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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sarsens and silcretes


 Sarsen stone, Fiddler's Hill, Hackpen, Wiltshire

Thanks to Mark Biswell for drawing attention to this meeting and field trip:
Puddingstone and related silcretes of the Anglo-Paris Basin
16 May 2014
Burlington House, London

Three interesting papers coming up, for those who can get there:









So I wonder what the latest research will be throwing up?  As we all know, the heroic tale of the sarsens being hauled from the vale of Pewsey / Marlborough Downs to Stonehenge is still heroically adhered to by many people, including MPP.  But others including David Field have expressed doubts about that recently, and the drift seems to be towards the idea that sarsens were simply picked up in the general vicinity of Stonehenge, and that, like the bluestones, when they were used up, that was that, and the building project skidded to a halt........

For a long time, there have been pleas for the different types of sarsen to be looked at petrographically and geochemically, so that origins can be properly pinpointed.  Maybe Rob has finally done that.......





8 comments:

Anonymous said...

MPP will be back at Clatford near Marlborough this season looking for the Sarsen quarry. It is part of the Between the Monuments project.
No doubt the Clatford Quarry will be in the press sometime soon!
PeteG

TonyH said...

"We've found the sarsen prehistoric road and it's a motorway!" (in size). Words I heard from MPP, close to the river Kennett and below the A4, whilst helping at Clatford as one of the few WANHS AFG's volunteers who took part, late summer 2012.

All has since gone strangely silent, and he and UCL failed to get funding 2013.

Where did you get your news, Pete?

TonyH said...

More on the Stones of Stonehenge Project:-

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/archarchaeology/research/projects/stones

Closer to the start of the next academic year, I expect Clatford/ Marlborough will be mentioned in the UCL and Southampton University archaeology departments fieldwork placement listings, if this does indeed go ahead. Also probably Leicester Uni.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Thanks Tony -- useful info. That link doesn't seem to work. Something chopped off it. Try this one:

http://www.southampton.ac.uk/archaeology/research/projects/stones_of_stonehenge.page?#overview

TonyH said...

Another, historic, link, from one of Tim Daw's sites, tells us about the visits WANHS members were invited to attend (I made it twice, saw Tim and also assisted with the dig) in late Summer, 2012:-

MPP investigates possible Clatford crossing of Sarsen Stonehenge Route

www.sarsen.org/2012/08/mpp-investigates-possible-clatford.html

TonyH said...

I think the (flawed) logic being used on many Matters Megalith is that, because we are presented with a monuments consisting mostly of MASSIVE stones (the sarsens, and, okay, perhaps the smaller bluestones), therefore MASSIVE DEEDS MUST be described and portrayed as having been called upon to explain their arrival at their final destination, and also their subsequent erection in the form of a monument.

It seems to be far too prosaic to even entertain the notion that any of the Stones, sarsen OR bluestone, could have required to be moved only from, say, somewhere within 5-10 miles of the Monument - this is simply not heroic ENOUGH! It all goes back, psychologically speaking, to our childhoods, when we only too readily believed in Giants, Magicians, and the like (in my case Dragons - who turned out to be land - grabbing lords robbing the peasants, but that's another Story from Wharncliffe, South Yorkshire).

Myris of Alexandria said...

I am sorry to say, Dr Ixer will not be speaking at the conference but urges all, who can, to go. It has all the right people.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

Ah -- that's a pity, Myris. Will another geologist be taking his place?