It’s a puzzle which has challenged anthropologists for centuries but at last it seems there may be an answer to the question about the origins of Stone Henge – but it’s not what you may have expected.
Druids and even aliens have been linked with the famous stone circle in Wiltshire in England in the past.
However, the results of a new study published in Nature magazine suggest the ancient relic was originally constructed by farmers from Turkey.
Apparently, DNA recovered from Neolithic skeletons indicates links with an ancient Anatolian race who migrated north from the Mediterranean region around 6,000 years ago.
They were successful enough to replace the indigenous people, who had been largely hunter-gatherers since the previous Ice Age, with primitive agriculture becoming the norm in northern Europe from around 4,000BC onwards.
The theory suggests the farmers originated from the area which is now modern-day Turkey, moving from east to west as far as Spain and Portugal first.
However, the report indicates their descendants then moved north, arriving first on the United Kingdom’s western shores before moving inland to locations such as Wiltshire where they were better equipped for survival.
“Even if these two populations had mixed completely, the ability of adept continental farmers and their descendants to maintain larger population sizes would produce a significant diminishing of hunter-gatherer ancestry over time,” Prof Mark Thomas of University College in London is quoted as saying in Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper.
The paper produced by Prof Thomas and his team also suggests genetic samples recovered could suggest skin colour could be a factor in identifying the creators of Stone Henge.
Past studies have shown ancient tribes folk resident in the UK since the Ice Age were thought to have been dark-skinned with blue or green eyes whereas the DNA samples suggest the more-recently-arrived farmers had lighter skin and brown eyes.