Antiquity

  • Antiquity / Volume 89 / Issue 348 / December 2015, pp 1331-1352
  • Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2016 This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2015.177 (About DOI), Published online: 07 December 2015
  • OPEN ACCESS

Research

Craig Rhos-y-felin: a Welsh bluestone megalith quarry for Stonehenge

Mike Parker Pearsona1, Richard Bevinsa2, Rob Ixera1, Joshua Pollarda3, Colin Richardsa4, Kate Welhama5, Ben Chana6, Kevan Edinborougha1, Derek Hamiltona7, Richard Macphaila1, Duncan Schleea8, Jean-Luc Schwenningera9, Ellen Simmonsa10 and Martin Smitha5

a1 Institute of Archaeology, University College London, 31–34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY, UK (Email: [email protected])

a2 National Museum of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP, UK

a3 Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BF, UK

a4 School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK

a5 Department of Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Science, Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole BH12 5BB, UK

a6 Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, Postbus 9514, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands

a7 Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, Rankine Avenue, Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, East Kilbride G75 0QF, UK

a8 Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Shire Hall, Llandeilo SA19 6AF, UK

a9 Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK

a10 Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Northgate House, West Street, Sheffield S1 4ET, UK

Abstract

The long-distance transport of the bluestones from south Wales to Stonehenge is one of the most remarkable achievements of Neolithic societies in north-west Europe. Where precisely these stones were quarried, when they were extracted and how they were transported has long been a subject of speculation, experiment and controversy. The discovery of a megalithic bluestone quarry at Craig Rhos-y-felin in 2011 marked a turning point in this research. Subsequent excavations have provided details of the quarrying process along with direct dating evidence for the extraction of bluestone monoliths at this location, demonstrating both Neolithic and Early Bronze Age activity.

(Received January 09 2015)

(Accepted April 03 2015)

(Revised April 18 2015)

Keywords:

  • Britain;
  • Preseli;
  • Stonehenge;
  • Mesolithic;
  • Neolithic;
  • megalithic;
  • bluestone;
  • rhyolite;
  • dolerite;
  • prehistoric quarrying
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