For centuries, experts have been baffled by the mystery of how Prehistoric Britons transported the bluestones of Stonehenge 140 miles from the Presili Mountains in Wales, to their current arrangement on Salisbury Plain.
A recent experiment by University College London has shown that in fact it may have been achieved by around 20 people per stone. Researches build a sycamore sleigh, similar to those used by pre-industrial societies like the Maram Naga in India, and by the Chinese to build the Forbidden City. The experiment needed 10 people to pull a 1 tonne stone, which moved at around 10 feet every 5 seconds – faster than one mile per hour if pulled continually. Although these stones are smaller than those found at Stonehenge, which are approximately double the weight, researchers believe that the experiment shows that each stone could have been used by a ground of just 20 people.
Recently, archaeologists have found the quarries that produced the stones, confirming that they can only have come from Wales. The formation of the rocks at these quarries would have allowed the prehistoric quarry workers to detach the stones with minimum effort. Professor Mike Parker-Pearson of UCL believes that the Stonehenge stones were once part of a monument in Wales, which was then dismantled and moved to Wiltshire.
Applicants for Archaeology and Anthropology should look more into the history of Stonehenge and the archaeological discoveries over the last few years. History and HSPS students should explore the society of prehistoric Britain and how it is linked to later societies and societies today. Those interested in Earth Science or Geography should investigate how we can establish where specific rocks originate from and what their formation can tell us about the past. Engineering and Physics applicants should examine how the mechanism of the sleigh meant it successfully moved the stones.
- Physical, Mathematical & Chemical Sciences Reading Lists If you’re applying for Physics, Natural Sciences (P), Maths, Computer... Read more >
- Are my grades good enough for Oxbridge? Grades are an area of much misunderstanding when it comes... Read more >
- Download a Medicine Personal Statement 2 “Further work experience has highlighted some of the demands and challenges... Read more >
- Personal Statement Workbook Download A personal statement is a unique document which is all... Read more >
- Your Open Day Guide Open Days can be an extremely useful way of finding... Read more >
- Is a “Religious Morality” rational? One of our Oxbridge graduate tutors, Emma, looks into the... Read more >
- PAT overview If you’re applying for Physics, Materials or a relevant joint... Read more >
- July’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- Geography and Earth Sciences Reading Lists Whether you’re looking at Geography, Earth Sciences (Geology), or Land... Read more >
- Outside reading: the key to a good application When it comes to writing your personal statement and preparing... Read more >
- COPA & International Deadlines Most deadlines are the same for all those applying to... Read more >
- HAT mini mock paper The History Aptitude Test or ‘HAT’ must be sat by... Read more >
- Personal Statement Solution: Brainstorm Sheet Writing your personal statement may just be the grimmest part... Read more >
- April’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- Choosing The Right A-Levels Picking subjects at A level can be a difficult decision... Read more >
- The Architecture of an Education: what are colleges all about? Explaining the difference between Oxford and Cambridge colleges and the... Read more >
- LNAT overview If you’re applying for Law at Oxford you will need to sit... Read more >
- UCAT mini mock paper & answers If you are applying for Medicine or Dentistry, many of... Read more >
- MLAT overview If you’re applying for Modern Languages, or their joint schools, you... Read more >
- The OA School’s Magazine: Issue 1 Last year, Oxbridge Applications launched its first ever Schools’ Magazine,... Read more >
- Interactive Interview Exercise Manual ‘What should I expect at my Oxbridge interview?’ ‘How will... Read more >
- MAT mini mock paper & answers If you are planning to apply to Oxford to read... Read more >
- ELAT overview If you’re applying for English, or its joint schools, you... Read more >
- Law: answer like a pro Law is a notoriously competitive subject; this, along with the... Read more >