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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Worked rocks -- what do they look like?

One of our contributors, who wishes to remain anonymous, has sent these fantastic images of a "worked rock" close to one of the lower crags of Carn Meini -- the supposed source of at least some of the spotted dolerite orthostats at Stonehenge.  The upper image shows the "end on" view, and the lower one the "side view."

Sorry folks, but I don't see any signs of working here -- these angular features are very common in the volcanic rock exposures throughout this area -- both on bedrock outcrops and on detached slabs and smaller stones.

So what criteria should we use in order to identify genuine human working and to distinguish it from features that are entirely natural?


Alex Gee said...

The sculpting of the rock appears to be of the same quality as that exhibited at the Giants Causeway.

The craftsmanship required to achieve such regularity is quite unique.One could attribute it to the same artist?.

A neolithic Rodin perchance??

Alternatively, those nasty cynics/skeptics would attribute it to natural processes.

Yah boo sucks to them??

Alex Gee said...

Good point Brian.
It's a factor that has received little or no attention so far.

whether a rock surface is natural or modified by man, can surely be established by microscopic examination??.

It would settle a few arguments?

BRIAN JOHN said...

How you would cut out facets like this -- and with this sort of regularity -- is a mystery to me. These just look like intersecting fracture planes to me...

Geo Cur said...

The pic looks perfectly natural .
If it is prehistoric it is unlikely to be a big lump found a moor , more likely to be rock art e.g.
often there is little evidence of much working i.e.on the footings of a hut circle . It is unlikely much working of bigger stones was done too far from monuments and apart from rock art they are the the only examples where working was likley .
Big angular lumps on moors tend to medieval - modern ,quarried for dykes , buildings , posts , metal tooling is a bit of a help date wise .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, there was quite a busy stone-collecting scene in the 1800's in this area -- some of the chapels -- both to the north and south of Carn Meini -- have spotted dolerite stones built into them. Tall stone gateposts were in great demand -- so long as they were not too big to fit onto a heavy wagon or haul behind a horse on a "Preseli sledge".

Rocky IV said...

It would seem that the rock in the photo has at least eight faces visible. Having studied my photographic collection of rocks cropping out on Carn Meini, I have failed to find one showing evidence of similar multi-faceted rocks.

Do you have any that we can view, please?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Rocky -- I don't go round on Preseli hunting for stones with lots of facets on them. But I'll stick up a pic or two and keep this topic bubbling along -- it's an interesting one....

Rocky IV said...

Ta, it's a bit too far to travel for me to make yet another visit.