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Saturday, 18 May 2013

Stones 32c and 32d

Thanks to EH, Sean Moriarty and Anthony Johnson for this one -- if you click to enlarge you can see the basic stone settings and also a plan of the stones, each on the same orientation.  So you can match things up quite easily.

The stones we are currently interested in, as a means of sorting out this Rhosyfelin business, are 32c and 32d. both of whiuch are invisible in the photo on the left because they are beneath the turf.  The little bluestone we can see, behind the trilithon at top left, is stone 33.  There are three buried stumps in the vicinity, approx on the circumference of the bluestone circle (if there ever was such a thing).  As indicated in previous posts, 32e (the one closest to stone 33) is probably a dolerite, but the other two look from the old Atkinson photos as if they are flaky and friable, and we need to know if one or both of them happen to be made of the same type of rhyolite as that represented in lots of fragments in the Stonehenge layer.  If they are, we may assume that the debris or debitage has come from the destruction of one or two stones that were previously prominent standing stones.  If they are NOT the same, when examined by the geologists, all sorts of other interesting possibilities open up.......

It's good to know that a number of senior archaeologists are now quite attracted by the idea of a small "keyhole surgery" operation designed to take samples adequate for the making and analysis of thin section slides.  Why doesn't EH take the initiative and instigate this work?  In my view this should be the current number one priority at Stonehenge.  So please, EH, if you are listening, go for it!  The damage to the monument would be minimal, and the work would take less than a day.  We know exactly where the stumps are.  I think it would be a mistake to wait for this work to be done in the context of "the next Stonehenge dig"  -- whenever that might be.  Big digs take a long time to fund and organize;  the consent process is convoluted; and what is a very simple research objective might get caught up and even obscured in some larger project designed to answer other unrelated archaeological questions.

So forget about the archaeology.  This is a simple piece of geology we are talking about.  Go for it, EH! No doubt Messrs Ixer and Bevins are waiting for your call.......

34 comments:

GCU:Intwominds said...

Ixer and Bevins (2011?) have 32e as a possible Craig Rhos-y-felin rhyolite (before CRyf was excavated and the foliated nature became very obvious.I am not certain of their views now. So 32c,d, e all need to be examined.
There is no agreement in the lit as to what any of them is.
M
Now Mons Claudianus. That is a quarry.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

Stumps 32c and 32d may have been the stone part left in the ground after the upper long portion was purposely cut off. That is what I see in the Atkinson photos. The 'flaky and friable' look may be due to this manner of the stones being cut. Very reminiscent of how tree trunks are cut. So my bet is these stones are not the same as the foliated rhyolite fragments from Rhosyfelin found in the Stonehenge Layer.

But I have further questions regardless. What sense can we make of an orthostat being broken up into little fragments and scattered about? Lots of human effort for what?

On the other hand, it does make sense to me the strong dolerite columns would have made perfect ramming stones. Either by the Romans or by Medieval people. Clearly, carrying such heavy ramming apparatuses in boats during the Roman invasion of the UK would have been more difficult, especially in rough seas. Better to use 'local stones' found. As you have been arguing here for a long time.

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

GCU -- I thought we had established long ago that the labelling of 32e as a possible foliated rhyolite was a mistake? In the Atkinson photos it looks quite different from the other two. My money would be on it being a dolerite. But agree that it would be very sensible to sample all three.

TonyH said...

Dr.Simon Thurley, chief Executive of English Heritage, should be bombarded with emails attached to Brian's plea, above. He took a personal interest in the 2008 Dig at Stonehenge, I saw him there. Take a look at his biography on the English Heritage website, folks! This seems to be a man who loves his role, and he's an architect, so another reason why he'll want to know as much as possible about the provenance of Stonehenge's stonework and just how far men went to the trouble of creating it.

Simon, it's over to you, after you've received lots of emails from us bloggers, please do this for English Heritage on behalf of England. Wales would also be keenly interested, Scotland too, one would hope.

TonyH said...

English Heritage are about to prepare a new Research Agenda, and, having contacted David Field, who until recently worked for EH out of its Swindon Office, I understand he is contacting them with the suggestion that the stone stumps in question be investigated.

TonyH said...

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon your stance, English Heritage rarely moves swiftly on Matters Stonehenge. Yet they gave their blessing for the 2008 "keyhole surgery" of Messrs Darvill & Wainwright, the first such excavation within the stones for over 45 years.

The dig being proposed above has very specific aims and equally specific target areas, and the results will have have profound consequences.

The British, indeed the World Public will be intrigued by the implications of the results, so it is clearly "worth it" in every sense. This would be a minimally invasive procedure, in medical terminology.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

OK. So you wont post my comments to Geo and Myris on Gobekli Tepe. I will stop trying after several attempts. Whatever... moving on!

Concerning the Rhosyfelin RC-dates. I fail to see your reasoning why if these dates are in the 20,000BP it will be an embarrassment to MPP. On the other hand, if these dates turn out to be much younger (say 2000BP) or even worse if among the samples taken were fresh water shells dating to the time Stonehenge supposedly was built, then clearly that would be an extreme embarrassment to MPP. As this will totally undermine his "Rhosyfelin quarry" theory.

Perhaps that is why there has been such "news blackout" about Rhosyfelin! Simply, the RC-dates may have destroyed MPP's quarry theory. And there is no easy way of admitting it other than staying silent and hoping people will not take notice and forget.

Kostas

chris johnson said...

While we are thinking about things to do, I wonder if progress is made on provenancing the slate and what one might expect.

The slates at Rosebush were famous in their day for a special quality and - I am guessing a bit - presumably have a fingerprint from the volcanic ash from which they are formed.

GCU.intwominds said...

I think that Dr Ixer is hoping to see it.
But nothing so far.
His relook at the stone from the Stonehenge May excavations has been very useful. Some have been sectioned and so their ids are secure.
M.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Thinking of bits of slate, I must try to get a sight of a stone collected by Ray Cleary from near the west end of the Cursus. It's about 10cm x 5 cm x 4 cm -- and he describes it as totally black, dense, shiny and "heavier than you would imagine." Basalt? Slate? By all accounts he got a rather dismissive response when he showed it to a certain senior media person who makes archaeologu programmes. "An erratic used as a tool?" asked Mr R Cleary. "Nonsense," came the reply. "Undoubtedly a piece of roadstone." Well, maybe, if there was a road close to the location of the find ..... but otherwise an open mind would not be a bad idea.....

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

Your best chance of influencing outcomes in the bluestone transport debate is your blog and the following you have created. It has taken some three years of sustained hard work. And your "hit count" shows considerable success for that effort. Such momentum is hard to regain once lost, however.

Of late, you have been losing steam and your blog is becoming eerily silent and near-dead on the waters of contraversy. Soon you will be losing even the most devoted contributors on that venture for truth.

What a shame! Just what MPP and GW and others like them would like to see happen! Waving the white flag of inclusion will not satisfy them. Only your complete capitulation can. Are you willing? It would be the end of all you stood for. A great victory for your enemies. The satisfaction knowing you were wrong and they are right!

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Heavy stuff, Kostas!

I have neither given up nor gone away! Plenty to say still. But recently the weather has been very good, and I have a garden to look after, and other things going on in life....... such as chimneys and cesspits to mend, and garden paths to repair. And the bluebells in the woods have been wonderful!

Balance in all things.....

TonyH said...

Kostas

Brian only went "eerily quiet" (your quote) for slightly over a week. He was busy outdoors. Joined any North American digs recently, as advised a month or two ago? You just MIGHT recruit some new blog contributors to our mutual search for truth. Have a nice day/ night in your time zone.

Tony

TonyH said...

Brian

As you know, I too have found the said 'senior media person who makes archaeological programmes' surprisingly at times a touch dismissive, depending upon his mood, his surroundings, and perhaps his snap judgement on the person whom he is addressing.

Pity he doesn't realise, although he may not at that moment be on camera, he does still have a duty to his audience, even if that audience is a small as a single listener. Basic BBC Lord Reith standards.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

Being Greek, you know how much I value "balance". When we offend any one of our Olympian gods, we cannot hope for harmony. Myris knows as Myris hides hoping!

You can garden and blog too.

Tony: I love to dig and seek. Whether here or there. But my current circumstances do not permit it. As I am looking after my 92 year old mother who needs me.

Kostas

TonyH said...

Kostas

I too looked after my elderly mother; later on, I visited her on a daily basis for quite a few years in her nursing home and tried to do what I could to make her last days tolerable and pleasant.

Our priorities have to be on the important things in life. I am sure that, eventually, this blog's bold venture for truth will bear fruit, despite all the "background noise" from trumpets and cymbals.

GCU:Intwominds said...

Myris is awaiting the Nile floods so he can go swimming amongst the bull-rushes - if Sobek allows.
He hears that work is afoot on the "Debitage dilemma" but that there remains a slaty-silence elsewhere.
Some probable Altar Stone has appeared.
Roadstone is abundant along modern the track way to the Stonehenge Great Cursus as are dolerites in nearby mole hills-do not get me started on the crudeness of strangers however ill-intentioned.
M

TonyH said...

Yes, Myris/Apollo of the bullrushes, I recall a small debate in our Collective past lives which was kicked off by PeteG. He'd found bits and pieces of this and that in the vicinity of the west end of The Greater Cursus. Some I think was in adjacent-ish fields, and we discussed the possibility of exotic geology being brought in along with the field manure.

The aforementioned TV presenter who made that hasty comment may be the very same archie who field- walked loads of the fields surrounding Stonehenge and then analysed what his fellow field-walkers had found.

GCU.intwominds said...

Ah PeteG is a good egg. Even Lemuel would have to agree.
Recent field walking is news to me. When was this.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

My friend who sent me a sketch of his black and heavy "erratic" says he picked it up "the other year." Not sure if it was in the context of an organized field walking effort. That doesn't help much, does it?

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Myris, [expletives retracted]

Why go swimming in the muddy-floody waters of the Nile? Come to Sunny Halkidiki in Macedonia where the beaches are sandy white, the waters are warm and crystal clear, and you can swim till dawn in the moonlight listening to Apollo play.

@Tony: I too am committed to this venture for truth in Brian's blog. It mustn't go away!

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Sounds delightful -- maybe we should have a blog convention there?

TonyH said...

No, no, sorry if I misled you with my deliberately vague comment relating to said media person. Field walking took place in the'80's under the auspices of EH.That's all I'm saying. And who on earth (or beyond) are Sobek and Lemuel? I bet Time Team's Phil Harding's never heard of 'em.

TonyH said...

My daughter is a great advocate of the Greek islands, but, I agree, a Blog Convention at Kostas's Haldikidi would be great. Guest speaker Prof Alice Roberts.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Tony,

I have seen many Brits (with their families) vacationing at the Sanni Resort in Halkidiki (first finger pointing down from Thessaloniki).

The hospitality is world reknown since ancient times. As is the food, music and dancing. Do send me a postcard when you get there!

Kostas

Rob pp M. pp GCU. said...

Kostas
No need to tell me of the delights of Halkidiki.
I have swum on its beaches taken the boat trip to Holy Mount Athos -just to the door- of course.
I swam a mile in their huge pool with a rifle trained on me (the EU foreign ministers were in the same hotel and their armed guards bored) however not pleasant for me.
My wife says it was prime ministers anyway the
The Athos Palace Chalkidiki.
Smoked my last cigarette there Sept 18th 1988 (not that I miss the taste of Chesterfields!!!!!).About 7.20pm.
So I am up for it.
Rob as Myris is busRy feeding Sobek with soft boiled eggs.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Myris,

So pleased you enjoyed the many delights of Halkidiki. While there, have you paid homage to Aristotle (our Great Alexander's Mentor) visiting his birthplace in Stagira?

Summer of 1988 is a long way past. You are due for a revisit!

Kostas

TonyH said...

Curioser and Curioser, said Alice (who was busy trying to pronounce all the Letters after her name, minus the Bristol Channel accent).

Wonder what Humph would have made of all this? Myris?

TonyH said...

Myris, I guess we could ask Samantha what Humph might have said about this, provided she wasn't otherwise occupied.

GCU.intwominds said...

I believe Brian visits Sven whilst holidaying in "the north country".
I m not certain how much the earth moves in SW Wales nearest really active fault is the Church Stretton Fault that has been busy for 10 to the 7 million years plus.
M

geocur said...

"the north country".

Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline ?

Just thought I'd beat Tony to it .

GCU:Intwominds said...

"Ah you done broke de code".
If you know that very very rude but wonderful joke.
M.

geocur said...

The young smallto(w)n Mr Zimmerman , almost 50 years ago to the day ,would have been clueless about the code ,as I am .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Getting a bit off topic here, chaps.....