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Monday, 12 September 2011

The latest "bluestone quarry"

This is the site which MPP and his colleagues have labelled a "bluestone quarry"  -- before even visiting the site to check it out.  If they want to find a quarry badly enough, they will no doubt find a convenient stone or two lying about near the crag, and a few smaller stones that will do nicely as hammer stones, and announce that they have confirmed that Neolithic quarrying was carried out here, and that stones were taken from here to Stonehenge.  Such is the way with ruling hypotheses.....

This is a nice aerial shot of the site, from Google Earth, showing the elongated craggy ridge (made of rhyolite) on the flank of the river gorge of the Afon Brynberian (which is a tributary of the River Nevern).

5 comments:

Tony Hinchliffe said...

Let us hope that MPP has with him a Professional Geologist or two, with experience of identifying purported ancient quarry sites. Let us hope that said persons are genuinely unbiased as they go about this important task of verifying, or doubting, the existence of any man-made quarry, as opposed to natural geographical features in the landscape.

BRIAN JOHN said...

All will be revealed when MPP gives his talk on Thursday. He doesn't need geologists for this -- he needs geomorphologists. And on that score, I have my doubts -- if there had been a geomorphologist on board, I'm sure he or she would have made contact. As it is, I have twice invited MPP to meet me, and my messages have been ignored.....

Tony H said...

When I wrote the above, I had a specific geologist in mind, known to both of us.He, at least, claims to be genuinely "in two minds" about the whole debate of how the bluestones reached Salisbury Plain. But I agree geomorphologists should be involved.

Anonymous said...

Ah I am not certain that geologists however ambivalent are the best judges of quarry sites.
GCU In two minds.

BRIAN JOHN said...

I suppose a rock face could be assessed for the extent of weathering or colonisation by lichens etc -- or even subjected to cosmogenic dating -- but that technique has a host of problems associated with it, as we have seen. Tooling marks and drill holes might be seen -- as on the soft slate faces at Rosebush Quarry. But it's the debris beneath the face that will attract most attention -- and a geomorphologist should be capable of suggesting whether the debris is man-made, glacial, fluvioglacial or periglacial, if he or she knows the local territory reasonably well.