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25 August 2006
Woodhenge bluestone discovery

A member of an archaeological team working under the direction of Josh Pollard made an exciting and significant find at the most recent excavation at Woodhenge (Wilthsire, England). The discovery was of a large piece of bluestone from the Preseli Mountain Range in south Wales. On first examination, the piece certainly appeared to be a piece of spotted dolerite, but this will have to be confirmed by further study. It was roughly two and half to three inches long and roughly an inch across.
     At one end of the bluestone fragment, there were clear signs that it had been worked or struck from a larger piece, while it was found in the vicinity of two large stone holes discovered in a previous excavation conducted by Maud Cunnington and others in the 1920s in the south-western quadrant of Woodhenge. It is likely  that stones of some considerable size once stood in these pits. We also know that quantities of burned sarsen fragments were discovered in the upper parts of these filled-in holes, but the discovery was the first time that the famous bluestone has been found at Woodhenge. Due to the poor quality of excavation and recording on previous excavations in the early part of the last century, it is not out of the question that other fragments of bluestone may have been missed, neglected or discarded, but the flake discovered was the first of its kind found on this site.
     Another archaeological team is excavating an area close to the western end of the Great Cursus, and the primary goal of this undertaking is to discover evidence of another bluestone monument that may once have stood there. There is no question that bluestone was highly prized as a building material for monuments. We can only hazard an informed guess as to why this particular rock was so highly valued, but now that a worked fragment has been discovered at Woodhenge, a mile or so northeast of Stonehenge, there is more than a suggestion that its value was not confined to the monument standing at the centre of the Stonehenge landscape.
     Curiously enough, another bluestone fragment was discovered on the same day on a different excavation in the Stonehenge landscape at around the same time as the Woodhenge discovery was made. This latest piece was found at the western end of the Cursus where a team were searching for evidence of a lost bluestone monument.

Source: Eternal Idol Blog (23 August 2006)

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