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Scientists Solve 1 of Stonehenge’s Mysteries

WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Stonehenge monument is seen on December 11, 2013 in Wiltshire, England. English Heritage will be unveiling the new multi-million pound visitor centre at Stonehenge - located about a mile-and-a-half (2km) from the stones - which also included grassing over the road alongside the ancient monument and closure of the existing 1960s facilities on December 17. Stonehenge, built between 3,000 BC and 1,600 BC, attracts around 900,000 visitors a year, with 70 percent of those from overseas. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

For years, scientists have been plagued by three unanswered questions related to Stonehenge: 1) Who built it? 2) Why was it built? and 3) Where did the stones used to construct it come from? Now, they’ve come up with an answer to one of those questions.

Using portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to analyze the huge sandstone boulders, scientists have determined they came from West Woods in the English county of Wiltshire, just more than 15 miles away from the Stonehenge site. They believe the stones were used to build the site’s first “henge” monument about 5,000 years ago, and then to construct the stone circle in 2,500 B.C.

Unfortunately, the determination has created another unanswered question: How did an ancient civilization manage to transport 25-ton boulders 15 miles?

Do you have a theory on why Stonehenge was built? Which of the world’s mysteries fascinates you the most?


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