Stonehenge, the prehistoric stone circle in southern England, is among the moston the earth. The monument, which attracted a couple of and a half million guests final yr, is regarded as as much as 5,000 years previous, and the heaviest stone weighs 38 tons.
Nobody actually is aware of how the stones bought there, or the explanation they give the impression of being the way in which they do – however a chunk faraway from one of many stones six a long time in the past might deliver some solutions.
At first look, the brand new “discovery” – a cylinder of rock – may look unremarkable. However for Lewis and Robin Phillips, it meant one factor: their dad, Robert.
In 1958, Robert Phillips labored on a serious restoration mission commissioned by the British authorities. The aim was to make the monument safer, and assist historians higher perceive what Stonehenge was and why it was there. The crew drilled by the most important of the sarsen rocks, eradicating three stone cores. Robert Phillips was gifted one as a memento; the opposite two are believed to have been discarded.
On the time, the core pattern was thought of to be “waste materials,” Lewis stated. “I believe that the requirements of the day, in conservation, had been a bit completely different to what they’re now,” Robert added.
Six a long time later, Robert – who’s now in his 90s – requested his sons to return the “waste materials.” However what had turn out to be a household heirloom for the Phillips’ was “the Holy Grail” of Stonehenge for geologists, based on Susan Greaney, an archaeologist at English Heritage.
“When the Phillips household first bought in contact with us, we had no concept that this existed,” Greaney stated. “We would simply assumed that they’d been thrown away.” In 1958, samples like this could not present a lot data – however now, Greaney added, it could actually assist archaeologists perceive the place the stones had been from and the way they had been transported.
It might even present clues to one of many greatest questions: why transfer all these rocks to 1 location?
Proper now, “we do not know” the reply to that, Greaney stated. “We predict it is a prehistoric temple. It is aligned with the actions of the solar, so we predict it is some form of ceremonial house. However precisely what the stones imply, why they constructed them on this means and set them up in the way in which we see at present, there are many mysteries about Stonehenge that we’ve but to unravel.”
© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.