its construction, its utility, its location or the origin and transport of the colossal blocks of stone that compose it. In new study, published in the reviewScience Advances, geoscientist David Nash and his collaborator Timothy Darvill, archaeologist, offer an unprecedented answer to this last question. “data-reactid =” 12 “> The incredible architecture of Stonehenge makes it one of the most precious and fascinating historical monuments of Great Britain. For more than four centuries, many questions have surrounded its construction, its utility, its location or the origin and transport of the colossal blocks of stone that compose it. In new study, published in the review Science Advances, geoscientist David Nash and his collaborator Timothy Darvill, archaeologist, offer an unprecedented answer to this last question.

Geochemical fingerprinting

blue stones, are of volcanic origin or composed of sandstone. Numerous studies and the discovery of ancient quarries have led researchers to suggest that the magmatic blue stones came from the Preseli Hills in southwest Wales, more than 200 kilometers from the site. However, only one study has so far looked at the provenance of the sandstone megaliths, erected in the middle of the third millennium BC, and forming the main architecture of Stonehenge. “Data-reactid =” 14 “> Two main types of rocks form the circle of Stonehenge: the megaliths are formed of sandstone called “sarsen”, while the rocks of smaller size, called blue stones, are of volcanic origin or composed of sandstone. Numerous studies and the discovery of ancient quarries have led researchers to suggest that the magmatic blue stones came from the Preseli Hills in southwest Wales, more than 200 kilometers from the site. However, only one study has so far looked at the provenance of the sandstone megaliths, erected in the middle of the third millennium BC, and forming the main architecture of Stonehenge.

to make the stone speak. This was first subjected to an examination of its chemical composition using a portable X-ray fluorescence analyzer (p-XRF), responsible for bombarding the stone with high-intensity X-rays, then to measure the X fluorescence emitted in return. “Conducting the p-XRF analyzes required accessing the monument when it was closed to visitors, which led to several night rounds and an early morning spent analyzing the lintel stones from a mobile scaffolding. Collecting data is never easy! », remember the researchers. “data-reactid =” 15 “> Thanks to a new geochemical and statistical approach developed during his work in southern Africa, Nash and Darvill have finally arrived to make the stone speak. This was first subjected to an examination of its chemical composition using a portable X-ray fluorescence analyzer (p-XRF), responsible for bombarding the stone with high-intensity X-rays, then to measure the X fluorescence emitted in return. ” Conducting the p-XRF analyzes required accessing the monument when it was closed to visitors, which led to several night rounds and an early morning spent analyzing the lintel stones from a mobile scaffolding. Collecting data is never easy! », remember the researchers.

Researcher David Nash, …

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