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New Thoughts on Moving Stonehenge Megaliths

Monday, July 15, 2019

Pots pig fatWILTSHIRE, ENGLAND—Science Magazine reports that large quantities of pig fat may have been used to transport megaliths to the site of Stonehenge. Lisa-Marie Shillito of Newcastle University and her colleagues suggest such grease would have made it easier to slide wooden sleds, used to carry the two-ton stones, over logs placed on the ground. It had been previously thought that pig fat detected in pieces of bucket-sized pots at Durrington Walls, a village site located near the Neolithic monument, was left over from meals eaten by hundreds of builders. But Shillito and her colleagues note that if the bucket-sized vessels had been used for cooking, pig bones unearthed at Durrington Walls would have been chopped into pieces. Instead, the condition of pig bones at the site indicates the animal carcasses were roasted whole on spits. The researchers think fat may have been collected in the pots as the pigs cooked and reserved for later transportation use. To read about new research on the measurements of Stonehenge and how they may relate to those of other Neolithic artifacts, go to “Epic Proportions.”

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