Science News

Stonehenge builders used pork fat to transport stones

The issue concerning the Stonehenge complex continues to occupy the minds of historians and researchers: how were these huge 30-ton megaliths moved?

Pork fat may have been used, according to a new study published in Science. The researchers came to this conclusion because findings of ceramics made in the Stonehenge area suggest the idea that sleds were used at that time that flowed more easily thanks to lard or tallow, a system by which Stonehenge builders probably they managed to transport these large stones even from a great distance.

The ceramics with traces of pork fat have been found in a nearby prehistoric village, that of Durrington Walls. According to the researchers, the traces of pigs found do not refer to pieces cooked for the locals or even for the Stonehenge builders as the same traces suggest the presence of whole pig carcasses, only burned at the end of the paw bones.

If they used these ceramic pots to cook pork, they would have to cut the latter into smaller pieces. More likely, according to the researchers, these pigs were roasted on a spit while the jars were used to collect the fat that dripped from the carcasses while they were being cooked.

This fat was then used to better roll the wooden sledges on the trunks in order to transport the large boulders from miles away.

Henry Wright

I hold a masters degree in statistics and was a professor at Iowa State University for nearly 2 years before moving into stock trading full time. In 2017, I founded Bridgestone News Room and in 2019 got serious about building the site up as a credible source for science news. Since then, I have brought on several contributors and have published many news items on different kinds of research. Outside of my main work and the time I spend building up this website, my main hobby is participating in machine learning and data analysis competitions on Kaggle.

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Henry Wright