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Stonehenge 'Musical,' Study Suggests
March 6, 2014

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The giant bluestones of Stonehenge might have had sonic significance, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Royal College of Art in London have found evidence that several of the stones at the famous giant circle were struck in ancient times. The researchers conducted their own striking tests, on stones in the Preseli Hills, source of some of Stonehenge's bluestones, and among their observed results was a series of tones, some that sounded like deep bells. Different rocks produced different sounds, along a range of metallic sounds from bell-like sounds to gong-like intonations.

The Preseli Hills are in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and Stonehenge is in Wiltshire, England, nearly 200 miles away. As early as 1923, scientists have identified the Preseli Hills as a source of the bluestones of Stonehenge. Other experts disagree, and the jury is still out, it would seem.

What can be said, however, is that the stones in both places are similar. If the stones now standing at Stonehenge were indeed used as prehistoric percussion, that could provide a reason for the place and manner of their assembly.

Competing theories exist as well on how the stones got to Stonehenge at all. They do not seem to be natively evident. A competing theory to the human transportation theory is that the giant stones were deposited in what is now Wiltshire as a result of glacier movement. No matter how the stones got to their present geographic place, someone still had to stand them up.

The findings of the archaeo-acoustic study are in the Journal of Time & Mind.

 

 

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