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, 5 April 2011

Stonehenge Rocks and the Irish Sea basin

More about Stonehenge rocks in issue 254 of Current Archaeology -- newsy items about the Ixer / Bevins / Pearce work on the bluestones and their provenance, and about the laser scanning project which will target all of the standing stones.  In the writeup based on the Leicester, National Museum and Aberystwyth press releases,  the writer does at least acknowledge the possibility of glacial transport, but then he spoils it all by referring to the Irish Sea Glacier as a "huge ice stream that gouged out the Irish Sea..."  Oh dear, wherever did he get that strange idea from?  Here I am, trying to educate archaeologists (and other human beings) in the fascinating world of geomorphology and glaciology -- and they still get it all wrong.  What can one do?  Swallow hard, and press on.....

For the record, the Irish Sea Basin is immensely old and has a complex origin.  It was the overall form of the basin, and the channel of Cardigan Bay and St George's Channel, that directed the southward flow of the glacier on more than one occasion during the Ice Age.  Sure, the glacier will have achieved substantial erosion in some parts of the basin, bit it was also responsible for a lot of deposition too.  It's doubtful whether the glacier widened or deepened the basin to any great extent.

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