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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Wednesday 1 December 2010

Wickerwork cradles used for bluestone transport?

Acknowledgement:  Daily Mail / Garry Lavin

 This is the latest Stonehenge story in the media --  the theory that the bluestones might have been rolled all the way from Wales in roly-poly wickerwork cradles.  It's in the Daily Mail -- and already picked up by lots of other media as well.  The originator is Garry Lavin -- engineer and former BBC man.


Mr Lavin has come up with a cylinder ‘basket’ to roll the massive and irregularly-shaped stones. The basket is created by weaving willow and alder saplings to form a lightweight structure that can be easily moved by 4 or 5 men. To complete the rig and to ensure the best rolling and floatation conditions, the gaps between the basketwork cylinder and the irregular stone are packed with thin branches. This spreads the load as the basket flexes in transit, much like a modern tyre, and creates buoyancy when transported down rivers and across the sea. One of Mr Lavin’s key discoveries during his earlier experiments was that the wicker cages that contained the stones were able to float. This would have enabled Neolithic man were able to get the huge stones across rivers on their journey, as well as making it easier to transport them over long distances without having to carry them the entire way. 

Read more:

Stonehenge 'was built by rolling stones using giant wicker baskets' 

By Niall Firth

Read more:
There is quite a lot here that is fun.  This isn't NEW, of course -- people have been suggesting primitive wheels and cradles as means of moving large stones for many years.   I'll come back to this.


Robert Langdon said...

Two observations here:

1. So to push these up a hill you will need to be below the stone? What sane person would place themselves under a 4 -10 tonne stone? - and as critical mass is important, do you have a relay team (supersub) ready and waiting to take over when someone is exhausted and can push no long? - should we look out for flat squashed Neolithic men buried deep in the ground as proof of theory?

2. Pollen evidence show at the time of the construction Stonehenge was surrounded by a FOREST - perhaps they cut the trees down to make a nice flat DRY path with no stumps or bumps(it could be the original A303?)

Back to the day job Garry (chief geological reported for the BBC?)

Personally, i'll put them on a boat!


BRIAN JOHN said...

Far be it from me to defend somebody else's wacky theory -- I put up this post just to draw it to people's attention. But in fairness, he does have a nice simple braking system which is explained better in his other sketches.

As for the pollen evidence, it doesn't show that Stonehenge was surrounded by forest. It shows that there had already been a lot of deforestation, and that much of the Plain was grassland and rolling downland.

If you are so keen on pollen evidence, why do you dismiss all of the published pollen evidence from the Mesolithic coastal sites of the UK?