Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- due for publication on June 1st 2018. After that, it will be available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Avenue Banks

Another comment from Lloyd, this time relating to the Avenue embankments (highly exaggerated in the "photo" above).

Regarding the comments made by Geocur, I accept all shapes are in the eye of the holder, unless an alternative explanation could be given. For example, Stone 059a has two very distinct parallel ribs, as shown in the attached photograph. Could this be a representation of ‘The Avenue’ as shown in the photograph? Although no meanings have yet been found for shapes on stones, surely this does not mean that none exist?

I thought that the general assumption was that this was a tongue-and-groove arrangement, but that's sheer speculation too.....


geocur said...

Stone 59a has the same “longitudinal ridges with transverse tooling “ as stone 54 there are also two less prominent transverse ridges (at the bottom right and two thirds way up the main right ridge in the pic ) .These produce two L shapes , in effect a T (as in stone 54) minus an arm , or eyebrow if you accept the face . It was an orthostat and one of the few with that dressing , which when producing two ridges can look like a groove , but I doubt there was an associated tongue If the Avenue analogy is accepted then there is the problem of the two transverse ridges ,where are they on the Avenue ? More likely is that there is a style of dressing at the monument that produces ridges and these ridges have been interpreted as faces when then ridges have a upper transverse ridge and an Avenue or functional groove when the ridges are parallel .

Lloyd said...

Brian;I have not heard of the ‘Tongue and Groove’ arrangement for this stone, which is interesting. What proposal is given to the ‘Tongue’, so this assumption could have been made? For example, if one end of an outer Sarsen Lintel had been found, with the other end missing, and no other lintel in sight, one might conclude that there were other Lintels and that they were joined at the ends by a ‘Tongue and Groove’ arrangement which, as we know they are, or is this a too literal meaning to be made for Stone 059a?

Anonymous said...

“Although no meanings have yet been found for shapes on stones, surely this does not mean that none exist?”

True. But only if we assume the “shapes” are man-made. Or they were made intentionally by man. And not coincidentally through some other human activity.

Stonehenge dates some 5000 BP. Why must we assume all that is found at Stonehenge date 5000 BP?


Jon Morris said...

It's an interesting photo compilation that, but the perspective of the Avenue is wrong: The closer you get to the monument along the Avenue, the less of it you can see: The slope in the last couple of hundred metres is steeper than the land on which Stonehenge sits. In other words, as you walk along the Avenue, only the top section of Stonehenge always remains in view.

The Heel Stone looms large and Stonehenge's base disappears slightly below the horizon (as shown).

However, because the land is sloping up, the Avenue's perspective point would be above the ground. In other words, for the last couple of hundred metres, the focal point of the Avenue would have directed your attention to the upper sections of Stonehenge.

The other interesting thing about the Avenue is that, according to English Heritage's report 031, the elbow shows no sign of hollowing, indicating that it was not used for processions (or if it was, they were very small processions)

Yet the architecture of the Avenue in its landscape directs vision towards Stonehenge. Another aesthetic reason for doing this would be if the Avenue were intended for congregation rather than procession. The landscape happens to be rather good for this: Like bowl arenas, the gradual change in slope allows anyone towards the rear of the Avenue to see above the heads of those in front.

But that would also be curious: If intended for congregation, only the top of Stonehenge would always be visible.

Lloyd said...

Jon; thank you for the detailed explanation you have given. Your points are interesting and I will read the English Heritage’s report 031.

Jon Morris said...


No worries. I hope it's useful. Out of interest the perceived focal point of the Avenue in the last few hundred metres of the Avenue would have been in the region of 4 metres above the ground level of Stonehenge.

If you want any calculations to show how this figure is arrived at, let me know?