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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Bluestone 69

What an extraordinary shape there is on the base of this stone! Has there been any discussion in the literature about it? It is one of the bluestone horseshoe stones.

I have seen some mention of the TOP of the stone being shaped to support a lintel, at some stage, but it's the base that really interests me.....

1 comment:

Kostas said...

Hello Brian, ...since you asked, I'd like to share some thoughts with you about bluestone 69.

I agree with you that the base of this stone is very enigmatic and atypical. I don't believe you can find another one like it at Stonehenge. This alone should raise some serious questions and doubt about its relevance in the making of Stonehenge.

1)Was this stone fallen, broken or reset? Is its pit known and excavated? If excavated, does the setting also reflect such shape? Do any of the pits support such stone setting!
2)By shaping bluestone 69 like so, it seems that its base would then be greatly weakened and made very unstable. In a dug up man made pit this stone with such base just would be unstable and would need to be tightly supported by packed stones and tight fitting setting. Any unevenness to the fit of the base with a prepared pit would create imbalance, instability and stress points. The imbalance would create much stress to the thin and weakened base, greatly increasing the chances of it braking off at the base. I don't see it surviving erect for millenniums.
3)Chiseling and shaping bluestone 69 to this extent would require great effort. Yet it would not provide any better and lasting erection. A simple 'cost/benefits' analysis would rule against such method. Also, the tools needed for such stone carving would have to be stronger and more sophisticated and precise than stone axes.
4)Bluestone 69 seems to have been prepared for a precise tight fit as part of some more elaborate devise, perhaps with military application like a catapult or heavy ram. The stone could have been the ramming head of a ramming apparatus on wheels made out of timber. The thinner base could fit between wooden planks all tightly fastened by rope to a larger and heavier wooden trunk underneath which would extend to the front giving support to the whole ramming arm. The whole apparatus would swing and be suspended from an erect timber armature on a platform base that can be wheeled into action. The shape of the top seems to suggest this.
5)All these considerations make the argument that bluestone 69 was shaped in that fashion much latter (perhaps by the Romans or even latter) and for very different purpose that may not have anything to do with the making of Stonehenge.