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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Rhosyfelin -- going and almost gone.....


Further to my earler post:
http://brian-mountainman.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-source-of-rhosyfelin-orthostat.html

Here are two photos taken while I was grovelling about among the gorse bushes on top of the rocky ridge the other day.  The highest part of the crag here is fairly stable solid rock, but next to it there are five (I think -- it's difficult to count because of all the gorse bushes) large detached slabs, all in rather precarious positions and ready to crash down.  If they fall, they will end up very close to where the famous "abandoned orthostat" is -- although it is possible that the latter fell onto a snowbank and slid to its present position.

Another plea to Rob and Richard -- can we have some samples please, from these loose blocks and from the "abandoned orthostat" so that we can see whether they are indeed closely related?

3 comments:

Dave Maynard said...

Are these loose rocks a suitable shape for standing stones? If so, why weren't they used instead of labouring to extract stones from lower down the outcrop? Would they have the same degree of looseness in the Neolithic as is there today?

I guess from surface examination, it would be difficult to distinguish stones from either top or bottom of the outcrop, certainly using Neolithic petrographic techniques.

Dave

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

In the second photo in your post, the top of the crag near the middle of the photo has a striking appearance to the “proto-orthostat” lying on the ground below. If I am viewing the photo properly as taken from higher up looking down, than my earlier view the “proto-orthostat” came detached from the vertical crag face and fell down was wrong. Am I seeing this right?

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

We can't tell just at the moment how big those "teetering orthostats" are near he top of the crag. The gorse bushes are too thick, and I was not wearing armoured clothing when I investigated them.....

Neither are we certain where the big "abandoned orthostat" came from -- the archaeologists presumably want it to have been levered away from the rock face that we now know to be a foliation plane / fracture surface. But I think it came from much higher up, either from the rough area of rubble and gorse half-way up the slope, or from higher up, near the ridge crest or summit. Not sure whether "micro-geology" will sort that one out -- I have my doubts....