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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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Wait for it -- The Great Mesolithic Inundation

Here comes the latest earth-shattering tome about Stonehenge -- "The Stonehenge Enigma" by Robert J Langdon, £14.99 from ABC Publishing Group (or £7.99 paperback).  There is some high-profile promotion going on, with a full web site with text and graphics, and even some videos on YouTube.

I'm always happy to help with promotion work for other struggling authors, so above I have pasted a copy of the cover.

The central thesis is that in the Mesolithic, after the end of the last glacial episode, Southern Britain was inundated by the sea to such a depth that it was possible to transport the bluestones and the sarsens by sea, all the way from their places of origin to the site of the monument.  As suggested by the book cover, RJL claims that the shoreline of this great inundated landscape was literally at the edge of the monument site.  The author cites isostatic depression in support of his theory, and claims that the geological evidence backs up his arguments in a manner that is incontrovertible.

Sadly, he does not appear to understand isostasy, eustasy, geomorphology or glaciology -- and as a result I suspect that NOBODY is going to take this book seriously.  On looking at the text extract on the website, it appears that the author thinks that peat is an indicator of a submerged landscape.  It patently is not.  He appears quite unconcerned that there are no shorelines or marine sediments in the areas which he wishes to have been submerged.  He appears to forget entirely that because ice sheets build their mass through extracting moisture from the oceans, global sea levels at times of extensive global glaciations are LOWER than they are today, and that even very dramatic isostatic depression in Southern England could not have created the inundation that he describes so graphically.  Finally, there is one piece of evidence that he appears oblivious about -- the submerged forests that surround the coasts of Wales and SW England.  All of these show that during the Mesolithic there were extensive woodlands beyond the current coastline, demonstrating that sea level was LOWER than it is today.  These woodlands, peat beds etc were gradually inundated by the sea during the Holocene sea-level rise to the position of the present shoreline.

There are hundreds if not thousands of radiocarbon dates which show what happened, as well as a multitude of studies in the fields of stratigraphy, geomorphology, botany and zoology.

Can I suggest, RJL, that you have a look at some of my previous posts on this blog, and follow up some of the literature?  At the moment this looks like a ruling hypothesis in search of some evidence......


Anonymous said...

Interesting observations Brian, thank you for your interest.

As a Geologist you should know better than most,that todays landscape is NOT a direct representation of the Mesolithic through to now. Isostatic transformation allows movement after the ice age not only back to its original position but sometimes over by 100m higher, before reverting back, to its original position - hence your woodland evidence maybe invalid.

It's the same kind of 'conventional' reasoning that lead to other Geologist's refusing to believe 'doggerland' could have existed (until recently) even though archaeologist had tool evidence for the past 80 years.

The peat argument is only one of 38 other proofs in the book that conventional 'science' has yet to explain fully or beyond reasonable doubt - i'm happy to get 7 out of 10 right, which will still leave me with 27 good reasons why i'm correct against just a lack of 'colluvial deposits' - which even Julian Richards (meet the ancestors)agrees that could have been washed away if the water table was sufficiently high - as the only true counter argument.

Although, I must confess with the recent carbon dating findings of the peat at Star Carr - I think we could be right on that one, as well!

Good luck with the blogs.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, it's known that beyond an isostatically depressed area there can be a "forebulge" with a hinge line separating the depressed are from the uplifted area. Quite a lot is now known about the mechanisms involved.

But I don't follow your logic when you claim that the submerged forest evidence "may be invalid." It is perfectly valid and perfectly crucial. The evidence is there for everybody to see -- accompanied by a long history of radiocarbon dating and palaeobotany. And there are Mesolithic sites too, all over the place, and many of them very close to present sea-level in areas which, according to your theory, would have been deeply inundated. You can't just pretend that these sites don't exist.

Which geologists refused to believe that Doggerland existed? It has been known for many many years that at times of intense glaciation the North Sea area has been for the most part "dry land" as a result of the eustatic lowering of sea level.

I look forward to reading all of your "proofs" .........

Anonymous said...

Does Dan Brown know that his lead character is self-publishing, now?