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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

More on the Durrington Walls cattle


A still from the TV documentary, showing the frequency of occurrence of the sampled teeth from Durrington Walls. The size of the sample wasn't stated -- but note that the great majority of teeth were from the blue, green, orange and yellow zones, implying that most of the cattle came from within a hundred miles of the sampling site.  Note also that very few animals came from far away.


 The "strontium isotope map" which purports to show the "signatures" in strontium isotope measurements affected by local geological and water supply contexts.  This map is different in some respects to that used by Sarah Viner in her podcast.


Another byproduct of that Channel 4 Documentary on Sunday night is a fresh look at the published data on the teeth of those cattle from Durrington Walls.  I was encouraged to do this by the extravagant claims made by Prof MPP about all those midwinter solstice barbeques at Durrington, attended by most of the British population.  It sounds as if those parties were quite something, with 4,000 people there every time, celebrating, worshipping and building Stonehenge.  All the visitors apparently brought their own meat supplies on the hoof........  as MPP says on the new documentary, it was not so much a matter of "bring a bottle" as "bring a cow."


When MPP first announced these gigantic events to the world, the media loved it, and there was saturation coverage.

But how strong is the evidence?  I have searches as best I can, and unless there is a lot of unpublished material in the pipeline, the conclusions about gigantic feasts attended by ancient clans from the Orkneys (and everybody else of note) appear to be based on 13 animal teeth.  I give the key references and abstracts below.  In Sarah Viner's podcast, she mentions that 2 of the sampled teeth are from animals that spent all their lives on Salisbury Plain,  7 came from animals born in Central England, South Wales or Devon and Cornwall,  2 probably came from Cornwall or Wales -- or maybe further north, and 2 had higher values, showing that they probably came from the Grampians of Scotland or from restricted areas in South Wales or Cornwall where certain types of igneous rocks are prominent.  They might also have come from the continent.



There was nothing in the research to suggest any link with the Orkneys -- so goodness knows why MPP went trundling off there for the film and pretended that people had travelled all the way from Orkney to Durrington walls for one or more of the gigantic winter solstice feasts.


The conclusions of the "strontium signature" research - based on a statistically very small sample -- are that most of the animals killed and eaten were relatively local, and that two of them were from a greater distance.  As far as I can see, there is nothing in the research to suggest that these animals were not moving about all over the country in the process of normal trading (or cattle stealing) activities -- and nothing to suggest that they were brought to Durrington Walls specifically for the purpose of feasting at the solstice.  Why, in any case, would people want to travel all the way from Scotland in the depths of winter, with animals on the hoof, all the way to Stonehenge....?

As far as the "winter killings" goes, I would like to see the evidence on that.  In all farming communities you kill animals in the winter because that's when you need extra protein and because you can avoid the cost of feeding them during the cold snowy spells of weather which come along after the turn of the year.



So there we are then.  We seem to have yet another gigantic MPP fantasy, based upon remarkably little evidence.  I know that the evidence for feasts comes from pig bones and other sources as well, but when we look at the idea of these great gatherings of revellers converging from all quarters of Great Britain, it would be helpful if we could have a bit more evidence please, and a few more teeth to look at.......


Here are the key publications: 
 
Cattle on the hoof: Strontium isotope analysis of cattle teeth from Late Neolithic Durrington Walls 
(Sarah Viner, Jane Evans, Umberto Albarella, Mike Parker Pearson) (2009?)
http://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/862

Description
Cattle are a common component in zooarchaeological assemblages from the Late Neolithic in Britain and were undoubtedly important in both the economic and ritual spheres of Neolithic life. At present relatively little is known about the role of mobility in the husbandry regimes that characterised the time, as the movement of animals can be difficult to detect in the archaeological record. The application of strontium isotope analysis can provide insights into the movement of animals and humans in the past. In the case of cattle, tooth enamel provides 87Sr/86Sr values that are set during the period of tooth development and that will reflect the geology of the grazing area. By comparing these early grazing signatures with values from archaeological sites it can be established whether individuals were of autochthonous or allochthonous origin. This paper will present the results of Sr isotope analysis of 12 cattle teeth from Late Neolithic contexts at Durrington Walls, Wiltshire, a site located on chalkland. The findings suggest that while some animals were raised under conditions similar to those that are found at Durrington Walls, a number could not have been raised on chalkland. Not only were a large proportion of the cattle analysed raised in non-chalk areas, but a number of possible areas of origin could be identified for the allochthonous specimens. These results have implications for the long distance movement of cattle, and for the interaction between people in different parts of the British Isles during the Late Neolithic.

Sarah Viner, University of Sheffield
Jane Evans, NIGL, Keyworth
Umberto Albarella, University of Sheffield
Mike Parker Pearson, University of Sheffield

----------------------

Cattle mobility in prehistoric Britain : strontium isotope analysis of cattle teeth from Durrington Walls (Wiltshire, Britain)

Viner, Sarah; Evans, Jane; Albarella, Umberto; Pearson, Mike Parker. 2010.  Cattle mobility in prehistoric Britain : strontium isotope analysis of cattle teeth from Durrington Walls (Wiltshire, Britain). Journal of Archaeological Science, 37 (11). 2812-2820. 10.1016/j.jas.2010.06.017

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03054

Abstract/Summary

An important role has been envisaged for cattle during the Neolithic period in Britain based on their prominence within the faunal assemblages of the period as a whole. The relative ease with which cattle can be moved over long distances and the requirement to provide ample pastureland leads almost inescapably to the consideration of prehistoric cattle movement. This paper presents the results of an investigation into the mobility of Late Neolithic cattle at the well-known site of Durrington Walls, Wiltshire. 87Sr/86Sr values from cattle (Bos taurus) teeth were compared to local vegetation samples, well established values from archaeological material and to known geological conditions in order to determine whether individual animals were raised in areas with similar geological conditions as those found at the site (i.e. chalkland), and therefore whether the animals were of allochthonous or autochthonous origin. In total, 13 mandibular molars from Durrington Walls were analysed. Two of the animals included in the study were certainly raised under conditions similar to those found in the vicinity of Durrington Walls, but the other 11 provided signatures so distinct from that found locally that they could not have been raised on chalkland. From the results it is suggested that cattle were brought to the site from a variety of grazing areas in different parts of Britain. The implication of these findings is that the movement of cattle was undertaken during the Late Neolithic, and that in a number of cases substantial distances must have been traversed in order for animals to reach the site. In addition, the study provided valuable information for the interpretation of the site, which attracted people from a variety of regions, probably for ceremonial reasons. 

55 comments:

geocur said...

Brian , that problem was highlighted on the night of the prog over on the Meg Portal and I mentioned it here yesterday morning .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, I was aware of that, Geo. Glad others are picking up on this too.....

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

I think the 'evidence' for great festive gatherings are the heaps of animal bones (pig, cow, etc.) found in places like Durrington Walls. Just thirteen cow teeth may have been tested because you only need a small sample to draw statistical conclusions. And cow teeth were probably selected because cow teeth may contain greater levels of the strontium isotope tested.

As always, MPP makes up all the rest of the story! Always seeking to make his narrative 'stick in the wall' of 'want to believers'. But the question remains. Can such heaps of animal bones have other explanations? I so think!

Kostas

TonyH said...

There is, appropriately enough, an OXBOW publication being published in Oxford sometime in the fairly near future, which is authored by Prof MPP and his colleagues, as I mentioned recently. It's title will be, according to the references with the latest Rob Ixer and Richard Bevins article in WANHS 2013, "Stonehenge For The Ancestors".

TonyH said...

When I attended part of Mike PP's dig near Marlborough, 12 -24 August 2012, he told those who visited one weekend that the number of cattle bones analysed by then was 170. "One of the cattle" was from the Highlands of Scotland. I expect we will get the precise figures in the forthcoming "Stonehenge For the Ancestors" Oxbow publication.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Cattle bones, not teeth? What were they measuring for?

BRIAN JOHN said...

So we have messages coming out about "Stonehenge for the Ancients." It's actually rather worrying that what should be fundamental academic research is now appearing (as in MPP's Stonehenge book) without any checks and balances at all -- ie no peer review process. If MPP's last book had been subject to proper peer review and editorial control, it would not have appeared in anything like its current form. Books are published in order to sell -- and to sell they need to be as "exciting" and "novel" as possible, as seen by the publisher. So to hell with academic rigour -- and the more fantasy the better.....

It's the same rule that governs the creation of documentaries like the one on C4 the other day -- and which makes one wonder where on earth archaeology is going.

Anonymous said...

"So there we are then. We seem to have yet another gigantic MPP fantasy, based upon remarkably little evidence."

"So to hell with academic rigour -- and the more fantasy the better....."

Seems somewhat hypocritical from someone who has published a book on less evidence than MPP has provided.

Anon

BRIAN JOHN said...

You wouldn't expect me to agree with you, Anon. My book is full of evidence, and I have tried to keep it free of fantasy. Do I take it that you are happy with the conclusions MPP has drawn in various fields -- including the one discussed in this post? If so, let's hear your reasons.

TonyH said...

On the theme of fundamental archaeological research being published without any peer reviewing, perhaps the problem, and thus the temptation archaeology finds itself involved with, is that, since the 1980's, we all live in a Market Economy. Thatcher & Reagan encouraged everything to be determined by market forces.Privatisation became the best thing since sliced bread. But Universities (and Archaeology Departments) felt they were in danger of getting a reduced share of the loaf. But Stonehenge sells very well. Pity, however, it is being so explicitly reduced to a "product".

TonyH said...

Perhaps Anon should tell us whether or not he has actually read Brian's book? It is not expensive. I am sure we would all enjoy a good debate, point by point.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Well, I would agree with Anon that MPP and his colleagues do have quite a lot of evidence in various fields. My problem relates to the question of what the evidence shows. I think that for one reason or another MPP has a tendency to develop highly complex narratives that are not supported by the amount of evidence at his disposal. I would like to see much more circumspection and caution before the development (and elaboration in the media) of working hypotheses. When you rush things as these guys seem to do, before you realise what is happening your working hypothesis has become a ruling one -- and then it is a short step to manipulating your evidence so as to make it fit the story which you have happily given to the world. Very dodgy indeed.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

Today in CNN News it was reported some 6,000 dead pigs flowed down a river in China. Had these been in a wider River Avon in the Neolithic, MPP would see in the heap of bones collected and deposited along the banks great festive gatherings.

Interestingly, Durrington Walls is located near the River Avon and at a sharp turning point in the river flow. All suggesting a natural place for deposits of river debris along the outer bank.

We have here the beginnings of yet another debunking of MPP's theories. Similar to his Rhosyfelin “quarry” which in all likelyhood was engulfed in water at the time.

Any signs yet from MPP of his RC-dates for Rhosyfelin? And don't you think if those dates were favorable to MPP's made-up stories he wont have rushed them to the waiting public? Or you think he is taking his good old time submitting the samples for analysis wanting to built up supsense for his next book or doco.

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

This is a truly splendid theory, Kostas. Thousands of deaf pigs floating down the River Avon, to be neatly deposited in middens adjacent to the settlement of Durrington Walls. If I wasn't so busy, I might feel a new novel coming on.....

No comment on Rhosyfelin being engulfed in water at the time. All dealt with already.

I have no idea what is happening with the eagerly awaited C14 dates from Rhosyfelin -- but since the National Geographic Mag is sponsoring the work there, they will be the ones to decide what is released, and when. Probably it will be in another blockbuster documentary.....

Myris said...

The MPP monograph will report the data it is a monograph. I am sure there will be interpretation but it will have greater gravitas than the popular books.
It is multi authored and that is the herding of cats aspect.
I have worked on monographs where the excavation was the MIDDLE of the last century and it has taken decades before publication.
Remember also where is Atkinson,s SH monograph.

TonyH said...

If deaf pigs could fly! Seriously, though, Kostas, you should try "flogging" [English cockney-like colloquialism: 'selling'] your dead pigs notion BACK to the Chinese in their multitudes, they will then flock to Durrington [rather than Stonehenge] to see the site whence the grunters washed up all those years ago. Our British Prime Minister Dave will be forever indebted to you...., but we, the great British Public, will no longer be in economic debt to anyone. Brilliant!!

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian et al,

Easy does it! A 'plausable explanation' and nothing more.

It would be useful if you do a post with photos and diagrams showing where and how these thousands of pig and cow bones have been found. But it is rather striking the Durrington Wall site is where River Avon takes a turn and at the outer bank of the turn trajectory. Exactly where one would expect river flow debris to have been deposited by a wider and stronger flow.

Myris: since when has MPP restrained himslef from publishing evidence favorable to his narrative? If something is not published it usually means it has nothing to add to the story favored.

As always, I submit my ideas to the scrutiny of 'facts on the ground'. But boldly I take these facts to places where others dare not go! All in the interest of Truth and nothing but the Truth!

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian et al,

Quoting from hothistheibis on 12 March 2013 20:12 under “Skeletons, Secrets, Stonehenge and Skulduggery”,

“The idea that Durrington Walls was only occupied for 45 years came from the analysis of the pig bones found so far, according to MPP”


This fits perfectly my “plausible explanation” of how the heap of pig bones got there! Care to put forth any other sensible explanation for this 'fact on the ground'?

Kostas

Jon Morris said...

“The idea that Durrington Walls was only occupied for 45 years came from the analysis of the pig bones found so far, according to MPP”

Interesting: Do you have a link?

If the pig bones are all there is, a more precise statement would be that large scale feasting only occurred over a short period: This is consistent with construction of a monument but does not necessarily relate to post-construction occupation.

I can't imagine that they would have put out the 45 year statement with only pig bones to go on though. The type of construction described can be made to last a very long time, especially with the types of timber easily available in the neolithic period.

BRIAN JOHN said...

There is a lot of speculation as to where this 45-year idea came from. Maybe there is a very tight clustering of radiocarbon dates for the bones analysed thus far? But as others have said, there are middens all over the place, and some of them will not even have been discovered yet....

Personally.I haven't seem any sound evidence for great midwinter feasts rather than normal meat-eating activities during the winter months by a population that might have been seasonally increased because of the need for extra socialising and security in the cold dark part of the year. (ie the hunters, farmers, herders and traders would have been back at base camp.)

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Jon et al,

The quote came directly from hothistheibis. But seems to indicate this was reported by MPP personally.

I agree. It is very interesting and relevant information. Hard to imagine Durrington Walls (largest Neolithic settlement in North Europe according to a Wikipedia article) only existed for 45 years. Or vast festive gatherings from all over Neolithic UK to have only occurred for 45 years. Since such deep cultural convictions bringing people together don't come and go at the wimp of some renegade organizers. With no TV and Internet to motivate weary travelers to take the long and treacherous journey.

Myris:

I am in a state of shock Atckinson did not publish his monograph of his Stonehenge excavations! Please help me understand why he chose not to reveal to the World what he discovered!!!

Kostas

TonyH said...

Kostas

The late Richard Atkinson apparently simply never raised enough energy, for whatever reason, to publish his full excavation reports for his lengthy time at Stonehenge. He has been castigated for this by his fellow archaeologists in more recent times.

Helen said...

I hope you don't mind me commenting here; I'm afraid I'm not an academic or a scholar, but I've been following the discussion here with interest and would be grateful for your opinions on my question.

I've just watched The Secrets of the Stonehenge Skeletons again and the idea that cattle from the Orkneys were brought to Durrington as part of the catering arrangements for the construction crew begs the question (in my mind, anyway) of whether this was just one-way traffic.

I recently saw a programme about the Ness of Brodgar which, if I recall correctly, stated that the temple complex there (if that's what it is) pre-dates Stonehenge. If that's so, then I suppose north-south traffic seems entirely plausible. Extrapolating that, it might also seem plausible that the more experienced Orcadian masons may have travelled to Stonehenge to share their knowledge and their food - but conversely, did people from the south of Britain (and their cattle) travel to Orkney to help with the building of Brodgar? I understand that more than 600 cattle were slaughtered at the site; were they all local or did they originate elsewhere?

Thank you for your patience.
Helen

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Tony,

You are too generous with your excuses for Atkinson's actions!

Atkinson conducted probably the most important and thorough excavations and reconstruction of Stonehenge ever. I still recall him interviewed by no other than our Walter Cronkite on a CBS Special Report on Stonehenge. This was a major initiative and I remember specifically Atkinson arguing the Stonehenge Layer held the answers to the great Stonehenge mystery. And from his excavation photos, I can understand why! As these show evidence Stonehenge was a meltwater retaining basin at one time – as I have been claiming here for a long time.

It just is inconceivable to me the findings of such extensive and prolonged effort should not be made public! Not even if 'nuclear secrets' were involved! What I fear is MPP may be doing the same thing! Selectively releasing only what favors “the narrative”.

Kostas

Anonymous said...

Helen

Here is the answer to your question Brian will attempt to avoid.

The voles of Orkney seem to share more affinities with the voles of the Balkans and France than they do with the geographically closer ones of northern Germany. (The part of the Continent nearest to the Orkney Isles is really Norway, but the Common Vole is not found here.

The Guernsey Vole, conversely, shows more similarities with the voles of Germany.) Almost certainly it was introduced to Orkney by Neolithic* Man, as evidence found at Skara Brae and other Neolithic sites suggests.

The programme also confirms that the previous believed beaker people of Stonehenge were not migrants but from areas like the South Downs who must have travelled to or traded with, the beaker people of northern Europe.

This reinforces the findings at Durrington Walls and suggests that travel was widespread in the Neolithic.

MPP

BRIAN JOHN said...

Now why would I want to avoid answering Helen's questions? I try to answer all questions to the best of my ability, although sometimes others do it for me.....

Have I ever said that travel was not widespread in the Neolithic? I have no problem at all with people travelling all over the place, with or without cattle, and with all sorts of objectives -- seasonal movements for grazing the animals, trading movements, movements enforced by land disputes or warfare etc.

What I am intrigued by is the manner in which the Orkneys suddenly appear in the Durrington Walls / Stonehenge story, for a reason which I am currently unable to discern.

geocur said...

Anon , I am of the opinion that is interesting .Do you have a blog ?
Dr Stuart Love

TonyH said...

I was just thinking about how links with The Orkneys had caused a lot of eyebrow - raising on this site, when I switched on my computer just now and read Helen's pertinent observations. indeed, The very recently revealed and highly intricate Orkney temple complex is dated at 500 years earlier than Stonehenge on the recent BBC special by the man with the highly mobile eyebrows (and feet), Neil Oliver. Ironically, he wouldn't raise so much as one eyebrow about this Orkney/ Stonehenge linkage......but then he is a Scottish patriot.

geocur said...

“What I am intrigued by is the manner in which the Orkneys suddenly appear in the Durrington Walls / Stonehenge story, for a reason which I am currently unable to discern. “

As mentioned a few days ago
“The source , Rinyo in Orkney , may have had too much of an influence on the "animals from Orkney " suggestion .Just because an important style of pottery and monuments etc ”
i.e. Grooved ware ,similar house plans (Skara Brae & Durrington ), the henge ,the Ring of Brodgar as precursor to Stonehenge monument prior to sarsens and the present monument complex at the Ness .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Er, aren't we getting a bit way out here? Are we now going to say that any place in the British Isles where there are Neolithic structures (or voles) that might have some sort of similarities with Stonehenge were therefore formally connected with it, to the extent of providing crowds of builders / revellers at every midwinter solstice? Hmmm.....

They would all have spent so much time travelling to the revels that they would have had very little time left for anything else...

TonyH said...

Two of the Stonehenge Riverside Project's foremost professorial front - men, viz. Mike PP & Colin Gibson, have several decades' practical expertise excavating and researching, often together, in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, including Orkney.

Talk of "Solstice revelling and barbequed beef" is, I suspect, merely a useful marketing Soundbite, a case of 'lowest common denominator' marketing.

Jon Morris said...

The quote came directly from hothistheibis. But seems to indicate this was reported by MPP personally.

Thanks Kostas, bit I have no idea who hothistheibis is. I doubt that the 45 year occupation period noted in the documentary was just based on pig bones: All that would tell you is that the construction period of the monument may have been short. It doesn't say anything about what happened to the village post occupation.

geocur said...

No , you enquired about the Orkney - Durrington connection (I made no mention of the vole ,that was Dr Stuarts paland it doesn't play any part in any connection ). The houses found at Durrington are remarkably similar to those found at Skara Brae .If you know of any others from the same period in Britain let us know .Grooved Ware and most probably henges originated in Orkney ,the Ring of Brodgar has striking similarities with the pre sarsen Stonehenge . None of that has anything to do with providing builders or revellers or for that matter the bogus connection to the isotopic cattle signature .

BRIAN JOHN said...

In case anybody is also interested in our friend called by a strange Egyptian name, here is his blog:

http://thothistheibis.wordpress.com/2012/05/

He has an interesting post on the Bush Barrow treasure.

Could he be a distant relative of Myris of Alexandria, I wonder?

geocur said...


Mpp in a talk in leicester last night accepted that the impression given on the prog about cattle from Orkney was wrong .

TonyH said...

Geo

You said "No, you enquired about the Orkney - Durrington connection (I made no mention of the vole, that was Dr Stuarts paland it doesn't play any part in any
connection)."

Not sure what you mean by "Dr Stuarts paland", could you clarify.

TonyH said...

What was MPP doing in Leicester last night, was he speaking for or against Richard III being re - buried there?

Jon Morris said...

He has an interesting post on the Bush Barrow treasure.

It's a very interesting blog. It would be useful to know a bit more about the 45 year assumption Joan

geocur said...

Sorry Tony typical bad spelling , lack of grammar etc .That should have read as " that was Dr Stuart's pal and it doesn't play ....etc "
Dr Stuart Love seems to appear when a certain blog needs a bit of a boost he usually says "I am of the opinion " coupled with a small query and congratulatory comment . You never get clue about his unlikely doctorate or even if he actually understands the content , he certainly never contributes anything other than the banalities . I suspect he is no more genuine than the recent poster signing himself MPP .

TonyH said...

Geo, thanks. I seemed to have missed the character signing himself MPP; but did note that Mike Parker Pearson made a remark about his own programme's airing last weekend on Megalithic Portal.

myris said...

SORRY no relation with Thothistheibex
The only Rankin I rank is Iain although I prefer to Bank on a cultured antidystopian cosmic view.
M.

TonyH said...

Jon

The 45 - year assumption, vis a vis Durrington, is, in effect, also mentioned in MPP's Stonehenge book, 2012, where it is stated as 50 years.

"Was This Where the Stonehenge Builders Lived?", chapter 7, page 110, states:-

"so when was all this happening - when was the village of Durrington Walls inhabited? By selecting radiocarbon samples from layers whose stratigraphical relationships to each other are known, our dating specialist, Peter Marshall, has been able to use Bayesian statistics to refine the broad ranges of each date. The settlement began in the period 2525 - 2470 cal BC and ended in 2480 - 2440 cal BC; it was thus probably occupied at some point within the years 2500 - 2440 cal BC."

Jon Morris said...

"Was This Where the Stonehenge Builders Lived?", chapter 7, page 110, states:-

So it does! Thanks Tony: I found I had already tagged that phrase as support evidence for an entirely different hypothesis. Do you think that this was used as the support evidence for the 45 year occupation theory?

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Geo,

Hope Brian posts here this response to your last post to me in another thread.

I accept your “syllogism”. It is the clearest expression of your thinking re: transport of bluestones.

Too often your comments are convoluted leaving much room for misunderstanding of what you really think. What I have referred to as 'arguments'. Your “syllogism” is more what I would call “reasoning”.

Can we have a similar simple response regarding the capabilities of prehistoric people? That was the intend of questions 1) and 2).

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian et al,

Does MPP in his talks also suggest there may have been athletic games and competition a la Olympia at Neolithic Dorrington during these great festive gatherings?

Kostas

TonyH said...

Kostas

The question really is: did archery contests [involving unsuspecting pigs] count as part of The Winter Games?

Anonymous said...

Kostas

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/modern-man-a-wimp-says-anthropologist-1802501.html

Brendan Foster

geocur said...

Kostas ,A quick glance at recent posts shows that there have been questions that you have not answered and posed prior to your questions 1&2 .
The syllogism in relation to Bluestones and Stonehenge is only of interest if it can be shown to mistaken .
I don't have any interest in hypothetical situations about the monumental building capabilities of the inhabitants of Britain 10,000 years ago (ignoring the fact that it is approx 500 years earlier than any recorded presence here in the Mesolithic ) and even less in any thoughts that I might have about them . Why anyone might consider them of any worth or interest is baffling .
However I am more than just interested in sites like http://www.gobeklitepe.info/ built earlier than 10,000 BC and not at all hypothetical .

chris johnson said...

Brian,
Thanks for the link to thothistheibis. Some marvelous ideas and associations.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brendan Foster,

Any connection with FQXi.org? The peculiar spelling of your first name raises the question. If so, welcome to the other side of my intellectual existence!

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Geo,

You are being evasive again! Evasion is “argument” not “reasoning”.

I am not interested in silly school boy debates. Just an honest and open and CLEAR and courageous exchange of what we think and why we think it.

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brendan,

Thanks for the link. Surely, it shouldn't surprise anyone ancient man was more of a brute. But some in this blog argue prehistoric people were also just as intelligent as modern people. And under the 'right circumstances' could built and calculate and measure and engineer using primitive tools. That culture and civilization (writing for example) is not needed. Just the inherent intelligence, will and desire of the 'gene pool'.

This view is more consequential for our understanding of prehistoric people and our explanations of the 'facts on the ground'. Physical strength alone cannot built Stonehenge, for example. But prehistoric people endowed with modern intelligence could. And that is where so many interested in Stonehenge trip over!

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Geo,

Took the effort to check your link. Nice T-shaped pillars. Very precise and very rectangular. Remind me of highway columns holding exit ramps up. The very rough top to them suggests these held something similar. Perhaps a wooden walkway through a beautiful Assyrian botanical garden many years latter. That would explain why these pillars were buried!

For me, even more impressive are the stone carvings. Any such found in prehistoric UK? How was the date 10,000 BC determined? Nothing in the article about that. But we've seen this before. From some scant C14 dating of some organic material found at the site great conclusions and interpretations are made. What has happened to the site in the interim period of some 12,000 years? Nothing? And why purposely bury the pillars soon after they were built? Any other explanation besides mine doesn't make sense. If only archeologists and their devoted followers can turn their heads around to look elsewhere for answers.

But what does all this in modern day Turkey have to do with Stonehenge anyway. Or you believe evidence anywhere is evidence everywhere!

Kostas

geocur said...

Kostas , as pointed out earlier you have failed to answer a couple of recent questions posed to you prior to your questions . Maybe you should answer these before calling anyone evasive ,and then consider a the backlog from past posts . Why are you interested in what I think ? particularly about hypothetical situations ?
The reason I stopped replying to your posts was due to your failure to investigate anything , everything had to be handed to you on a plate until at last you realised that nature , medieval knights, or some fantastical notion wasn't the likely explanation . At least these questions were not hypothetical . “You “took the effort to check (the ) link “ typifies the approach .
“ Or men 10,000 years ago also possessed the same capabilities of building Stonehenge, under the right circumstances! “ you ask this then when something older is laid on a plate you complain about it being in Turkey . Surely even you know that there was nobody in the Stonehenge area to build monuments under any circumstances in 10,000 .There was little monument building done 10,000 years ago that we are aware of regardless of circumstances but Gobekli Tepi is older and a genuinely intriguing monument , the main the pillars are not from Wales and are almost certainly relatively local but they are at least x10 the weight of the bluestones . Once again there is a list of questions that with a little “effort “ you could quite easily discover yourself . .Here's one http://www.exoriente.org/associated_projects/ppnd_site.php?s=25 . After a few responses I realise that nothing has changed and I will return to non responding mode .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Geo,

Why don't you just state what questions I have failed to answer. Much simpler than going on and on about you not answering my questions before I answer your questions. So silly!

Why am I interested in knowing what you think and why? What you think determines what you argue is true. You've accused Brian recently of not knowing what you believe and think. Your own accusation should answer your own question.

As for Gobekli Tepi, there is much evidence of 'human agency' there. Such irrefutable evidence is simply lacking at Stonehenge! I have no doubts the stonework at Gobekli Tepi was done by people. But I continue to have doubts about Neolithic stonework at Stonehenge.

I need to know more about how the date of Gobekli Tepi was determined. But we must not make the mistake of thinking everything at the site happened 12,000 years ago. Some may have, others may be more recent. I have also suggested a possible explanation for the T-shaped pillars! You ignored.

Less curlicue and more direct simple talk is needed!

Kostas