The prehistoric monument Stonehenge may have been built as a giant xylophone, researchers have claimed. The Royal College of Art spent months tapping more than 1,000 types of rock to study the monument's musical qualities.
Most rocks produced a "dull thud" while the bluestones, which formed the earliest stone circle, were found to "sing" when struck. The rocks made a range of metallic sounds like bells, gongs and tin drums, the study confirmed.
Paul Devereux, who led the study with Jon Wozencroftfrom, said: “We have had percussionists up here who have been able to actually get proper tunes out of the rocks. This is real rock music.”
This unique sonic nature could explain why neolithic men dragged the huge stones 200 miles from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire more than 4,000 years ago to build Stonehenge.
The much-anticipated new Stonehenge exhibition will open tomorrow, giving visitors a special exhibition surrounding the story of the historical monuments.
The transformation comes as part of an English Heritage £27 million project to enhance the visitor experience of the iconic site.
A 360-degree virtual experience will allow visitors to 'stand in the stones' where they can be transported back in time with the stones.
Dr Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said:
"At last, visitors to Stonehenge will be able to get a sense of the people who built this monument, of their lives, their deaths and their ceremonies. Visitors will learn the astonishing history of the stones and will see objects, many never seen before, that will bring the stones to life."