“Ball bearings” used for Stonehenge

Neolithic engineers may have used ball bearings in the construction of Stonehenge, it has been claimed.

The same technique that allows vehicles and machinery to function properly could have been used to transport the monument’s massive standing stones over 4,000 years ago, according to a new theory.

Scientists have shown how logs placed in grooved wooden tracks would have allowed the easy movement of stones weighing several tons.

No one has yet managed to explain how the heavy slabs used to build Stonehenge were moved from their quarries to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.

Some, the “blue stones”, weighed four tons each and were transported 150 miles from Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Attempts to reconstruct the transport of the blocks on wooden rollers or to float them on the sea have not proved convincing.

The hard surfaces and trenches required when using the rollers would also have left their mark on the landscape, but are lacking.

Experts discovered the new idea after examining mysterious stone balls found near monuments similar to Stonehenge in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

About the size of a cricket ball, they’re precisely designed to be within a millimeter of the same size. This suggests that they were meant to be used together in some way rather than individually.

Scottish Stone Circles are similar in shape to Stonehenge, but contain much larger stones. To test the theory, researchers at the University of Exeter built a model in which logs were inserted into grooves carved into wooden planks.

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