Dr Alex Ball, Head of Division, Imaging and Analysis at the Natural History Museum, said: “We are delighted that our specialist team of scientists from the Museum’s Imaging and Analysis Centre have contributed to reveal further secrets of Stonehenge, showing how our state-of-the-art techniques and equipment continue to unlock new discoveries.”
Typically weighing 20 tonnes and standing up to 7 metres tall, sarsens form all fifteen stones of Stonehenge’s central horseshoe, the uprights and lintels of the outer circle, as well as outlying stones such as the Heel Stone, the Slaughter Stone and the Station Stones. Fifty-two of the original 80 or so sarsens remain at the monument.
The new findings build on further pioneering research published by Professor Nash last year in which he used the so-called Phillip’s Core to show that most of Stonehenge's large sarsen stones likely came from a site around 15 miles away in West Woods on the edge of the Marlborough Downs. This new geological research provides further data that could help trace the sources of the remaining stones.
The research was an interdisciplinary collaboration between the University of Brighton, Bournemouth University, University College London, University of South Wales, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, British Geological Survey, English Heritage, the Natural History Museum (London), Gatan UK and Vidence Inc. (Canada), and was funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust.