Archaeologists suspect that Stonehenge, one of the most enigmatic prehistoric constructs, originated as a Welsh tomb before being dismantled and shipped to Wiltshire. They believe that the Welsh brought the stones themselves when they decided to relocate to Wiltshire. Why the Welsh moved there is still a mystery, one that Professor Parker Pearson of the Institute of Archaeology at University College London believes may be solved by September.
The source of the Stonehenge stomes was first determined in the early 1920s by H.H. Thomas, an officer with the Geological Survey of England and Wales.
He determined that the so-called ‘spotted dolerites’ matched a small number of outcrops in the Mynydd Preseli district in south-west Wales.
But the question has always been why? Why would the English settlers bother to make a lengthy pilgrimage for Welsh stone when they had perfectly good local sandstone quarries nearby – from which they would later cut the imposing ‘sarsen’ stones for Stonehenge.
The answer is that the stones were probably brought by the Welsh themselves, when they decided to relocate to the area, and did not want to leave their ancestors behind.
Professor Mike Parker Pearson at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London believes that Stonehenge began life as a Welsh monument to the dead.
“The Welsh connection isn’t just about stones it’s likely to be a long term movement from west to east at this particular time,” Prof Parker Pearson told the Hay Festival.
“Why dismantle an original monument? We’re wondering if it actually might have been a tomb with a surrounding stone circle which they dismantled. If that were the case they were basically carting the physical embodiment of their ancestors to re-establish somewhere else.