The original Stonehenge A dismantled stone circle in the Preseli Hills of west Wales

Mike Parker Pearson, Josh Pollard, Colin Richards, Kate Welham, Timothy Kinnaird, Dave Shaw, Ellen Simmons, Adam Stanford, Richard Bevins, Rob Ixer, Clive Ruggles, Jim Rylatt, Kevan Edinborough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The discovery of a dismantled stone circle - close to Stonehenge's bluestone quarries in west Wales - raises the possibility that a 900-year-old legend about Stonehenge being built from an earlier stone circle contains a grain of truth. Radiocarbon and OSL dating of Waun Mawn indicate construction c. 3000 BC, shortly before the initial construction of Stonehenge. The identical diameters of Waun Mawn and the enclosing ditch of Stonehenge, and their orientations on the midsummer solstice sunrise, suggest that at least part of the Waun Mawn circle was brought from west Wales to Salisbury Plain. This interpretation complements recent isotope work that supports a hypothesis of migration of both people and animals from Wales to Stonehenge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-103
Number of pages19
JournalAntiquity
Volume95
Issue number379
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Britain
  • megaliths
  • Neolithic
  • Preseli
  • stone circle
  • Stonehenge

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