Archaeologists only identified a Scottish "Stonehenge," lost without being discovered for nearly 5,000 years. Tony Spitz of Buzz60 has details.
Although Stonehenge may be the most famous of the European megaliths, it is far from the only one: There are 35,000 of the mysterious stone structures across the continent.
Today a new study indicates that an ancient culture emerged from what is now the Brittany region of northwest France may have begun to build structures and monuments that have been around for some 7,000 years.
Author of study Bettina Schulz Paulsson of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden says that the megalith building probably started in France and spread from there via sea routes across Europe within the next 1,000 years or more.
Over ten years of exhaustion, Schulz Paulson created a "megalith evaluation" using radiocarbon dating more than 2,000 historic sites across Europe. "We have thus demonstrated that the earliest megaliths came from northwestern France and spread over the marine routes of the Mediterranean and Atlantic shores in three consecutive major stages," she wrote in the study.
The ancient French people could not build Stonehenge, they might have been inspired – and given an idea for it – to those who built it.
If this is true, the maritime practice and technology of societies like this one may be far beyond what was previously thought, the study said.
A female dances during a autumn equinox celebration at Stonehenge. (Photo: Matt Cardy, Getty Images)
The famous Stonehenge is among the latest megaliths built, likely to be around 2,500 BC.
Other theories have been said that they may have come from Near East or even possible freely, but new research appears to rule out ideas out.
"It shows completely Brittany is the source of the European megalithic phenomenon, Michael Parker Pearson, an archaeologist and specialist at Stonehenge at University College London, told Science magazine.
results were published Monday in peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.