All that having been said, I do find it quite remarkable that if a cromlech or a recumbent stone setting has a large stone present on the site (normally termed a capstone) then it must have been quarried somewhere else, and transported to place where it is used. It's almost as if the archaeologists NEED to believe that large stones were moved rather than used in situ. Why is this? Do they NEED to demonstrate to themselves and the rest of society that our Neolithic ancestors were sophisticated civil engineers, simply so that we can have a heightened sense of awe and wonderment -- and in turn have a heightened sense of respect for those who make a living from excavating prehistoric sites?
It's all very strange. So we have the crazy hunt for quarries on and around Carn Meini in the Preseli area -- with an ongoing assumption by senior archaeologists that the "spotted dolerite quarry" which only they can see (the rest of us are probably not clever enough) must have been a rather sacred site in itself. Now we have the "quarry" at Rhosyfelin, another "quarry" at Carn Goedog, and now one at Garn Turne as well -- mentioned by MPP in his latest book.
It is a source of constant irritation that these places are simply called quarries without any evidence being presented of quarrying activity of any sort. Indeed, these "quarries" are simply not needed anyway, for as many archaeologists (including Steve Burrow) have pointed out, burial chambers were almost always built simply where suitable stones were to be found in the landscape. Pentre Ifan and Carreg Samson in Pembrokeshire are classic examples -- and many other sites have been mentioned on this blog over the past couple of years. But that explanation is less than satisfactory for other archaeologists, since they apparently need to believe that burial sites were chosen in order to be auspicious in some way, and located to the nearest metre (or Neolithic yard) on the ground -- and this meant that stones then had to be moved to the site from wherever they could be found and no matter how difficult that might have been. Those heroic civil engineers again -- and round and round goes the circular argument...........
Let's look at the Garn Turne recumbent stone, currently being excavated by Colin Richards and his colleagues.