sarsen stones

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Science Notes – Studying the stones of Stonehenge

Lithological provenancing has featured heavily in the pages of Current Archaeology recently. In one of last month’s features, we discussed the recent evidence behind the potential origins of the Stonehenge bluestones, and this month we are examining the source of the monument’s celebrated sarsens. As we have yet to explore petrology or geochemistry within ‘Science Notes’, I thought it a good opportunity to rectify this and delve into the details of some of the techniques used for these projects.

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Getting to the core of Stonehenge

A long-forgotten piece of one of Stonehenge’s famous sarsen stones, which make up the outer ring of the monument, has travelled thousands of miles from the USA to return to the Salisbury Plain site. The core was drilled from one of the stones during excavation work in 1958, when archaeologists raised an entire fallen trilithon.