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....
To order, click

Friday, 10 June 2011

The times they are a'changin'..........??

One of the excellent EH plans featured in the new publication

I have come across this excellent and wide-ranging report by David Field and Trevor Pearson.  Very interesting indeed -- and in advance of a careful reading the following things stand out from the pages:

1. An admission that the sarsen stones might well have come from the immediate locality of Stonehenge, and that the idea of sarsen-collecting expeditions to the Marlborough Downs is dubious and probably unnecessary.

2.  An acceptance that the bluestones MIGHT be glacial erratics (although the authors still defer to Profs D and W and don't want to stray too far from the party line on this.....)

3.  They have at least read my book, although it would have been nice if they had spelt my name correctly......

4.  An acceptance of the idea that the Stonehenge stone monument was probably unfinished, and that the builders went through many changes of plans and probably ran out of stones.

I'll come back to all of this in much greater detail, but does this mean that AT LAST the people working for English Heritage are prepared to challenge the long-held belief system established by Atkinson and others and perpetrated by Darvill and Wainwright?  Maybe, maybe.......

ISSN 1749-8775


T Hinchliffe said...

At last!! And only just after Bob's 70th birthday are the times a changin'. It's been a long time coming (gonna be a long time gone).
David Field is an excellent bloke.

Alex Gee said...

Yes Brian. Very interesting. For some reason they didn't mention Kellaway's theory and evidence for glacial transport?.
Perhaps the fact, that the most plausible explanation for the transport of the stones, was put forward 40 years ago, and has been derided by the archeological establishment ever since,is a little too embarrassing?.
Although you'd have to be a paranoid conspiracy theorist to believe that. Wouldn't you??.

Tony Hinchliffe said...

One of many interesting points found after a cursory perusal of this large 2010 document: the authors describe the Neolithic Boles barrow's alleged bluestone (i.e. the stone now residing in Salisbury Museum) as "a rounded boulder appropriate to have been moved by glaciation". They further concede that not all the Stonehenge bluestones are pillar-shaped, for some of these are rounded (page 27).

Anonymous said...

I have spoken to Dave Field many times about the Sarsens being local and probably quarried rather than from a drift.
Dave pointed me to a paper that said large sarsens as big as those found at Stonehenge were discovered near Oxford when a road was being built. When they were excavated they were found to be soft. This would make mortice and tenon joints much easier to create!

I'll send you the paper when I find it again.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Thanks all --

I'm currently in the middle of the North Sea en route for Sweden -- and picking up a rather feeble WiFI connection from somewhere on the ship.....

A number of points:

1. It's good to see some serious scientists who are prepared to work and think independently, without bowing and scraping to the establishment. And about time too...

2. Yes, Kellaway is still ignored when he is not being vilified. Scourse and Green did a pretty effective hatchet job on him in that big Stonehenge book. They were both very unfair on the guy, since they homed in on all his extreme and rather wacky ideas (they WERE rather wacky, as I have to admit) but neglected to give due respect to the many perfectly sound obervations and arguments used in his papers. And Scourse and Green have been accepted (since it suits them) by the archaeology establishment as THE experts on geology and glaciology, although neither of them is an expert in these disciplines. I have pointed out on a number of occasions that there are others far better qualified that Scourse and Green to discuss the glacial history of Southern England.

3. I noticed the Boles Barrow mention -- and yes, the bluestones at Stonehenge are indeed a pretty motley collection of shapes and sizes. Very few of them conform to the ideal monolith shape, a fact which the archaeologists conveniently forget.

4. The soft sarsens in the ground? Yes, that has been described many times, for the Stonehenge sarsens and those from elsewhere in the UK. Seems quite reasonable that they may have been smoothed and shaped prior to hardening as a result of exposure to the atmosphere.

Alex Gee said...

Brian your 4th point is certainly reasonable. I've done a fair amount of stone carving, many sedimentary rocks are extremely easy to carve and shape before they dry out.Particularly the oolite from the bath area.
Hence the name "Freestone".

Tony Hinchliffe said...

On your point number 3: 'They have at least read my book,although it would be nice if they had spelt my name correctly.......'

Never mind Brian, although they said your surname was Johns, not John, at least they don't regard it as being a four-letter-word!!

If they did, you might mot merit even a mention (as so often has seemed to have happened elsewhere in the archaeological establishment to you, and to other dissenters, from the prevailing version of events).

TonyH said...


FIELD,D., LINFORD, N., BARBER, M., ANDERSON - WHYMARK, H.,BOWDEN,M., and TOPPING,P, ET AL. Analytical Surveys of Stonehenge and its immediate environs 2009 - 2013: Part 1 - the landscape and earthworks. PROCEEDINGS OF THE PREHISTORIC SOCIETY, 80, 1-32.

May, or may not, be of relevance.