Transporting the materials to construct Stonehenge may appear to be a monumental feat, but an experiment by a college in London has shown that it likely wasn't as challenging as it seems.
Archaeology doctoral candidate Barney Harris enlisted the help of undergraduate students to test the theory that the massive stones were strapped to makeshift wooden sleighs and pulled along a rudimentary track.
When the undergrads were tasked with moving a one ton stone using this method, the lack of proverbial manpower needed was remarkable.
A mere ten students were able to pull the enormous stone a whopping ten feet in only five seconds!
If the short effort was extended over a longer period of time, it's conceivable that the stone could be dragged more than a mile an hour by just a handful of people with this method.
Therefore it would likely have taken only a few days to travel the roughly 140 miles from the Preseli Mountains in Wales, where it is believed the Stonehenge stone originated, to the monument's ultimate location.
Harris marveled to the Telegraph that the experiment exceeded his expectations in that it showed "that humans could have carried out the task fairly easily."
He conceded that the terrain of the 140 mile journey would be more treacherous than the flat ground used by the students, but noted that the transportation method has proven to work well in such an environment.
The researcher also noted that the demonstration of how humans could handily move the stones suggests a more tenable theory than the idea that oxen were used to transport the materials.
So we may have a better understanding of how the stones got to Stonehenge, but we're still vexed by the question of how they lifted them atop the structure and, of course, why they did it all in the first place.
Source: The Telegraph