EXHIBIT: Secrets of the Stones

Science  31 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5646, pp. 757
DOI: 10.1126/science.302.5646.757d

Fifty years ago, scientists discerned ancient images of axes and a dagger incised into the columns of Stonehenge. Now researchers employing 3D laser scans have illuminated further carvings that erosion had rendered invisible to the naked eye. Check out the once-hidden depictions and learn about their possible significance at Stonehenge Laser Scans, a new site from Wessex Archaeology, a nonprofit based in Salisbury, U.K., and Archaeoptics Ltd. of Glasgow. The carvings—one of a 10-cm-high ax, the other possibly of two axes superimposed—are of types made around 1800 B.C., some 500 years after Stonehenge was erected. Similar carvings on other monuments from the time are associated with burials. The researchers, who describe their findings in the November issue of British Archaeology, have scanned parts of three of the surviving 83 stones and expect that others contain additional artwork. The site's animations show 360° views of the stone circle and close-ups of carvings.


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