Of all the strange facts about Stonehenge, the most interesting is that the current location is not the original home of the famous megalithic circle.
New research shows that the structures were originally built west of Wales over 5,000 years ago, then mysteriously dragged for over 140 miles to the current spot.
Interestingly, the finding supports an old legend that King Author’s favorite wizard Merlin commanded giants to move Stonehenge from Ireland to Salisbury Plain.
In 2017, four stones found at a site called Waun Mawn were determined to be all that remains of a 60 stone layout that exactly match what is seen at Stonehenge.
Both circles align so stones line up with the summer solstice. Similar alignments can be found all over the world.
If you ask someone to think about Stonehenge, they will probably picture the giant “sarsens” in the main circle. However, those large and recognizable stones were added hundreds of years after the monument was built.
While research will likely never know why the Neolithic families performed the laborious task of moving the large stones over 140 miles, many suspect that the community may have wanted to socially or politically unite with the distant group of people. The movement of the ancestral stones was a way to cement this relationship.
The journey, probably done by sled, could have been completed in a summer.
“You can cover 3 miles [5 km] a day, if you’ve got your trackway prepared,” he said. “They might have had feasting, food and drink … just like a rolling party that moved from one place to another,” said Michael Parker Pearson, an archaeologist at University College London.
The original Merlin myth did include a portion about the center stones being brought to Ireland from Africa. While the legend doesn’t perfectly match up to the newly discovered reality, the grain of truth in the folk memory is truly engrossing. Maybe we’ll be telling you about a giant skeleton found adorned with green armor next week.