Researchers analyze rock grains from Stonehenge

COURTESY: ENGLISH HERITAGE

Scientists are analyzing the megaliths that make up Stonehenge

LOCATION: WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND

The imposing monument has 52 stones known as sarsens

They were erected around 2500 BC

NAME: PROFESSOR DAVID NASH, UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON

"This piece of research is important because it provides the first glimpse inside one of the giant sarsen stones at Stonehenge, and it's the first time that we've really been able to look in detail at the geology and chemistry of one of the stones."

The researchers used CT-scanning and X-rays

to study fragments and wafer-thin slices of a core sample

COURTESY: TRUSTEES OF THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

"One of the main things we've really been able to discover is quite why it's been so resistant to weathering over the length of time that the monument has been in position. So that's four and a half thousand years or so. By looking at microscopic thin sections, these are thin slices taken from the sample, we're able to see that the stone is made up of individual quartz grains and these are all cemented together by a really tight interlocking mosaic of other quartz crystals."

Researchers found some of the grains date back to over 1 billion years ago

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