Archaeologists studying the mysteries of Stonehenge -- one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world -- may have been looking for answers in the wrong place.
As the Blaze reports, a team of scientists from Aberystwyth University, University College London and National Museum of Wales claim that the famous Stonehenge spotted dolerite bluestones thought to have originated from a hill known as Carn Meini at Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire, may have actually come from a hill called Carn Goedog, almost a mile away.
"I don't expect to be getting Christmas cards from the archaeologists who have been excavating at the wrong place over all these years," said Dr. Richard Bevins of the National Museum of Wales.
Archaeologists have flocked to Carn Meini looking for evidence of a Stonehenge quarry ever since geologist Herbert Henry Thomas pinpointed that spot as the source of the Stonehenge bluestones in 1923, the Guardian said.
According to the Guardian, Bevin and his team used geochemical techniques to compare samples of rock and debris from Stonehenge with data collected from the Preseli Mountains. Testing confirmed that the spotted dolerite bluestones came from Carn Goedog. Bevin says the chance of the bluestones coming from anywhere other than Carn Goedog is "statistically-speaking, infinitesimally small."
"I hope that our recent scientific findings will influence the continually debated question of how the bluestones were transported to Salisbury Plain," Bevin said.
As the Guardian points out, some people content that prehistoric man transported the bluestones to Wiltshire, while others believe it was swept east by glaciers.
"Almost everything we believed 10 years ago about the bluestones has been shown to be partially or completely incorrect,” said Rob Ixer of University College London. “We are still in the stages of redress and shall continue to research the bluestones for answers."
This isn't the first time Dr. Bevin and his team have made a discovery related to Stonehenge. According to the BBC, they found the source of the rhyolite bluestones at Craig Rhos y Felin.
As the Guardian points out, Bevins concedes that while the new discoveries won’t answer all the questions pertaining to Stonehenge, he thinks the mystery will be solved eventually.
"I've been studying the bluestones for over 30 years now, and I'm no closer to finding an answer which convinces me either way,” Bevins said. “But the one thing which I am increasingly sure of is that each piece of the puzzle we find brings us another step closer to the truth … We've located two of the sources, and there's another five or possibly six to go.
"By the time we have identified those then I'm certain we'll have an answer either way. Whether that happens in my career, or even my lifetime, who knows?"
According to the BBC, the new Stonehenge findings will be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.