Moving the Stonehenge Bluestones: At last a successful method is demonstrated!

3 10 2012

Without a single archaeologist in sight, a couple of boat builders and an inspired TV company show just how easy it can be to load a full-size bluestone onto a replica Bronze-Age boat. Robin Heath was there and took some photographs
Stonehenge Bluestone experimentOn the 15th August, near Poppit Sands, in Cardigan, West Wales, several skilled artisans showed how they would load a boat with a multi-ton bluestone. They did this with a force 7 on-shore gale battering the shore-line. In the time it took for the tide to come in, a flawless lowering took place of a large bluestone onto a prepared cradle within a near-replica of the boat found at Ferriby during the early 70s.
Moving the BluestonesThe Ferriby boat has been dated around 2000 BC, making it much too late for the period of bluestone moving (given at around 2700 – 2400 BC depending on which source one reads). But the boat is entirely believable as a design possible within the known technology of that period. Basically, if one can make Stonehenge, replete with mortice and tenon joints and tongue and grooving in stone, then one can make planks and joints in wood!. The remains of timber roundhouses reveal how timber was strung and stitched together.
On the 15th August, near Poppit Sands, in Cardigan, West Wales, several skilled artisans showed how they would load a boat with a multi-ton bluestone. They did this with a force 7 on-shore gale battering the shore-line. In the time it took for the tide to come in, a flawless lowering took place of a large bluestone onto a prepared cradle within a near-replica of the boat found at Ferriby during the early 70s.

Under the direction of a film crew working for the state-side Discovery Channel, not a single multicoloured pullover bearded archaeologist was harmed during this risky undertaking, primarily because none were employed. Instead, the company wisely sought out highly skilled local craftpeople, Nick, Dougie and Paul, time-served in the construction and repair of wooden boats including one (www.Keewaydin.com) weighing in at over 100 tons, and having much experience of building large wooden structures for maneuvering seemingly unfeasibly heavy weights. They delivered the goods with utter confidence and without fuss. The spectacle was a joy to behold.

The history of replicating aspects of how the bluestones were moved from sites in the Preseli mountains of West Wales is colourful, to say the least.  In 1923, Dr H H Thomas, a petrologist, wrote a seemingly innocent paper indicating that most of the Stonehenge bluestones had originated from just a very few outcrops around Carn Meini, near the village of Mynachlog ddu in North Pembrokeshire. Ever since a series of vitriolic and quite emotional arguments have periodically flared up to either applaud Dr Thomas on finally nailing this vital question for Stonehenge researchers, or to completely rubbish his experimental methodology because the stones “must have got there by the action of glaciation.”

The question is an important one, because if moved by the hand of man, it poses some humdinger other questions about the capabilities and intentions of the Stonehenge builders. These are uncomfortable to mainstream archaeologists, many of whom lie awake at night racked with anxiety whenever the present rather cosy model of Neolithic life is threatened by increased reality.

This ‘bluestone argument’ has recently been reactivated through the work of a team of geologists and archaeologists whose most well-known spokesperson, the amiable Professor Mike Parker-Pearson (Sheffield), oversaw the excavation of a buried and large megalith from a lowland outcrop on the northern side of the Preselis near Pont Saeson, near Brynberian, in 2011.Although not a classic spotted bluestone, this beast’s geology exactly matched that of the nearby outcrop and also matched the chemistry of several others of the “non-bluestone bluestones” at Stonehenge. The theory is put forward that, based on the evidence so far, no ice-age could have moved this stone or other ones from this site over the Preselis to Stonehenge. That the outcrop lies adjacent to a tributary of the Nevern river also supports the theory of transport by river, then the sea, as per the now traditional theory first promoted in the 1950s by Professor Richard Atkinson (Cardiff) and described within his still remarkably comprehensive book Stonehenge (Unwin, 1956). A later edition of his book has a Byronic illustration ( by Alan Sorrell) of a raft holding a doomed bluestone and crewed by savages being lashed by a Pembrokeshire so’westerly.

Now Atkinson really was old school archaeologist. Never far from a cigarette holder and always sporting a bow-tie, ‘Dickie’ Atkinson produced a classic 1950s TV re-inactment of bluestone moving using ‘multiple punts’ and other supposedly neolithic craft on a stretch of the Bristol Avon, using public schoolboys as stone-age stone movers. It was all rather Enid Blyton and Eton mess.

This may appear laughably naïve to us today, yet later attempts have been far more dangerous to life and limb than this first filmed effort. Perhaps it was the lashings of ginger beer that fortified the crews on the Atkinson boats, or perhaps it was just that folk had far more common sense than today, for since then, two attempts have sent bluestones tumbling to the bottom of Milford Haven, or Neyland, and at least four people have been hospitalized with crushing and fracturing injuries as a result of attempting to lift or move these heavy monoliths.

During the heady days of the new millennium, a lottery funded attempt to take a bluestone from Carn Menyn to Stonehenge became part of local folklore, and is a story that will be told to grandchildren by their grandparents for a while yet, as it contains all the tragedy, farce and comedy of a good narrative. The fated single stone now languishes in 70 feet of water opposite Pembroke Dock, where it lends support to the dangerous theory that suggests, perhaps, we have actually devolved in our abilities as a species since the Stone Age.

Those who have taken the trouble to read my own contributions to the matter of Stonehenge (in books, presentations and via http://www.skyandlandscape.com) will appreciate that another question needs to be asked concerning the monument. Once they are seen to have been moved to Salisbury Plain by the hand of man, it goes beyond how the bluestones arrived there and becomes why they were so important in the monument? It is 135 miles (as the crow flies) from Preseli to Stonehenge, and these stones were not moved without some powerful driving motivation. What might that be, eh? If the glaciation theory is attenuated by this new evidence, then ipso facto the argument for the bluestones having been moved by human intent is fortified. And this then begs a really tricky ‘geomantic’ question: Might the location of the bluestones, rather than their geological composition, be a significant reason for their required presence at Stonehenge?

No one in academia presently wants to get anywhere near this question, yet today’s successful positing of a fat bluestone into the bowels of a believable neolithic boat scores an important point in supporting the theory that the moving of the bluestones occurred through human intent. That being the case, why the Neolithic culture should have been compelled to undertake such a task now surely commands our utmost attention.

Watch the increasing thrumming emanating from various blogs and websites manned 24/7 by researchers, zealots, seekers, bigots and unemployed folk sporting archaeology degrees. Finally, watch the documentary on the Discovery Channel when it comes out!

Written by
Source Link: http://www.matrixofcreation.co.uk/megalithic-sciences/item/93-moving-the-bluestones-at-last-a-successful-method-is-demonstrated

Blog sponsored by ‘Stonehenge Guided Tours’ www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin says “The BIG  debate continues – Glacier V Bronze Age Boat”

 The Stonehenge News Blog





Bass-fueled Stonehenge replica at Burning Man Festival 2012

9 04 2012

Just read this in the Sandiego Reader – watch this video below. As part of their series of fundraisers to construct a bass-fueled Bass HengeStonehenge replica at Burning Man 2012, Basshenge is hosting an art auction at the 10th Avenue Theatre and Arts Centre, Downtown.

“2012 is a mystical time for the world, so we wanted to build one of the wonders of the world,” Cosmic Family promoter Christophe Lobe, a project manager behind the Basshenge sound camp, told The Reader in January.

As such, a group of volunteers from across the country is building a life-size (150 feet in diameter) Stonehenge replica for this year’s Burning Man art and music festival in Nevada.

The structure will be powered by 100,000 watts of sound, over 120 LEDs, pyrotechnics, interactive art, and circus performances on the 2000-person capacity dance floor.

“Somebody built a ‘henge in ‘04 and burnt it afterwards, but we’re going to take this on tour around the country,” says Loeb. “Our goal is to supply jobs and to be of service to local and cross continental promoters.”

To fund the project, which will be fabricated in Chula Vista, Lobe and project partner Per-sep-sion have run now-closed Kickstarter and IndieGoGo campaigns in addition to a series of fundraiser parties.

The art auction on Tuesday, April 10, includes live painting, body/face painting, silent auctions, handmade crafts and clothing, fire dancers, music by Jungle Presents, a chillout rooftop lounge.

Link: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/out-about/2012/apr/08/basshenge-art-auction/
Link: http://www.burningman.com/

Sponsored by ‘the stonehenge Tour Company’ www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin says “I have always wanted to add ‘The Burning Man’ to my list of Festivals – this could be the year to go”

Merlin @ Stonehenge





Health and Safety Laws Threaten Access to Stonehenge

1 04 2012

English Heritage have announced that access into the inner circle of Stonehenge is to be restricted and future visitors must wear hard hats at all time.
Risk assessmentIs Stonehenge Safe ?
Health and safety officers announced:
“If there is a a chance that an object could strike or fall on the heads of persons, they MUST wear a hard hat. Employers are required to take every possible measure to make sure that persons in their employment wears a hard hat and any visitors entering the inner circle during ‘special access’ or ‘open access’ must wear them”

Is Stonehenge safe to walk around ?
It’s not surprising when many thousand year old megalithic structures without deep roots and only minimally interlocking joints eventually fall over as they are undermined.
There definitely has been ground erosion. IIRC, the stones are gently sinking into the soil, year by year. There’s also a major road nearby which is causing both vibration and air pollution problems. The stones have also had acid rain erosion problems.
Potential falling rocks. 
Parts of Stonehenge certainly have fallen over in the past.

  • Stone 22 and a lintel – both in the outer circle – fell on 31st December 1900.
  • In the central horseshoe of 5 trilithon pairs, 57-58 and their lintel fell over in 1797, but were restored in 1958.
  • Stone 23 keeled over in 1963, which is the last major collapse.

High Visibility Jackets is not enough.

Security guards already wear high visibility jackets, however this does not provide adequate protection and the contractors are currenty at risk. Staff and visitors would be exposed to objects falling from a height.

Peter Carson said yesterday “Eliminating the risk would be better than issuing a PPE!”

The English Heritage recommend the wearing of Hi-Vis jackets and hard hats will be sold in the visitor center from 1st May 2012 (approx. £2.99)

Summer Solstice Celebraions Dangers
This announcement will effect the Summer Solstice celebrations and future ‘open access’ visits. This has angered local pagan communities. English Heritage will not be supplying hard hats ‘free of charge’ and will not allow entry without them.

No hard hats at Stonehenge petition

No hard hats at Stonehenge petition

Arthur Pendragon Campaign
Local Druid Arthur was outraged to hear the news and is convinced this is just a ploy by English Heritage and Wiltshire Police to prevent future ‘open access’ to the monument.

He quoted “Sikhs in Great Britain can ride motorcycles without helmets; so we are campaigning for the right not to wear hard hats inside Stonehenge and other Stone Circles”

 

Merlin says ” APRIL FOOL!”

Follow me on twitter for more news:
https://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE 

 





STONEHENGE: UNCOVERED – February 24th 2012

22 02 2012

Unlock the secrets of Stonehenge and the surrounding sites in this exclusive walking tour led by English Heritages’ Properties Historian Susan Greaney.Visit the World Heritage Site and key archaeological areas in this fascinating landscape. Along the way, gain an exclusive insight into the new and exciting discoveries made by recent research projects carried out in the area and discover for yourself more about this special landscape.
Stonehenge HOW TO BOOK

Purchase your tickets today by calling our dedicated Ticket Sales Team on            0870 333 1183       (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30 Sat 9am – 5pm). Please note: Booking tickets for this event is essential as places are limited

Link: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/events/stonehenge-uncovered-s-24-feb/

Sponsored by ‘The Stoneheng Tour Company’ http://www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin say “You have to be an English Heritage member for this tour but its well worth joining”

Merlin @ Stonehenge 





Scientists locate exact source of Stonehenge stone but how did they get there?

19 12 2011

Scientists have located the exact source of the rock believed to have been used to create some of Stonehenge’s first stone circle.

Researchers have been able to match fragments of stone from around the 5,000 year old monument with an outcrop of rock in south-west Wales.

Stonehenge Bluestone

Photo: ALAMY

The work – carried out by geologists Robert Ixer of the University of Leicester and Richard Bevins of the National Museum of Wales – has identified the source as a site called Craig Rhos-y-Felin, near Pont Saeson in north Pembrokeshire.

It is the first time that an exact source has been found for any of the stones thought to have been used to build Stonehenge.

The discovery has re-invigorated a long running debate as to whether the smaller standing stones of Stonehenge were quarried and brought from Pembrokeshire by prehistoric humans or whether they were carried all or part of the way to Wiltshire by glaciers hundreds of thousands of years earlier.

Archaeologists tend to subscribe to the ‘human transport’ theory, while geomorphologists often favour the glacial one.

The debate is solely about Stonehenge’s smaller standing stones which are sometimes known collectively as bluestones. The larger stones, or sarsens, are accepted to have been incorporated into the monument several centuries later.

The remarkable find has been reported in the journal Archaeology in Wales and opens up the possibility of finding archaeological evidence of quarrying activity at Craig Rhos-y-Felin which would indicate humans rather than glaciers were responsible for transporting the stone.

Research over recent years by Tim Darvill of Bournemouth University and Geoffrey Wainwright, a former chief archaeologist at English Heritage, suggests that the Pembrokeshire stones may have had a particular ideological significance.

The outcrops where some of the stones come from are thought to have been associated with sacred springs and local Welsh stone circles.

By bringing those particular rocks the 160 miles from Pembrokeshire to Wiltshire, the builders of Stonehenge may have thought they were obtaining more than just plain rock.

Experts have suggested they may have regarded the stone as having supernatural powers.

By DailTelegraph Reporter – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/8964899/Scientists-locate-exact-source-of-Stonehenge-stone.html

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ – www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin says: “Surely experts can establish if they were moved by glaciers or man power?”

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





Stanton Drew stone circles yield more clues to the past

18 10 2011

 A geophysical survey at the three stone circles at Stanton Drew near Bath, England, has uncovered more details about the prehistoric monuments.

This is Bath reports that subsurface imaging has added to a similar survey done in 1997. That survey revealed that the largest of the three circles was surrounded by a ditch with a wide entrance. The new survey, done with more modern equipment, discovered a second, smaller entrance. Archaeologists also found that one of the smaller stone circles stood on a leveled platform.

Stanton Drew’s main circle is more than 110 meters in diameter, making it the second largest stone circle in the UK, bigger than Stonehenge and second only to Avebury. The main entrance of its surrounding ditch faced a smaller stone circle to the northeast. Further away to the southwest was a third circle. Inside the main circle were nine concentric rings of wooden posts. These rings may have served as a sort of calendar marking important celestial events such as solstices and equinoxes. The megaliths of the three stone circles served a similar function.

Local folklore says the stones are a wedding party tricked by the Devil into celebrating on a Sunday. Stone circles have accumulated lots of folklore and several are said to be petrified people, including the Rollright Stones.

The complete archaeological reports are available here.
Sean McLachlan

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour’ Company www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ Stonehenge





3D Stonehenge Model Unveiled

16 09 2011

3d-stonehenge-scanEnglish Heritage have announced that the survey and initial data processing of the recent laser scan of Stonehenge is now complete, and present an update with a short video fly-though of the data.
A detailed survey of every stone that makes up Stonehenge using the latest technology, including a new scanner on loan from Z+F UK that has never before been used on a heritage project in this country, has resulted in the most accurate digital model ever produced of the world famous monument.

 With resolution level as high as 0.5mm in many areas, every nook and cranny of the stones’ surfaces is revealed with utmost clarity, including the lichens, Bronze Age carvings, erosion patterns and Victorian graffiti.

Most surprisingly, initial assessment of the survey has suggested that the ‘grooves’ resulting from stone dressing on some sarsen stones (the standing stones) appear to be divided into sections, perhaps with different teams of Neolithic builders working on separate areas.

A first glimpse of the model can now be viewed here
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/3d-stonehenge-model-unveiled/

The model will be a powerful tool for tracking changes in the physical condition of Stonehenge, and for deepening our understanding of its construction and the thinking and working habits of its creators, plus changes to the monument in later history.

In March 2011 English Heritage commissioned 3D laser scanning specialists the Greenhatch Group, together with Atkins Mapping and Archaeo-Environment Ltd, to capture the stones and the landscape surrounding them at a level of precision and definition never before attempted. The survey includes all the visible faces of the standing and fallen stones of Stonehenge, including Station, Heel and Slaughter stones, as well as the top of the horizontal lintels.

 The resultant high resolution archival data and 3D meshed models is currently being synthesised and will be officially published and shared with the wider archaeological community in due course. Experts will also further analyse and study the archaeological significance of the data.

A variety of 3D models and datasets which can be manipulated and customised to simulate fly-over views of the monument from different perspectives will be used by  English Heritage’s interpretation team who is working on the new galleries of the proposed visitor centre.

http://www.stonehengelaserscan.org/

Sponsored by ‘The Stonehenge Tour Company’ – www.StonehengeTours.com

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website








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