Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click

Friday 29 May 2009

Stonehenge Thoughts: Support from a geologist

Stonehenge Thoughts: Support from a geologist

Something about ice

Not many people will have seen this map. It's crucial for an understanding of Britain during the Ice Age, and of the glacial theory relating to the transport of the bluestones from West Wales to Stonehenge. There is still a debate about how far to the east the ice of the Irish Sea Glacier actually reached. Did it reach Salisbury Plain? Even if it didn't, it was not far off.........

Note that this map is a very conservative one -- with the ice limit drawn to enclose the best-authenticated glacial deposits as described in the literature. It does not take full account of the glaciological modelling work which suggests that if the ice reached the Scillies and the south Cornwall coast, it must also have extended up to the margins of Salisbury Plain and maybe well onto the chalk downlands. The most useful models thus far show the ice extending at least as far east as Stonehenge. See the other maps on this blog. (This entry amended 4th November 2009.)

Thursday 28 May 2009

Some key references

These are the most important references -- recommended for anybody who wants to check out the geology of the bluestones and the glacial transport theory:

Thorpe, R.S., Williams-Thorpe, O., Jenkins, G. and Watson, J.S., with contributions by R.A. Ixer and R.G. Thomas, 1991. The geological sources and transport of the bluestones of Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 57, 103-157.

Williams-Thorpe, O., Potts, P. J., Jones, M. C. and Webb, P. C. 2006. Preseli spotted dolerite bluestones: axe-heads, Stonehenge monoliths and outcrop sources. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 25, 29-64.

Ixer R. A. and Turner P., 2006. A detailed re-examination of the petrography of the Altar Stone and other non-sarsen sandstones from Stonehenge as a guide to their provenance. Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, 99.

Support from a geologist

Here is another link, to a recent article by Dr Olwen Williams-Thorpe, which demonstrates considerable scepticism towards the Darvill/Wainwright "healing stones" hypothesis, and supports the idea that the bluestones at Stonehenge are glacial erratics.

Stonehenge - another perspective1
Posted on 07/11/08 by Olwen Williams-Thorpe
Timewatch has always had an interest in new areas of research and in examining topics which inspire debate. Stonehenge in particular prompted lively comments on our Timewatch forum3. Here Dr. Olwen Williams-Thorpe, an archaeological scientist, presents her own perspective on Darvill and Wainwright's theory as explored by the Timewatch Stonehenge4 programme.
The central theme of the program was the hypothesis that Stonehenge was a prehistoric ‘healing’ centre. The perceived power of the site, we were told, was due to the ‘bluestones’, which had been quarried in the Carn Menyn area of Preseli (South Wales), an outcrop chosen because of the special ‘healing’ springs found there.
Unfortunately, this simply does not fit the geological evidence............ (click on the URL to read the rest!)

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Bluestone Enigma review

Just heard that there might be a review of THE BLUESTONE ENIGMA in Antiquity, one of the leading archaeology journals. That would be a nice surprise, since I had come to the view that "the establishment" would not contemplate a review of the book anywhere, for fear of frightening off the faithful who have been trained ever since they were toddlers to believe in the story about little hairy men and their mighty feats of valour -- in hauling 82 bluestones all the way from West Wales to Stonehenge. So maybe they HAVE (ie the senior archaeologists, not the little hairy men) accepted that there is more than one view of what might have happened, and that the "alternative" view at least deserves consideration..... I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday 26 May 2009

The Stonehenge Conspiracy

Here is a link to the video on YouTube:

This is the video which summarises some of my ideas -- sorry about the quality, which is too fuzzy for my liking. My key point is that there is a conspiracy, encouraged and maintained by the archaeology establishment, to pretend that the glacial transport idea is deficient in some way, and that it is even discredited. Nothing could be further from the truth -- the theory is alive and well, and is supported by far more evidence than the human transport theory ever was! So the ramshackle old theory about human transport, invented by HH Thomas and then extended and promoted by Richard Atkinson, has become the orthodoxy -- you have to believe it and repeat it, or else! I have always been intrigued by the apparent incapacity of generation after generation of archaeologists to apply critical thought processes to the human transport story, which is after all based upon no facts and a multitude of speculations and assumptions.

The book

This is the book which came out a few months ago, and in which I examine the various theories relating to the transport of the bluestones.

Monday 25 May 2009

Bluestone links

For those who may not be familiar with this debate, here are a few links that might come in handy:

Why is there no mention in any of this recent Stonehenge material of the role of glacial ice in transporting the bluestones from the west? The geological evidence is accumulating fast, and there are now more than 20 known provenances for the bluestones. They have to be an assemblage of glacial erratics. The archaeologists tend to "air-brush" out this evidence -- and that's bad science. See here:

My short YouTube video called "The Stonehenge Conspiracy"

My web pages dealing with the bluestone controversy:

Concerning Stonehenge..........

Photo: dolerite boulders at Carn Meini, Preseli, Pembs. Some of the Stonehenge bluestones have come from this area.

On this blog I want to take a hard look at the famous and ruinous old collection of stones which we call Stonehenge. English Heritage and most archaeologists seem to think that is all sorted, and that the stones were moved by Neolithic tribesmen from Preseli in West Wales all the way to Salisbury Plain. They cite the theory as if it is established fact. All very well, except that there is not a shred of evidence to support what they say.......

But there is a great deal of evidence which suggests that the bluestones are glacial erratics, picked up from more than 20 sites in West and South Wales, and carried eastwards by the ice of the great Irish Sea Glacier to various locations to the west of Stonehenge -- maybe in the vicinity of the Somerset Levels or the Mendip Hills.

If you read most of the specialist literature, it is simply assumed to be fact that the Neolithic tribes who built Stonehenge were capable of moving more than 80 large stones over a vast distance, over land and sea -- all the way from Carn Meini in Pembrokeshire to Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. But where is the evidence in support of this? There is none -- but there is a vast amount of unscientific supposition, with assumption piled on assumption, and a great deal of circular reasoning as well. This is bad science, and such is the intolerance of the archaeology establishment to the idea of glacial stone transport that what we have effectively is a conspiracy. Not a conspiracy of silence, but a conspiracy to keep the glacial theory out of sight and out of mind. Why? I'll explore that one of these days.