How Stone Age man kept his pores clean… in the SAUNA

28 02 2011

The remains of a 4,500-year-old sauna have been discovered by archaeologists excavating a Stone Age temple.
They unearthed the foundations of the building at Marden Henge, near Devizes in Wiltshire. Located close to the River Avon, the neolithic ‘sauna’ was in a key position overlooking a ceremonial area at the site.

English Heritage’s Jim Leary said: ‘The building brings to mind the sweat lodges of the native North Americans and the reason for that sauna or sweat lodge interpretation is that the floor plan was utterly dominated by a large hearth – so large in fact there does not appear to be any space for living, cooking or doing anything much at all.

‘It is also located very close to the River Avon and would have had a ready source of water, which is a necessary criteria for a sweat lodge. ‘If it was a sweat lodge then perhaps one could envisage it being used for purification ceremonies within the henge.

‘Unfortunately we’ll never know exactly what it was for – that’s the nature of archaeology.’

Marden Henge, which has no standing stones, is located on a line which connects stone circles at Stonehenge and Avebury but remains a mystery for archaeologists. Some believe the huge Stonehenge megaliths were stored there after being dragged from Avebury.

Mr Leary said: ‘The relationship between the three monuments is interesting. They are broadly contemporary and one wonders what the interaction between them must have been – were they competing with one another or were they used by the same communities but for different occasions and ceremonies? ‘We don’t know the answer yet

Merlin @ Stonehenge





Scientists ‘step closer’ to solving Stonehenge mystery

23 02 2011

IT is a mystery that has baffled geologists and historians for centuries… how were the Stonehenge rocks transported from Wales’ Preseli mountains to their resting place 120 miles away.

Scientists are today one step closer to solving the 4,000-year- old mystery after making their most significant discovery in 15 years.

Of the six to eight different bluestone types found in the inner circle of rocks on Salisbury Plain, only one, the so- called “spotted dolerite”, was convincingly traced to the Mynydd Preseli area in north Pembrokeshire in the early 1920s.

But modern technology has now assisted geologists at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales – in creating a “fingerprint” for one of the other rock types found in Wiltshire.

And that “fingerprint” has been identically matched to stones found in an area north of the Mynydd Preseli range, in the vicinity of Pont Saeson.

The discovery means archaeologists are now a step closer to retracing the footsteps of Neolithic engineers who moved the stones in the first place.

Dr Richard Bevins, Keeper of Geology at Amgueddfa Cymru, said: “The outer circle of Stonehenge is made up from stones sourced locally in Salisbury Plain but it is the mismatch of rocks found in the inner circle that have caused so much mystery.

“We have known for some time that spotted dolerite came from Preseli but of those remaining stones we think that six to eight more may have come from Pembrokeshire, until now though we haven’t been able to be sure because the stones are very fragile and we didn’t previously have the technology to extract their DNA.”

Dr Bevins added: “Theoretically if we could trace the source of the other rhyolites (rock types) we could create a map with six or more locations pinpointing where each stone was sourced.

“Archeologists could then essentially see the route that was taken by these people, they could re-trace those steps, set up archaeological digs and make who knows how many new discoveries.

“In terms of looking at where the stones came from this is the most important discovery we’ve made regarding Stonehenge in 10 or 15 years.”

Dr Bevins, in partnership with Dr Rob Ixer at the University of Leicester and Dr Nick Pearce of Aberystwyth University, made the discovery by analysing microscopic crystals found in the rock, vaporising them and analysing the gases found as a result.

The composite of gases makes up the rock’s DNA which can then be matched to other rock forms.

Sourcing the rhyolites also provides the opportunity for new thoughts on how the stones might have been transported to the Stonehenge area.

Much of the archaeology in recent years has been based on the assumption that Neolithic Age man had a reason to transport bluestones all the way from West Wales to Stonehenge and the technical capacity to do it.

Dr Bevins said: “It has been argued that humans transported the spotted dolerites from the high ground of Mynydd Preseli down to the coast at Milford Haven and then rafted them up the Bristol Channel and River Avon to the Stonehenge area.

“However, the outcome of our research questions that route, as it is unlikely that they would have transported the Pont Saeson stones up slopes and over Mynydd Preseli to Milford Haven, we would assume that they would not carry the rocks up and over a steep mountain range.

“If humans were responsible then an alternative route might need to be considered.”

Some believe that the stones were transported by the actions of glacier sheets during the last glaciation and so the Pont Season discovery will need appraising in the context of this hypothesis.

Mike Parker Pearson, Professor of Archaeology at Sheffield University, added: “This is a hugely significant discovery which will fascinate everyone interested in Stonehenge.

“It forces us to re-think the route taken by the bluestones to Stonehenge and opens up the possibility of finding many of the quarries from which they came.

“It’s a further step towards revealing why these mysterious stones were so special to the people of the Neolithic.”

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/02/23/scientists-step-closer-to-solving-stonehenge-mystery-91466-28216698/#ixzz1ElvHUPjT

Merlin @ Stonehenge





The heat was on at Marden Henge

14 02 2011
Marden henge’s chalk foundations contained a sunken hearth which could have been used for purification ceremonies

Marden henge’s chalk foundations contained a sunken hearth which could have been used for purification ceremonies

A building whose foundations were unearthed during an excavation at Marden Henge near Devizes last summer could have been a Neolithic sauna.

Archaeologist Jim Leary told his audience at Devizes town hall on Saturday that the chalk foundations contained a sunken hearth that would have given out intense heat.

“It brings to mind the sweat lodges found in North America,” he said. “It could have been used as part of a purification ceremony.”

Also found was a midden or rubbish heap with dozens of pig bones, some still attached, likely to be the remains of a huge feast that took place 5,000 years ago.

Mr Leary was supposed to give his talk at the museum, but such was the interest in his subject that it was transferred to the town hall. All 150 tickets were sold and people queued for returns.

Mr Leary said Marden Henge is the biggest henge in England but because it did not have a stone circle associated with it, tended to be overlooked. Before Professor Geoffrey Wainwright examined its northern sector in 1969, it had not been investigated since the early 19th century.

A huge mound, like a smaller version of Silbury Hill, named Hatfield Barrow, once existed there, but it collapsed after a shaft was dug through its centre and was levelled shortly afterwards.

The English Heritage team investigated that area as well as two sites further south, and it was at the area known as the Southern Circle that they made their most exciting discoveries.

It was in the bank of this henge within a henge that they found the chalk floor. Mr Leary described the dig as a work in progress. He said: “We are at a very early stage and there is a lot more to be found. But our fate is in the hands of the government cuts.

“Clearly there is more work to be done, at least another season, but we need funding to do any further investigation.”

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Website





Put those bones back! Future of archaeology threatened by law forcing scientists to rebury ancient remains

12 02 2011

A controversial law that requires all human remains unearthed at ancient settlements to be reburied within two years threatens the future of archaeology, it is claimed today.

Under legislation introduced in 2008, bones and skulls found at sites in England and Wales, such as Stonehenge, have to be put back where they were found after 24 months.

A group of leading archaeologists has writt

en to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke to protest that this will vastly diminish their ability to research the history of humans in Britain.

Scientists search an area at Starr Carr, North Yorkshire, last year after locating Britain's earliest house. Leading archaeologists today protested a law that requires all human remains unearthed at ancient settlements to be reburied

Scientists search an area at Starr Carr, North Yorkshire, last year after locating Britain's earliest house. Leading archaeologists today protested a law that requires all human remains unearthed at ancient settlements to be reburied

Forty archaeology professors wrote to express their ‘deep and widespread concern’ in a letter published in today’s Guardian newspaper.

‘The current licence conditions are impeding scientific research, preventing new discoveries from entering museums, and are not in the public interest,’ their letter states

‘Your current requirement that all archaeologically excavated human remains should be reburied, whether after a standard period of two years or a further special extension, is contrary to fundamental principles of archaeological and scientific research and of museum practice.’

The 2008 legislation applies to any piece of bone of historical interest found at around 400 archaeological sites across England and Wales; the 1857 Burial Act applies to more recent remains.

‘The current licence conditions are impeding scientific research, preventing new discoveries from entering museums, and are not in the public interest’

Scientists working at Stonehenge who discovered 60 bodies in 2008 have been granted an extension before they have to return the remains to the ground.

Their colleagues at the Happisburgh site in Norfolk are currently digging after finding the oldest stone age tools that date back 950,000 years.

Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology who signed the letter, said: ‘If human remains were found at Happisburgh they would be the oldest human fossils in northern Europe and the first indication of what this species was.

‘Under the current practice of the law those remains would have to be reburied and effectively destroyed.

‘This applies to everything. If we were to find a Neanderthal fossil or a Roman skeleton, it would all have to be reburied.’

Among the high-profile signatories are Barry Cunliffe, from University of Oxford; Chris Stringer, from the Natural History Museum; Graeme Barker, from University of Cambridge; and Stephen Shennan, director

Merlin @ Stonehenge
The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





Barrows of the Bronze Age – Stonehenge Landscape Tour

11 02 2011

Explore the Bronze Age monuments of the Stonehenge landscape with Sonia Heywood ‘ you’ll soon discover that they’re much more than simple burial mounds. Investigated by curious antiquarians in the last 300 years, they have a 4,000 year history that tells us much about our past. On our four mile walk we’ll be visiting the Cursus Barrows, Winterbourne Stoke Barrows and the Monarch of the Plain. We’ll also have fine views of the King Barrows and Normanton Down Barrows.

26th February 2011

  • Please wrap up warm and bring stout footwear. The open landscape of the downs can be very exposed. You may like to bring a hot drink and a snack.
  • Meeting at the Stonehenge car park (not NT) by the bright green National Trust information panel.More Information: Lucy Evershed, 01980 664780, stonehenge@nationaltrust.org.uk
    http://www.Nationaltrust.org.ukHighly recommended!
    Merli @ Stonehenge Stone Circle




  • A new henge discovered at Stonehenge

    5 02 2011

    An archaeology team led by the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Austria discovered a major ceremonial monument less than one kilometre away from the iconic Stonehenge.

    History is set to be rewritten after an archaeology team led by the University of Birmingham and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Austria discovered a major ceremonial monument less than one kilometer away from the iconic .

    The incredible find has been hailed by Professor Vince Gaffney, from the University’s IBM Visual and Spatial Technology Centre, as one of the most significant yet for those researching the UK’s most important prehistoric structure.

    Professor Gaffney says: “This finding is remarkable. It will completely change the way we think about the landscape around Stonehenge. “People have tended to think that as Stonehenge reached its peak it was the paramount monument, existing in splendid isolation. This discovery is completely new and extremely important in how we understand Stonehenge and its landscape.”

    The new “henge-like” Late Neolithic monument is believed to be contemporaneous to Stonehenge and appears to be on the same orientation as the World Heritage Site monument. It comprises a segmented ditch with opposed north-east/south-west entrances that are associated with internal pits that are up to one metre in diameter and could have held a free-standing, timber structure.

    The project, which is supported by the landowner, the National Trust, and facilitated by English Heritage, has brought together the most sophisticated geophysics team ever to be engaged in a single archaeological project in Britain.

    Provided by University of Birmingham.  Find out more about the latest discoveries, join a guided tour of Stonehenge – book through ”The Stonehenge Tour Company

    Merlin @ Stonehenge
    THe Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





    Archaeological Walk on Salisbury Plain 2011

    15 01 2011

    A walk to Lidbury Camp, led by former County Archaeologist Roy Canham.

    Lidbury Camp, on the downs above the River Avon between Enford and Upavon, is an Iron Age hillfort first excavated by William Cunnington in the early 19th century and again by Maud and Ben Cunnington in 1914 (see article in WANHM Vol 40 (1917), pp12-36). William Cunnington discovered eleven Iron Age storage pits in close proximity and recorded the presence of two ‘British’ villages close by, while Maud Cunnington found Romano-British pottery overlying the Iron Age remains. An undated linear ditch and bank run nearby. Finds from Maud Cunnington’s excavation are in the Wiltshire Heritage Museum.

    Roy has an unrivalled knowledge of the archaeology of the county, and was largely responsible for persuading the MOD to introduce measures to protect the archaeology on their land against damage from military training.

    Weather conditions on the Salisbury Plain downland are unpredictable and can change quickly at this time of year. Please come prepared with waterproof clothing and suitable footwear. The walk will be about 3 miles.

    Please indicate pick-up point when booking.
    Depart: : Pewsey (Bouverie Hall car park) – 1.15pm; Devizes (Station Road car park) – 2.00pm;
    Upavon (Antelope Inn) – 2.25pm.
    Return:
    Enford at about 4.45pm

    * Tel: 01380 727369 (10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday)

    Need an Ordanance Survey map of Salisbury plain – click here

     Merlin @ Stonehenge
    The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





    Neolithic New Year walk – Stonehenge Landscape

    30 12 2010

    Welcome in 2011 by discovering the astonishing Stone Age on a walk around the ancient monuments of the Stonehenge landscape. Why did people start to build massive monuments 6,000 years ago? Discover the astonishing Stone Age on a relaxed ramble around Stonehenge Down. Our six mile route will take us to Neolithic enigmas including Durrington Walls and the Stonehenge Cursus.

  • Wrap up warm against the January weather – we recommend plenty of layers and stout footwear. Bring a packed lunch and a hot drink.
  • Meet at the Stonehenge car park (not NT) by the bright green National Trust information panel on the grassy area of the main car park.
  • Dogs on leads welcome
  • Accompanied children welcome, free.
  • Light refreshments provided.
  • Access is by pedestrian and farm gates; the terrain is grassland and trackways, often uneven underfoot. Cattle and sheep graze the gently sloping downs.
  • More Information: Lucy Evershed, 01980 664780, stonehenge@nationaltrust.org.uk

    Walk in the steps of our ancestors at one of the world’s best-preserved prehistoric sites
     
    Don’t miss
    • Great views of the famous Stonehenge circle
    • Mysterious ceremonial landscape of ancient burial mounds, processional walkways and enclosures
    • Haven for wildlife, from brown hare and butterflies, to birds such as the skylark
    • Colourful displays of downland wildflowers in June and July
    Or do it yourself any day of the year……………
    Stonehenge Down
    The long grassland shrouded in mist at Stonehenge Down. © NT / Margriet van Vianen
    Home to skylark and brown hare, Stonehenge Down is a wide open landscape with fine views of the famous stone circle. From here you can also explore Bronze Age barrow cemeteries and prehistoric monuments, such as the Stonehenge Avenue and the mysterious Cursus. SU125425
     
    King Barrow Ridge
    Here Bronze Age burial mounds stand among impressive beech trees, with views of Stonehenge and the downs. The hazel coppice provides shelter for wildlife along the ridge, while in summer, chalk downland flora attracts butterflies such as the marbled white. SU134423
    King Barrow Ridge on a beautiful summer's day. © NT / Lucy Evershed
     
    Normanton Down
    Normanton Down on a bright summer's day, showing a field of daisies in the foreground. © NT / Margriet van Vianen
    Normanton Down offers one of the best approaches to the stone circle. The round barrow cemetery dates from around 2600 to 1600BC and is one of the most remarkable groups of burial mounds in the Stonehenge landscape. The downland and arable fields here are home to a variety of farmland birds such as corn bunting and stonechat. SU117415
     
    Durrington Walls
    In 2005 Durrington Walls was revealed to be the site of a rare Neolithic village, with evidence of shrines and feasting. You can still see some of the banks of this circular earthwork, the largest complete ‘henge’ in Europe. Post holes show that there were large timber structures here, like those at nearby Woodhenge. SU150437
    The red and gold hues of autumn at Durrington Walls. © NT / Stephen Fisher
     
    Winterbourne Stoke Barrows
    The Chalkhill Blue, common to chalk grassland, can be seen in the summer months. © NT / Margriet van Vianen
    Another fascinating example of a prehistoric cemetery. The wide range of barrow shapes found here show that this site was used over a long period of time for burials of people of high status. Newly sown chalk downland flora covers the landscape – look out for brown hares too. SU101417

    External link: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/event-search/events/show?id=2108044944

    Happy New Year!
    Merlin @ Stonehenge
    The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





    Woodhenge: Is this one of the greatest discoveries of archaeology…or a simple farmer’s fence?

    12 12 2010

    The discovery of a wooden version of Stonehenge – a few hundred yards from the famous monument – was hailed as one of the most important archaeological finds for decades.

    But now experts are at loggerheads after claims that what was thought to be a Neolithic temple was a rather more humble affair – in fact the remains of a wooden fence.

    One leading expert on Stonehenge criticised the announcement of the ‘remarkable’ find in July as ‘hasty’ and warned it could become a ‘PR embarrassment’.

    The site, ringed, in a Seventies chart, which experts say shows a fenceMapped: The site, ringed, in a Seventies chart, which experts say shows a fence

     

    The radar image said to reveal the post holes of a Neolithic temple‘Evidence’: The radar image said to reveal the post holes of a Neolithic temple

    The discovery of what appeared to be a previously unknown ‘henge’, or earthwork, by a team of archaeologists conducting a multi-million-pound study of Salisbury Plain was widely reported amid great excitement.

    The team said they had found evidence of a ring of 24 3ft-wide pits that could have supported timber posts up to 12ft tall, surrounded by an 80ft-wide ditch and bank.

    They explained that, just like Stonehenge, the entrances to the site were aligned so that on the summer solstice the sun’s rays would enter the centre of the ring. Holes where the wooden posts once stood were identified below the ground using the latest high-resolution geophysical radar-imaging equipment.

    An artist's impression of how Woodhenge may have been 5,000 years agoCircle of confusion: An artist’s impression of how Woodhenge may have been 5,000 years ago

    Team leader Professor Vince Gaffney of Birmingham University said the ritual monument had been built about 5,000 years ago, making it roughly the same age as its stone counterpart 980 yards away, and it could have been used for Stone Age feasts or elaborate funerals.

    He said the find showed Stonehenge had not existed in ‘splendid isolation’ and he predicted further discoveries during the three-year survey of five square miles of countryside around Stonehenge.

    But sceptics have now suggested that the evidence is far from conclusive, especially as it appears from images of the plot produced by the Birmingham team that the ring of post holes was not arranged in a circle but was angular and more like a hexagon.

    How a Neolithic visitor may have lookedHow a Neolithic visitor may have looked

    Mike Pitts, editor of the magazine British Archaeology and an acknowledged expert on Stonehenge, said he had been prompted to study maps of the area after receiving a letter from an American reader.

    In the spot where Prof Gaffney had claimed to have uncovered his post holes, Mr Pitts said he and
    colleagues examined a Seventies Ordnance Survey map – and saw a fence marked out.

    He thought it probably was an early 20th Century construction, erected by the then Government’s Office of Works or a local farmer to protect what was thought to have been the most important site in a cluster of burial mounds that were ancient but later than Stonehenge.

    Mr Pitts said: ‘Vince Gaffney says his discovery encircles a burial mound within its circumference, but unless he has some unpublished material to substantiate his discovery, I am in no doubt that this was a modern fence line.

    ‘If I’m right then the post holes contained modern fencing stakes and they are actually in a hexagonal shape, not a circle.’

    He added: ‘I think that perhaps what has happened is that the professor’s field workers have presented him with the wrong picture and he’s shot from the hip and made an over-hasty announcement. He’s generally known for the high quality of his work and his enthusiasm which, on this occasion, may have let him down.

    ‘The full publication of his results and small-scale excavations of the site would clinch the matter.’

    But Prof Gaffney said: ‘We have mapped numerous fences and we know what they look like. The features appear to be 3ft across and as deep as 3ft. I have never seen a fence line that required holes that are 3ft across and 3ft deep.’

    He said that in the fuzzy, black-and-white radar image the post holes appeared angular but that was partly due to the poor resolution of the picture and because such monuments were not perfect circles.

    He went on: ‘The poles that would have stood in them would have been more like telegraph poles. You would not use them to build a fence.’

    Prof Gaffney added that no metal such as old nails had been found in the holes, which would have
    been expected.

    ‘On balance, we would still suggest this is a ritual monument of the late Neolithic period.’

     I love it when the ‘experts’ use the term ‘ritual‘ – in other words they do not know!
    Related artile: New Woodhenge found

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1337890/Woodhenge-Is-greatest-discoveries-archaeology–simple-farmers-fence.html#ixzz1Dj4rwwBM

    Merlin @ Stonehenge
    The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website





    Stonehenge Built With Balls?

    12 12 2010

    New experiment suggests monumental stones could have rolled on rails.

    It’s one of Stonehenge‘s greatest mysteries: How did Stone Age Britons move 45-ton slabs across dozens of miles to create the 4,500-year-old stone circle?

    U.K. archaeology students attempt to prove a rail-and-ball system could have moved Stonehenge stones

    U.K. archaeology students attempt to prove a rail-and-ball system could have moved Stonehenge stones

    Now a new theory says that, while the ancient builders didn’t have wheels, they may well have had balls. (See Stonehenge pictures.)

    A previous theory suggested that the builders used wooden rollers—carved tree trunks laid side by side on a constructed hard surface. Another imagined huge wooden sleds atop greased wooden rails.

    But critics say the rollers’ hard pathway would have left telltale gouges in the landscape, which have never been found. And the sled system, while plausible, would have required huge amounts of manpower—hundreds of men at a time to move one of the largest Stonehenge stones, according to a 1997 study.

    Andrew Young, though, says Stonehenge’s slabs, may have been rolled over a series of balls lined up in grooved rails, according to a November 30 statement from Exeter University in the U.K., where Young is a doctoral student in biosciences.

    Young first came up with the ball bearings idea when he noticed that carved stone balls were often found near Neolithic stone circles in Aberdeenshire, Scotland (map).

    “I measured and weighed a number of these stone balls and realized that they are all precisely the same size—around 70 millimeters [3 inches] in diameter—which made me think they must have been made to be used in unison, rather than alone,” he told National Geographic News.

    The balls, Young admitted, have been found near stone circles only in Aberdeenshire and the Orkney Islands (map)—not on Stonehenge’s Salisbury Plain.

    But, he speculated, at southern sites, including Stonehenge (map), builders may have preferred wooden balls, which would have rotted away long ago. For one thing, wooden balls are much faster to carve. For another, they’re much lighter to transport.

    Proof of Concept

    To test his theory, Young first made a small-scale model of the ball-and-rail setup.

    “I discovered I could push over a hundred kilograms [220 pounds] of concrete using just one finger,” he said.

    With the help of his supervisor, Bruce Bradley, and partial funding from the PBS series Nova, Young recently scaled up his experiment to see if the ball-and-track system could be used to move a Stonehenge-weight stone.

    Sure enough, they found that, with just seven people pushing, they could easily move a four-ton load—about as heavy as Stonehenge’s smaller stones.

    Using the ball system, Young said, “I estimate it would be possible to cover 20 miles [32 kilometers] in a day” by leapfrogging track segments.

    But the inner circle’s “sarsen” stones weigh not 4 tons but up to about 45 tons. Young suspects a Stone Age system could have handled much heavier loads than his experimental one.

    For one thing, he thinks oxen, not people, provided the pulling power—an idea supported by the remains of burned ox bones found in ditches around many stone circles.

    For another, Britain’s old-growth forests hadn’t yet been razed 4,500 years ago, so the builders would have had easy access to cured oak. This tough wood—which was beyond the modern project’s budget—would have resulted in a stronger, more resilient system than the soft, “greenwood” system the researchers built.
    Stonehenge Experiment Needs Scaling Up

    Civil engineer Mark Whitby, who’s been involved with other Stonehenge-construction experiments, thinks the ball method could work for smaller stones but isn’t convinced it could shift a sarsen.

    “The problem will be when the tip of the ball bears on the timber trough, it will bite” into the trough, possibly splitting the rail, said Whitby, who runs London-based +Whitby Structural Engineers. “When transporting lighter stones, this won’t be a problem. But when they get to 30 and 40 tons, it will be.”

    Instead, Whitby prefers the sled theory—and even helped prove a sled could move a 40-ton replica sarsen for a 1997 BBC documentary.

    Archaeologist David Batchelor, meanwhile, thinks the ball idea is plausible but isn’t completely convinced.

    The ball technique “seems to be a development of the sledge method,” said Batchelor, of the government agency English Heritage. “But the added complexity needed to channel the track runners and then make the ball bearings all of one size seems to me a lot of work, which is probably unnecessary when animal-fat grease does the job.”

    Research leader Young counters that the sled system, even with its animal-fat lubrication, still results in a lot of friction.

    “Using wooden balls almost removes friction from the system and makes for a really efficient method of moving heavy weights around,” he said.

    Even so, Young realizes he needs to prove the new system can be scaled up to handle heavier loads. To that end, Young’s team is seeking funding to repeat the experiment—this time with harder wood, stone balls, and oxen

    What a load of old balls……………………………..
    Merlin @ Stonehenge
    The Stonehenge Stone Circle Website








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