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23 September 2011
High resolution 3D Stonehenge model unveiled

A detailed survey of every stone that makes up Stonehenge using the latest technology, including a new scanner that has never before been used on a heritage project in Britain, has resulted in the most accurate digital model ever produced of the world famous monument.
     With resolution level as high as 0.5mm in many areas, every nook and cranny of the stones' surfaces is revealed with utmost clarity, including the lichens, Bronze Age carvings, erosion patterns and Victorian graffiti. Most surprisingly, initial assessment of the survey has suggested that the 'grooves' resulting from stone dressing on some sarsen stones appear to be divided into sections, perhaps with different teams of Neolithic builders working on separate areas. A first glimpse of the model can now be viewed on the English Heritage website.
     In March 2011 English Heritage commissioned 3D laser scanning specialists the Greenhatch Group, together with Atkins Mapping and Archaeo-Environment Ltd, to capture the stones and the landscape surrounding them at a level of precision and definition never before attempted. The survey includes all the visible faces of the standing and fallen stones of Stonehenge, including Station, Heel and Slaughter stones, as well as the top of the horizontal lintels.
     The resultant high resolution archival data and 3D meshed models is currently being synthesised and will be officially published and shared with the wider archaeological community in due course.

Edited from English Heritage (16 September 2011)

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