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BBC Wales's Amanda Powell
"No one knows for sure how the stones were transported to Wiltshire"
 real 28k

Friday, 24 March, 2000, 13:43 GMT
Mystery of Stonehenge trek explored
Stonehenge
Stonehenge's inner circle features Welsh bluestones
A six-month journey to discover how the builders of Stonehenge transported giant Welsh stones from the Welsh mountains is set to get under way.

It remains a mystery how the huge blue stones from the Preseli mountains were dragged 200 miles to the ancient ceremonial site.

Click here to see the route

But a group of volunteers from The National Trust and Pembrokeshire College are attempting to finally discover the methods used to move the stones using a rock called the Millennium Stone.

They plan to re-enact a possible route of the Stone Age builders using methods they will first rehearse at Withybush Aerodrome, near Haverfordwest.

International engineering company Whitby Bird and Partners and economic development body Menter Preseli will oversee the volunteers using 21st century knowledge.

Inner circle

The puzzle centres on how the builders of Stonehenge created the inner circle of bluestones which originate from north Pembrokeshire.

From April the Millennium Stone will be moved over land and water using methods that would have been available in the Stone Age.

The modern day volunteers will use ropes, sleds and runners, while the trip across water will be made using replica Stone Age boats that have already been built.

The route the stone will take begins in the Preseli Mountains then down to the Cleddau Estuary to the Bristol Channel at Milford Haven. The sea journey will end at Bristol.

Marathon trek

From there, the stone will travel along the route of the River Avon to Dolemeads and then along the Kennet and Avon Canal before a final overland stage to Stonehenge.

It is anticipated the stone will reach the ancient site by September.

The 100,000 Millennium Stone project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival.

Menter Preseli put the idea forward under the European Union Leader II programme and the scheme is linked in with the Celtic Voyage 2000, also taking place in Pembrokeshire.



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09 Nov 99 | Sci/Tech
Facing up to the Stone Age
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