If the "shafts" are circular, 10 metres diameter, and 5 metres uniform depth, and there are 20 of them, that is 7,853 cubic metres of earth and rock excavated by hand with non-metallic tools, transported and disposed of somewhere. Neolithic tools means shoulder blades of oxen, wicker baskets, digging sticks, and possibly wooden shovels. That's a huge undertaking.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-wiltshire-53132567
Archaeologists have discovered a ring of prehistoric shafts, dug thousands of years ago near Stonehenge.
Fieldwork has revealed evidence of a 1.2 mile (2km) wide circle of large shafts measuring more than 10m in diameter and 5m in depth.
They surround the ancient settlement of Durrington Walls, two miles (3km) from Stonehenge.
Tests suggest the ground works are Neolithic and were excavated more than 4,500 years ago.
Experts believe the 20 or more shafts may have served as a boundary to a sacred area connected to the henge.
They then analysed sarsens from 20 sites across southern England including Mutter’s Moor in Devon and Valley of the Stones in Dorset, comparing their composition with the chemistry of the chips. Nash said they were surprised that stones from West Woods, which in the time of Stonehenge was probably treeless open high ground, turned out to be an exact match.
While it is thought the smaller bluestones were sourced from Pembrokeshire because the builders of Stonehenge had some sort of sacred connection with the landscape there, it may be that the West Woods site was chosen for – relative – convenience.
Greaney said: “When sourcing the sarsens, the overriding objective seems to be size – they wanted the biggest, most substantial stones they could find and it made sense to get them from as nearby as possible.”
Another puzzle is why two of the 52 stones appear not to be from West Woods. One possibility is that they are the work of different builder communities who chose to source their materials from a separate area.
Because they have pinpointed the source with a much greater degree of accuracy than before, due to a core sample taken in the 1950s, when invasive procedures were still allowed, being returned a couple of years ago; a fascinating story in itself.Odd that four weeks before this latest "discovery" the Times reported (Ramonmercado's 2 July post above):
The provenance of Stonehenge has been debated for centuries. The source of the large grey-green stones — the so-called “sarsens” — that form the most visible part of the monument is no mystery. They come from the local area of southern Wiltshire.
And that indeed is what I'm sure I was taught at school 40+ years ago, and I'm also sure I saw either a BBC or C4 documentary 20+ years ago which visited the area where they came from, not far from Stonehenge, and showed various unused sarsens lying around on the ground at that location.
So why all the excitement?
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/stonehenge-acoustics-sounds-voices-musicStonehenge enhanced sounds like voices or music for people inside the monument
Welcome to Soundhenge. Better known as Stonehenge, this ancient monument in southern England created an acoustic space that amplified voices and improved the sound of any music being played for people standing within the massive circle of stones, a new study suggests.
Because of how stones were placed, that speech or music would not have projected beyond Stonehenge into the surrounding countryside, or even to people standing near the stone circle, scientists report in the October Journal of Archaeological Science.
To explore Stonehenge’s sound dynamics, acoustical engineer Trevor Cox and colleagues used laser scans of the site and archaeological evidence to construct a physical model one-twelfth the size of the actual monument. That was the largest possible scale replica that could fit inside an acoustic chamber at the University of Salford in England, where Cox works. This room simulated the acoustic effects of the open landscape surrounding Stonehenge and compacted ground inside the monument. ...
Stonehenge Lego, as Cox dubbed the model, was assembled assuming that Stonehenge’s outer circle of standing sarsen stones — a type of silcrete rock found in southern England — had originally consisted of 30 stones. ...
Despite many gaps between stones, sounds briefly lingered inside Stonehenge Lego, the team found. Reverberation time, a measure of the time it takes sound to decay by 60 decibels, averaged about 0.6 seconds inside the model for mid-frequency sounds. That effect would have boosted the ability to hear voices and enhanced sounds of drums or other musical instruments, Cox says. For comparison, reverberation time reaches about 0.4 seconds in a living room, around two seconds in a large concert hall and roughly eight seconds in a large cathedral.
Stonehenge Lego did not project sounds into the surrounding area or boost the quality of sounds coming from external speakers. And sounds did not echo in the scale model. Inner groups of simulated stones obscured and scattered sounds reflected off the outer sarsen circle, blocking echo formation. ...
Previous research has been done on Stonehenge’s acoustics, but was incomplete ...
Although the new study was “carefully and rigorously done,” questions remain about sonic effects at Stonehenge ...
Whatever people once did at Stonehenge, the new study “shows that sound was fairly well contained within the monument and, by implication, [Stonehenge] was fairly well insulated from sounds coming in” ...
FULL ARTICLE: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440320301394... Stonehenge in 2200 BC had a small but noticeable reverberation of 0.6 s, which provided useful amplification of the voice and enhanced musical sounds for those standing within the stone circle. The monument does not facilitate the projection of sound out into the surrounding area, for example to an audience standing outside the stone circle but within the henge enclosure. Nor were sounds created outside the stone circle readily heard by those within the central setting. If participants were to benefit from the enhancement provided by stone reflections during rituals, then that would apply to a relatively small and restricted audience, within the sarsen circle.
... the results suggests that any sounds created within the stone circle were best intended for others within the same relatively intimate setting, rather than to be broadcast more widely to those outside, whose view into the stone circle would also have been obscured. This evidence once again emphasises the contradiction between the large numbers of people required to transport the stones and construct the monument, with the small number of people able or allowed to fully take part in, and witness, activities within the stone circle.
The most significant change to the acoustics during the various historic configurations examined was when the outer sarsen uprights were added. This would have increased the reverberation time by a noticeable amount. With the outer sarsen uprights in place, the introduction and various rearrangements of the bluestones only make subtle changes to the acoustics ... Moreover, no echoes were audible in the 2200 BC model. Overall, it seems improbable that sound was a primary driver in the design and arrangement of the stones at Stonehenge. Other considerations were more likely to be important, including the astronomical alignments, the incorporation of two different groups of stones, the replication of similar timber monuments and the creation of an impressive and awe-inspiring architectural structure.
If you put aside the several thousand years separating them.That seems to be yet more evidence that Stonehenge was built by druids for having all night raves.