Date and Time
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN
Geological interest in Stonehenge includes not only the main structural components of the monument but also large amounts of stone either used to assist construction, or present as waste from stone-working, or as artefacts left at the site. One suite of rocks came from localities in Wiltshire but not without transporting sarsen blocks weighing up to 50 tonnes over a distance of some 40km. In contrast the ‘bluestones’ originated in SW Wales with the bulk of material coming from a small area in the eastern Preseli Hills, 400km from Stonehenge. It seems unlikely that glacial transportation accounts for material on Salisbury Plain. It must therefore have been transported by the builders of Stonehenge. A brief review of the technical achievements and artistic traditions of the later Neolithic period and early Bronze Age, reveals the building of Stonehenge as an undertaking consistent with the rich cultural context of these times.
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