By Aaron Sharp
The age-old secret of why Stonehenge was built where it was can now be revealed, according to historians.
The reason for the stone monument’s location has remained one of the great unsolved mysteries of British prehistory, with no one theory accepted as correct.
But now a team of scientists working in Amesbury, a short distance from where the landmark sits on a hillside, believe the discovery of a warm water spring could be the key to solving the riddle.
Pre-historic: An area of warm springs close to Stonehenge are likely have been home to Mesolithic cavemen. They may have chosen to live by the pools, which scientists say would be ‘irresistible’ to passing wildlife
Breakthrough: The pools, which are just walking distance from the famous stones in Amesbury give an explanation of why Mesolithic settlers were in the area and to why the monument was built where it was
A small series of shallow pools close to Stonehenge have remained undisturbed for tens of thousands of years.
Hidden in a private estate and surrounded by trees, the inconspicuous plot which sits alongside the A303 in Amesbury, is believed to be a mesolithic landscape dating back to 7,596BC.
It is fed by a spring which keeps the pools warm at a constant 11 degrees, even during the depths of winter.
Scientists visited the site in 2010 when temperatures were sub-zero and found that the water remained unaffected by the surrounding snow.
This gave them reason to believe that the area may have been one of great importance during and immediately after the ice age.
The warm water, it is claimed, would have been irresistible to passing wildlife who migrated north as the ice, which had previously dominated much of the earth’s surface, retreated to the poles.
Andy Rhind-Tutt, chairman of the Amesbury Museum and Heritage Trust, who has surveyed the site over years, believes the springs are a vital to unlocking the mystery of Stonehenge.
Ice attraction: Scientists visited the area in minus ten degree temperatures and found that the pools were still a ‘tepid’ 11 degrees above freezing
He told The Times: ‘The belief has always been that Stonehenge would not have been built here without there being something special about the area.
‘We believe the answer lies in the springs which feed the River Avon. We came here in January when it was -10 degrees and the water was still tepid.
‘The pools were surrounded by green grass when everywhere else was frozen.’
The discovery of water close to the neolithic monument also gave archeologists a candid look at pre-historic diets.
An archaeological dig, which took place a mile away from Stonehenge found