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Monday, 26 October 2009

Why no bluestones at Stanton Drew?

Thanks for the comment, Ed. This is all very hypothetical -- since we need hard evidence -- but I would speculate that the ice that passed north of the Mendips did not actually carry bluestones as we conventionally label them. These stones, from Pembs, including all the igneous stones, were transported South of the Mendips. I'll be interested to see what comes up re the geology of the Stanton Drew monuments.

Not sure I would agree that there is "ample evidence" of the Stonehenge bluestones having been used elsewhere prior to inclusion in the monument. Most of the markings etc could equally well be explained by constantly changing priorities -- with a limited number of stones being used here, there and everywhere as the designers and builders faffed about from one generation to another. Some lintels were later used as standing stones, and vice versa. The number of empty and intersecting sockets is truly amazing.


Anonymous said...

Hi Brian,

I would agree with you that it is certainly difficult to tell what was what at Stonehenge as there have been so many rebuilds, but it is these rebuilds that have led to the reworking of the bluestones. Some bluestones show evidence of tenons, groves and tongues.

In excavations at Stonehenge during the 1950's Richard Atkinson recorded two bluestones that appear to have been previously used as lintels with mortices (bluestones 36 and 150). The span between the mortice holes on these two lintels do not match any configuration of post holes at Stonehenge, suggesting they had been "robbed" from another site.

Bets wishes,
Ed Watson

PeteG said...

not only that Ed but the tongue and grooved bluestones do not fit each other. The Tongue is too thick to fit into the Groove.

Brian said...

Agree, Pete -- it's very dodgy to assume "matching" of one bluestone with another, or even one bluestone with a socket. It's just as dodgy in my view to say (as people are saying with respect to Bluestonehenge) that there is a statistical matching of the sockets there with the dimensions of the bluestones at Stonehenge. The bluestones which we can still see are in all shapes and sizes -- some slabs, some stumpy, and some tall and thin. In other words, wide variation. OK -- they are smaller than the sarsens, but as far as I can see there is no reason to rule out the inclusion of smallish sarsens (the ones used as lintels on the trilithons?) in the sockets at Bluestonehenge.