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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Another bluestone experiment


This is an historic photo from the archives -- from 1986.  It shows a very pleasant young lady from a Japanese TV station -- just prior to the lighting of the great bluestone bonfire.  

(NB folks -- I am really into experimental archaeology!   There's more to life than glaciers.   Not only do I help to pull that blasted chunk of bluestone in the year 2000 that ends up on the floor of Milford Haven; but I also undertake research into how easy it is to quarry chunks of bluestone from the native rock by using fire and water .....  impressive, eh?)

Just joking.  But it was quite entertaining, and I even got paid a few quid for doing it.  We placed a large bluestone boulder into the middle of the bonfire,  sent the whole thing up in flames, and then when the pile of logs had been reduced to a pile of glowing embers with a bluestone in the middle of it, we got as close as the heat would allow us, and threw several buckets of cold water onto the stone.  Lo and behold, it split.  The TV crew went away happy.

That all goes to show that "quarrying" is possible, if you have plenty of logs, the means of making fire,  and buckets of cold water!  When it comes to the practicalities (or the necessity) of using this method for splitting monoliths from the cliff face at Carn Meini, that's a different matter.....

2 comments:

Chris johnson said...

And did the boulder split into orthostat-like blocks?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Nah -- it was just a mess.... a few shattered fragments!