BU’s Tim Darvill speaks to National Geographic

Timothy Darvill, Professor of Archaeology at Bournemouth University, gave his comment in a recent article for the National Geographic.

The article talks about Stonehenge and tries to uncover the mystery of how early Britons managed to move the monument’s enormous stones into place.

Professor Darvill said, “The Sarsens were moved about 40 to 50 kilometres from essentially local sources”.

They were most likely moved over land routes mounted on sleds, which then slid across rollers or rails, he explained. “Plenty of experiments have been done to show this is possible.”

“Some of the bigger sarsens weigh about 40 tons (36 metric tonnes) and would need about 150 people to pull them along,” Darvill added.

Michael Parker Pearson, an archaeologist at University College London and a National Geographic grantee notes that the roller method of transport can be problematic.

Many ancient monuments that we admire today were built without the conveniences of modern technology and with no definite answers, the mystery surrounding their construction continues.

You can read the article in full on the National Geographic website.

Professor Tim Darvill talks about the origins of Stonehenge in The Observer

BU Professor of Archaeology Tim Darvill was interviewed about his research into the origins of Stonehenge, for an article in The Observer.

The double page spread by Science Editor Robin McKie looked at the different speculations and theories around why the monument was built in the first place.

Professor Darvill believes that, as Stonehenge was built using stones believed to have magical healing properties, the sick and wounded travelled to Stonehenge to try and find a cure.

“This was a place for the living,” he said.

“I think that very early on Stonehenge was a burial ground but after 2600BC these burials stop. So how can this be a place of the dead?”

He added that the source of Stonehenge’s bluestones from quarries in the Preseli Hills in Wales, was important.

“These are all associated with sacred springs today,” he said.

“That association is a very ancient one. These stones were brought to Stonehenge because they were thought to have healing properties.

“That is why all that effort went into its construction. It was a place where people thought their illnesses might be cured and their lives saved.”

You can read the full article here.

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