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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Was the Avenue built in the wrong place?

And another belated post, for which I apologize to Sean Moriarty.  He gives us the nice thought that when the original Avenue was built, maybe it was in the wrong place. In support, he cites the illustrations above.

If we look closely at all of the high-definition images of the Avenue at the Stonehenge end (including the LIDAR images), we see faint traces of other lineaments away from the current positions of the ridges.  Let's forget about periglacial stripes for the moment.  These are all clearly man-made features -- at least the major ridges and furrows are, maybe with a rough pattern of natural features also showing up.

So did the original builders of the first Avenue simply get it wrong?  And did they later on move the whole Avenue a few metres towards the NW, so as to obtain a better sighting via the Heelstone of the Midsummer sunrise?  I quite like the idea -- human frailty, incompetence and all that....... and improvement, by trial and error.

47 comments:

TonyH said...

Those Good Ol' Boys did make a few mistakes, as I think most of us already know, in their efforts erecting them Stonehenge sarsens and bluestones, what with holes on the wrong sides of horizontal stone trilithons etc, so, stands to sense(or human error), they COULD well have got their original alignment a bit off - target. Not sure whether any Irish labour was involved.... [NB JOKE: not racist slur, Irish labour did a grand job on the GWR Railway through North Wiltshire].

Anonymous said...

I flew over the site a few weeks ago and took this.
http://www.peteglastonbury.plus.com/StonehengeAvenue2May2013.jpg

PeteG

BRIAN JOHN said...

Great photo, Pete! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

here's another pic from another angle.
The 3rd feature doesn't seem to go very far.
http://www.peteglastonbury.plus.com/AvenueStonehenge2May2013.jpg

PeteG

geocur said...



Is mr Moriarty serious ?

Where was this suggested ? hopefully there will be further gems .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Looks like a perfectly sound suggestion to me, Geo. Pete's excellent photos show that the "other" Avenue doesn't run very far -- maybe 100m or so. So maybe they hadn't got very far with the "wrong" avenue construction before they discovered their mistake and arranged a realignment. Is there anything against the idea?

geocur said...

Brian , it's the usual problem of not bothering to read the literature after coming up with a “bright “ idea ,although I'm sure it has been suggested in the past .
Some problems .
The white lines in “the original avenue “ bear no relation to what is actually seen in the same pic without the lines .
The Avenue was formerly used as a trackway , the northern “line “ is considered to be a track , although latterly it has been suggested as a possible source of material for bank enhancemnet
The southern line is that of an old track , it's marked on any decent scaled plan of the monument .
There have been have been various geophysical surveys of the area , they are unlikely to have missed what can be seen clearly from aerial pics .
The white lines in “the original avenue “ bear no relation to what is actually seen in the same pic without the lines .
The axis of the monument was in place before the construction of the Avenue , the Avenue has the same orientation as the axis and also meets the entrance ,the line of the trackway is not only on a different axis (it's oriented further south ) it doesn't meet the entrance either which would be pretty difficult to get wrong no matter how inefficient you were .
Trench 45 ,the one shown in the aerial cam pic doesn't show the putative western ditch and more importantly a comment about that trench “there was no evidence of any previously un-known human activity within the Avenue.”
The features are minor in comparison with the real Avenue and there are plenty of others in the area .
­

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Geo,

You write, “The features ['original' Avenue] are minor in comparison with the real Avenue and there are plenty of others in the area .”

I couldn't agree with you more! Have you read my Gobekli Tepe article yet? Or should I take your silence as a tacit agreement; since you can't refute my arguments.

Brian: Are we resorting to reading 'tea leaves' in the Stonehenge landscape to divine prehistory? No telling what obsessive love will do to a good man!

Kostas

Anonymous said...

Still grasping at straws?

Not only was it not fully constructed, but the Avenue is in the wrong place. What's next in the delusional 'Life of Brian' wrong location?

We are informed that it was the Irish that brought the bluestones to Stonehenge, but are you not taking the 'navvy' stereotype too far?

Bob the Builder

BRIAN JOHN said...

I'm not grasping at straws at all, Anon. I don't care a hoot whether the Avenue is in the right place or the wrong place. I'm just rather intrigued by Sean's suggestion, and I haven't seen anything yet that convinces me that he's wrong. Geo says that the northern and southern lines outside the Avenue embankments are old trackways? How old? Who tells us that that is so? Please inform.....

geocur said...

Brian , the "lines " are minor features if you really believe that they could could possibly be evidence of an "avenue " then you will find others dotted not only in the area but all over the country, providing a fantasy greater than anything ever noted here .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

If you block a post you could do the honorable thing and declare your actions to the world! Over time, we'd know if you are being a 'good host' or a censor.

Kostas

geocur said...



Kostas , don't accept my silence as agreement .It wouldn't take much to refute your "argument" .If you had allowed a copying facility on the pdf I might have done so ,although here might not be the most appropriate place .

TonyH said...

Bob The Builder

With a pseudonym like that, shouldn't you have a sense of humour? Take it in the spirit it was written, and for goodness sake lighten up. I like my Guiness like the next man, and my favourite female folk singer is Cara Dillon so it is.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Kostas -- I will block any post I feel like blocking, with or without explanation. I will not publish your posts when they are wildly off topic or when they simply repeat your ridiculous theories about ice and meltwater, about which we have heard more than enough already. Please take those theories and stick them on somebody else's blog, or better still put them on a blog of your own. Blogger will be pleased to help. And please spare us from further protestations about your interminable search for the truth.

Anonymous said...

the area around Stonehenge is riddled with old tracks, roads and byways. Some meander lines are made by animals.
There was an air field very close by so there are odd runways etc all over the place.
http://www.peteglastonbury.plus.com/StonehengeTracks.jpg

PeteG

Bob the Builders father said...

Myris,
I should like to point out that the the person posting on this thread as 'Bob the Builder' is an imposter, and not the one you know so well.

Things have settled on the building front, and I'm back on the sandstone crops, I shall keep you informed.

Gastrioceras Subcrenatum and the Amman Marine Band.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Who will be the next impostor? Thomas the Tank Engine? Postman Pat? Pingu the Penguin?

TonyH said...

Let's all calm down and make a pact to reconvene, not at The Avenue, but at Halkidiki near Thessaloniki, as suggested by Kostas and Brian elsewhere else on the Blog today! We'll all have a good time

"And we'll laugh and toast to nothing and smash
our empty glasses down"

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Geo,

It was too good to think you did not have counter-arguments! And it is too bad Brian would not allow discussion in his “personal” blog! He's being very narrow; selectively opposing me and my theories. His lose! Unfortunately, the lose too of those that follow his blog.

I can send you a Word copy of my article and we can debate this point by point via email exchange. Or you can suggest some other way such discussion can take place. My email address is kostadinos@aol.com

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,
“Kostas -- I will block any post I feel like blocking, with or without explanation.”

Hubris is the downfall of all men intoxicated with vain power. You can expect the same from your Nemesis.

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

If I wake up in the morning I will feel greatly relieved. There was, by the way, an earthquake in Wales yesterday, from which I escaped unscathed.

geocur said...

"http://www.peteglastonbury.plus.com/StonehengeTracks.jpg "

The meeting of two "Avenues " no less ,surely the site of the original monument mr Moriarty ?

TonyH said...

Kostas

"Hubris is the downfall of all men intoxicated by vain power"

no,no, no....yes. I said, on the fine subject of intoxication, in the words from Joni Mitchell's 'Blue' album:-

"And we'll laugh and drink to nothing
and smash our glasses down"

and, later,

..."Oh, you're a mean old daddy, but you're out of sight"


TonyH said...

Geoffrey Boycott has waxed lyrical on the subject of hubris. Now he certainly should know. Have you heard of him, Kostas? Has he shaken your slumbers? He comments relentlessly on our game of Cricket.

TonyH said...

Yonder earthquake was felt, they tell us, as far away as Southport, Lancs. Below 4 on the Richter, was it? Up in the Lleyn Peninsula.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, a lady friend of mine was up there at the time, and she said there was a big bang and she felt the earth move. I hasten to add that she was in Lleyn and I was in Pembs........

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,
I had nothing to do with the earthquake! Thankful you are OK.

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Tony,

I appreciate your sentiments. Now, if you could only implore Brian to stop protecting followers of his blog from my corrupting ideas and influence … everything will be harmonious in stoneville.

Kostas

chris johnson said...

On the second of Pete's splendid photos there is what looks like a beaver engraved on the landscape in Beatrix Potter style.

Beavers would have played their part in neolithic Britain and left their traces in the Kennet Valley amongst other places of archaeological interest.

Geo, did you ever read "Beavers in Britains past" by Bryony Coles?

geocur said...

Chris , no , I was totally unaware of it ,husband John's stuff is more familiar as is the work of Leslie Neilsen and his commentary on the subject .

Peter Dunn said...

Brian . Geocur is quite right and I have thought the same thing about ideas in your blog, having had the bright idea then go and look at some of the literature available to all of us seriously interested in these subjects and check out if it has any validity or can be explained easily.
This idea initially looks interesting but there is no indication of these tracks in geophysical surveys or excavation and if you look at early 20th C aerial photos these tracks are among the many accessing the monument for different purposes and at relatively recent times. The western track inside the avenue would be that used by carriages in the 17th and 18th Cs from the Devizes road as is documented and the eastern track lines up across the road with the early 20th C entrance hut and turnstile which then follows the same direction into the monument and is just an extension of this onto the plain.
Everywhere there are many new things to be observed and uncovered or old ideas reassessed, but blind speculation is not the way to do it.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Peter -- thanks for your comments. I am quite unapologetic -- the whole idea of a blog is to try out various ideas and to see what comes up. We have had some interesting debates -- sometimes they get somewhere, and sometimes not. As for your point: "...blind speculation is not the way to do it" -- would you please care to make that point to Profs Wainwright, Darvill and Parker Pearson?

TonyH said...

Brian

I got a "no comment" from David Field (recently retired from EH and involved in their LIDAR survey) when I showed him this Post on The Avenue.

Tony

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

You can save your silently sinking blog by posting a review of my article on Gobekli Tepe. Then we can have a spirited debate on this. It would be a logical follow up to your earlier post "How smart were our Neolithic ancestors?" (Sunday, 10 March 2013). Geocur wont have to fight this dispute all alone and in the privacy of email exchanges.

Kostas

geocur said...

In relation to the building of Stonehenge and countless other neolithic monuments in western Europe and the much earlier monuments in Anatolia and the near East including Gobekli Tepe . I imagine that there is only one voice who fails to appreciate that they were built by the punters around at the time .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

geocur,

Lumping all these prehistoric sites together into one simple-minded-logic-by-association does not make the logic all that more correct.

Regarding Gobekli Tepe, the issue is not (never was) if it was built by people. Obviously there is ample evidence at GT (sorely lacking in other prehistoric sites) to convince any open-minded intellectually honest person Gobekli Tepe was built by people.
The question is and has been when that was done! I have argued in my article, The "Hanging Gardens" of Göbekli Tepe the dates produced by Schmidt et al for GT may be wrong and the more likely dates may be around 600BC. At a time when the Assyrian/Babylonian Civilization had the capabilities and motivation to have built GT.

Now, doesn't this feel better?

Kostas

geocur said...


The clue was in the "countless other neolithic monuments " ,"much earlier monuments in Anatolia and the near East including Gobekli Tepe ." .Obviously not just built by people but
"built by the punters around at the time ."

Constantinos Ragazas said...

geocur you write,

“Obviously not just built by people but "built by the punters around at the time ." “

More geocurious logic? Or I didn't understand your use of punters!

Do you mean, punter: London slang for costumer, may also be used for "johns" (among prostitutes and police agents), people who watch porn movies or go to strip joints regularly. (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=punter )

Now that makes everything clear and dirty! Give it up, geo!

Kostas

geocur said...

A humour as well as logic and evidence by pass ?
Yes you clearly didn't understand the use of punters as you had to look it up , maybe it meant people who punt boats around the hanging gardens and drowned landscape of Stonehenge .
Whilst Gobekli may be outwith the remit the blog ,it might be worth a laugh to hear an "intellectually honest open minded " version of how Stonehenge was not actually built by the punters of the Neolithic period , all "based on the facts on the ground " . Although it couldn't possibly be in the same comic class as Gobekli = hanging gardens of Babylon .
There are blogs /web sites where they would be more than happy to discuss Gobekli as it belongs to their period ,area and expertise , why don't you give them the pleasure ?

Constantinos Ragazas said...

geocur, something I said upset you? Truth maybe?

I was giving you an opportunity to explain what you meant by what you said:“Obviously not just built by people but "built by the punters around at the time ." “

Like to explain what you meant? Who are these punters that build these prehistoric monuments? Are you proposing a new anthropological principle?

“people don't build monuments, punters do!”

Kostas

geocur said...


A bit like swing , if you don't get it ,then explaining would be hopeless .

Why is "truth" always associated and espoused by religions ,alien interventionists, conspiracy and crackpot theorists etc ? It , and evidence are exactly what is missing from your fantasies.
Some "truth " or evidence or anything falsifiable , particularly in relation to the contents of the thread would be good.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

geocur,

Truth is “a bit like swing” ?

I'm afraid you may be exposing yourself too much here! No wonder you confuse “truth” with “true believers”.

Sticking to the topic, can you explain the purpose and function of the T-shaped pillars at GT? Or s_it happens and the punters did it.

No need to bother with explanations. Only confuses senseless reason.

Kostas

geocur said...

Typically misrepresented and misunderstood . You asked a question "Like to explain what you meant? Who are these punters that build these prehistoric monuments?" The answer was"A bit like swing , if you don't get it ,then explaining would be hopeless ." This was misrepresented as "Truth is “a bit like swing” ?
If you can read that into the comment then it is hardly surprising that you that believe the fantasies you do and think that the topic is about T shaped pillars in Anatolia .
Further there was no obviously no confusion between truth and true believers that was entirely your own "logic". However true believers like yourself have a penchant for "truth " whilst avoiding evidence. Rather than continually making misrepresentations and mistakes why not make some comment or provide evidence , on topic , for Stonehenge and it's builders being post Neolithic ?

Constantinos Ragazas said...

geocur,

I know what I asked and I know what you said. The “truth” in my comment refers to the “true meaning” of what you said; but never bothered to explain as I asked you do. “a bit like swing” is not an explanation, but avoidance.

This is now getting schoolboy silly. It's clear you will not respond with thoughtful comments. Surprised Brian didn't jump in to put an end to this nonsense.

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

More heat then light, chaps. Shall we now stop this, and move on to more important matters?

geocur said...

Just insert people where you see punters i.e. The punters who built Stonehenge were the people of the Neolithic, as the evidence shows . If there is any evidence that shows this not to be the case ,we are all ears .