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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Thursday 29 December 2011

The Silbury Hill bluestones (again)

Further info about the Silbury Hill bluestone fragments.  Thanks to Rob for drawing this to my attention -- it's in British Archaeology, Jan/Feb 2012.  Click to enlarge.


Anonymous said...


Dr Ixer argues the four bluestone fragments were placed on top of Silbury Hill by people. How does he know that? Doesn't his scientific curiosity raise questions about what lies buried in the Hill? More bluestone fragments perhaps?

I have always been puzzled about the 'avenue' that leads to the top of Silbury Hill. It goes 'straight up' at a considerable incline. If this was man-made, wont such path to the top be winding around the Hill side at an easier incline for people to ascend to the top? Just one more anomaly with the stories we're told.


Anonymous said...

found between West Kennet Long Barrow and the Palasade Enclosure site.
Only an amateur effort so I don't expect the Experts to take any note of it.
It's not a native stone as far as I can tell.

Tony H said...

The book "The Story of Silbury Hill", mentioned in the article Brian has displayed here, is written by the aforementioned Jim Leary and also David Field (both of English Heritage).

On pages 64-5, the authors, whilst describing Richard Atkinson's excavations in the late '60s,tell us that "one of the most intriguing finds [on the Hill's summit] was a fragment of stone considered to be identical with some of the 'bluestone' at Stonehenge, and at a stroke a link was inferred. Unfortunately, this fragment came from the topsoil [of a trench] rather than a secure archaeological contaxt, and therefore could have been brought to the mound from any date up to the present. A further fragment of stone was recovered, this time from an in situ context, but after detailed examination this turned out to be Cornish greenstone, and again any connection with Stonehenge was unwarranted".[The authors cite Clogh & Cummins, 1988 Stone Axe Studies 2 as their source for this info.]

Tony H said...

Although I possess the English Heritage Leary/ Field book (2010, price £14.99), I haven't read it from cover to cover. From the index, what I quoted from pages 64-65 is the only mention of 'bluestone'. So Rob's 3 smaller fragments don't appear to get a mention, despite what the magazine item infers.

Catweazle said...

Tony, the news article in BA says it features in a reprint of the book so probably not in your original edition.

Catweazle said...

Leary seems to have changed his mind as originally he said the bluestone from Silbury was in fact hornblende schist. See: "The Silbury Mythbuster"

Chris johnson said...

Curious shapes. Don't seem to be clippings from tool making. What are they?

Thanks Brian for your blog. Continuing source of new puzzlements.

Tony H said...

Aah, yes, Catweazle, so it does. I bought my copy of "The Story Of Silbury Hill" from Devizes' Wiltshire Heritage Museum shortly after Jim Leary gave us an on-site tour on his recent excavations (again with David Field) at Marden Henge (which is about halfway between Avebury/Silbury Hill and Stonehenge).

Looks like Rob Ixer updated these two English Heritage authors on his opinions of all 4 bluestone fragments, i.e. that they're all from the same block; and a swift reprint may have resulted (with additions).

BRIAN JOHN said...

The chips / fragments look to me like bits knocked off something larger. And I think we can be pretty sure that Rob knows a spotted dolerite when he sees one. That's what they look like to me too, from the higher definition photo that I have.

We probably won't get a response from Rob on this topic -- he had a horrible computer crash following that Trojan episode, and has understandably gone right off blogging....

Tony H said...


Tried your website address for your "Palasade Stone" but the website didn't appear. Can you advise please?

Tony H said...

It would be fascinating to know what other pieces of spotted dolerite, or the rhyolites are lurking in the Avebury half of the Stonehenge & Avebury World Heritage Site - each half of course being separated by a 20-odd mile gap (with Marden Henge, Pewsey Vale, approx. half-way within this gap).

What a shame metal-detector devices are unable to detect Pembrokeshire dolerite & rhyolite! Did anyone carefully sift the earth for geological specimens when West Kennet long barrow was excavated in the '50s, or when Windmill Hill causeway camp was dug at various dates? Probably not. Shame. Geomorphology needs to be taken account of. At least Mike Pitts of 'British Archaeology' seems to be realising this mow.

Anonymous said...

sorry about the link.
People keep reposting the links to twitter and my website gets deleted
because the bandwidth is exceeded.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Pete -- if I still have the pic here, would you like me to post it on the site? Only with your permission.