A piece of stone drilled from Stonehenge has been returned to the site 60 years after being removed during archaeological excavations. The cylinder, which is 1.08 metres long and has a diameter of 25 millimetres, was taken from one of the monoliths in 1958 when the cracked stone was strengthened with metal rods. Reports stated that the missing piece could now help determine the origin of the stone. Radiocarbon dating shows that Stonehenge was constructed 4,000-5,000 years ago.
There is no definitive answer as to why it was built or what purpose it served, though theories suggest it could have been a religious site or an astronomical observatory. Thousands of pagans, druids and revellers still gather at the site to see the sunrise on the summer and winter solstices each year.
Stonehenge’s smaller bluestones were brought from the Preseli Hills in south-west Wales but the precise origin of the much larger sarsens is unknown. They believe the rediscovered core presents a unique opportunity to analyse the unweathered interior of a stone.