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Thursday, 8 April 2010

Bluestonehenge -- and The stones of Stanton Drew

I came across this from Dennis's Eternal Idol site:

With ref to Bluestonehenge and Mike Parker Pearson, Oct 13th 2009 (Report by Alex)

Extract:
Human agency, or glaciation?

"The two monuments at Stonehenge and Bluestonehenge both show an impressive collection of bluestones. We know they came from Wales, but how did they arrive? While acknowledging that current research is casting new light on glaciation, Mike still prefers the idea of human agency. He referred to the latest article in British Archaeology from Rob Ixer, that relocates the source of many of the stones away from Carn Meini, the traditional source, preferring Carn Goedog, for instance for the source of the spotted dolerites, because of a closer chemical match.

Mike’s opinion gained from his glaciation experts is that potential bluestone-carrying glaciations would have come no closer than about 50 miles, dropping their load in the area of Somerset and Gloucestershire. So what evidence is there for bluestones in that area?

There we find Stanton Drew, a massive henge that incorporates stones of varied geology that have been imported from many miles away. But there isn’t a single bluestone there. Mike feels that if glaciations were a factor, then bluestones would inevitably have been used at Stanton Drew. They haven’t – and that destroys the credibility of the glacier-borne theory.

So did the Neolithic people transport the stones by water or land? For Mike, they’d have done anything to avoid the uncertainties of a water route. In short, he believes that – “it’s the labour that counts” – and that work gangs would have competed eagerly for the prestige of the heaviest stones or the greatest distance."

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Hmmm -- I think I would dispute quite a lot of that. For a start, Bluestonehenge does not show an impressive collection of bluestones, and probably never did. What we have is a collection of sockets, with no evidence whatsoever as to what might have been in them. We do not know that they came from Wales, since we have no stones -- just speculation. The stones could just as well have been sarsens. I wonder who Mike's glaciation experts are? Are they glaciologists or geomorphologists? Come out into the open, you guys! Let's see the colour of your eyes! That having been said, we can have a debate about whether the ice that came into Somerset got closer than 50 miles away from Stonehenge. All evidence gratefully received. That is exactly what I am trying to sort out in this blog.

Stanton Drew? Why should bluestones (or rocks from Preseli) have been used there? As I have said before, Stanton Drew lies to the north of the Mendips, and there is every reason to think that the ice stream that affected that area may have contained erratics carried by Welsh ice or ice that came down the Severn valley. The lack of bluestones at Stanton Drew does NOT "destroy the credibility of the glacier-borne theory." In fact, it supports one of the arguments used by Kellaway.

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