’s “likely” that this also held a natural sarsen boulder.
“It’s possible that at the end of the ice age we had two really large visible sarsen boulders, probably the two largest on Salisbury Plain, close together on the midsummer sunrise-midwinter sunset axis.”
He says that this boulder may have been used to create sarsen number 16 – a stone notable for its odd appearance.
“What distinguishes it is its very strange shape,” Mike explained.
“If you were bringing the stones from the Marlborough Downs it doesn’t look like a shape you would have selected.
“It tapers and narrows to a really small top.”
What’s the wackiest conspiracy theory about Stonehenge you’ve ever heard? Let us know in the comments!
Source : The Sun