Archaeologists may have come one step closer to unraveling the great mystery of the prehistoric Stonehenge monument in England. According to a report by the Independent, researchers have reason to believe that small bluestones at Stonehenge may have first been part of an older circular monument that existed in the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, Wales, before the famed 5,000-year-old one in Wiltshire.
It was previously understood that the stones in Stonehenge had come from the Preseli Hills in Wales, which is some 150 miles away from their location today, but the theory that some pieces previously made up a different monument could prove groundbreaking.
The site in Wales, called Waun Mawn, had been discounted as “doubtful and insignificant” by researchers in the past, but a team led by Mike Parker Pearson found holes that “were exactly the same diameter as the outer circle at Stonehenge” there, as the scientist Alice Roberts told the Independent.
“They decided that they were going to dig anyway and just see if they can find anything, and they found these ghosts of stone holes,” Roberts told the British newspaper, adding that this development is “the most exciting archaeology around Stonehenge that’s certainly happened during my lifetime.”
However, Roberts said that it remains an open question if the reason these stones were moved from Wales to their current location in England may ever be known.
“Of course there are questions about why these stones would have been brought from West Wales to Salisbury Plain…but ultimately it’s pre-history and we don’t know,” she told the Independent. “Very often in pre-history we’re left asking those questions and I don’t think we’ll ever know because we just don’t have any written record.”