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....
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Tuesday 29 December 2009

The great Millennium Stone Pull

Came across this picture in my photo album -- which reminded me just how idiotic this whole theory about the human transport of the stones actually is. If HH Thomas had not dreamt up the whole silly notion, just think what a lot of human effort might have been spared -- millions of words in print, endless debates on blogs and forums, vast sums spent on reconstruction projects, and the same old stuff going round and round, with people in general fascinated by the idea of ancient tribesmen invested with extraordinary engineering skills, stupendous imagination, and incredible social and economic motivation -- not to mention the navigational and maritime skills used in treacherous coastal waters with high tidal ranges, mudflats, storm waves and roaring currents.

I thought for a long time that it was a fine thing to engage in some of the Stonehenge blogs, on the basis that discussion would lead all of us eventually to the truth........ but no matter how one attempts to address the real issues of engineering and motivation, and no matter how much one tries to debate the glacial ("alternative") theory, people will insist on going right back to square one and asking "I wonder how they did it?" and coming up with endless theories, apparently without ever stopping to ask the questions "Did they do it?" and "Is it necessary to speculate on this anyway?"

The picture above shows how difficult it was to control one smallish bluestone on a sledge, on a moderate slope, during the "Millennium Stone" pull in the year 2000. With the aid of netlon (low-friction netting), modern ropes, asphalt roadways and help from cranes, JCBs and modern boats, the project was still a shambles that left the stone on the bed of Milford Haven.

Here's a proposal -- forget about the human transport altogether. Pretend that the daft idea had never even been thought of. And concentrate all the formidable brain power of the people of the planet (well, a little bit of it anyway) on solving the riddle of how natural processes carried some of the Stonehenge "bluestones" from West Wales to Somerset and Wiltshire. Jim Scourse and Chris Green have declared -- in print -- that it was "impossible" for natural processes to have been responsible for this entrainment and transport. Not a word one should use lightly........

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