Stonehenge builders familiar with ball bearing technology
London: Neolithic engineers may have used ball bearings in the construction of Stonehenge.
The same technique that allows vehicles and machinery to run smoothly today could have been used to transport the monument`s massive standing stones more than 4,000 years ago, says a new theory.
Scientists showed how balls placed in grooved wooden tracks would have allowed the easy movement of stones weighing many tonnes.
No one has yet successfully explained how the heavy slabs used to build Stonehenge were shifted from their quarries to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, reports the Daily Mail.
Some, the `bluestones`, weighed four tonnes each, and were brought a distance of 150 miles from Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Attempts to re-enact transporting the blocks on wooden rollers or floating them on the sea have not proved convincing.
The hard surfaces and trenches needed when using rollers would also have left their mark on the landscape, but are missing.
Experts hit on the new idea after examining mysterious stone balls found near Stonehenge-like monuments in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
About the size of a cricket ball, they are precisely fashioned to be within a millimetre of the same size.
This suggests they were meant to be used together in some way rather than individually. The Scottish stone circles are similar in form to Stonehenge, but contain some much larger stones.
To test the theory, researchers from the University of Exeter constructed a model in which wooden balls were inserted into grooves dug out of timber planks.
When heavy concrete slabs were placed on a platform above the balls, held in position by more grooved tracks, they could be moved with ease.
Prof Bruce Bradley, director of experimental archaeology, University of Exeter, said: "The demonstration indicated that big stones could have been moved using this ball bearing system with roughly 10 oxen and may have been able to transport stones up to 10 miles per day.”
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Trump-Sharif conversation: Team Donald denies Pakistan's claims
- Aware of Chinese submarine deployment at Balochistan's Gwadar port, says Navy chief
- Hizbul commander Musa issues threats of attacks in new video
- 'Heart of Asia' Conference begins in Amritsar; Sartaj Aziz to pay a visit on Sunday
- Panel discussion over Mamata Banerjee's false allegations on Indian Army for political gains
- Gujarat businessman declares highest ever black money amount – Rs 13,000 crore!
- Army proves Mamata Banerjee wrong, releases letter showing West Bengal govt knew of exercise
- Rs 14,000 crore default case: Gujarat businessman detained, says money belongs to politicians, babus
- Manohar Parrikar exposes Mamata's attempt to politicise routine Army exercise in Kolkata
- Newly-wed couple Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech perform `bhangra` at Goa airport – Viral video