Rolla Stonehenge, Missouri

photo by Andy Lahr, used with permission

photo by Andy Lahr, used with permission

On the campus of the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri, stands a half-scale partial reconstruction of Stonehenge, built of granite that was cut with high pressure water jets. The monument was suggested by Dr. Joseph Marchello, who had helped to found the Center for Archaeo-Astronomy at the University of Maryland before he moved to the Missouri school.

It was built with the help of a civil engineer and astronomer as well as a high pressure waterjet group (who knew there were such things?), so, fittingly for a science and technology campus, it is a demonstration of the science aspect of Stonehenge rather than a work of art. Impressively, the website [link] says, “The Rolla replica of Stonehenge incorporates many of the features of the original and includes two capabilities that the original did not possess.” Click on the links to the right of the page to read the explanations.

Score: 6½ druids. Some great functions here and we’re impressed by them, but it doesn’t capture whatever it is that made Stonehenge an icon.

You can see it on Google Street View here.

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2 thoughts on “Rolla Stonehenge, Missouri

  1. Thank you for this good information. Although this is primarily an entertainment and we hope somewhat humourous blog, we do like to have the facts right.

    Well done making the stones, by the way!

  2. The U. of Missouri – Rolla 1/2 scale Stonehenge replica construction was conceived and managed by Dr. David A. Summers, Director of the Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center in the period from 1982-1984. Summers’ research interests at the time included various uses of cavitating water jets in the mining industry. Along with long wall coal mining, lead ore mining, and extraction of oil from shale, the water jet technology was used to cut granite. It was highly efficient and eliminated dust. There were no abrasives, torches, or saws used in the cutting process. Granite blocks were imported from Georgia by rail. Erosive cavitation within two diverging and rotating high pressure water jets were used to cut the granite to the dimensions needed. As a graduate student working under Summers, I particiapted in cutting most of these stones using nothing but water. This particular “clonehenge” is a unique monument to human ingenuity in more ways than one.

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