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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Erratic boulder shapes and megalithic settings



The two photos above show assorted boulders (mostly made of dolerite and rhyolite) in Pembrokeshire moraines.  The top photo shows the boulders projecting through the ground surface on the Pont Ceunant Moraine, near Newport, and the lower photo shows boulders excavated recently from the Cilgwyn Moraine, on the south side of Carningli, during building work.  As in all moraines, we see some well rounded boulders, some sub-rounded, some sub-angular and some angular -- with shape determined above all else by the distance a boulder has been transported by the ice.

Now let's take a look at some of the stones found in megalithic structures in Pembrokeshire:



Just a few of Pembrokeshire's megalithic structures.  From the top:  Llech y Drybedd, Trefael, Harold Stone (Skomer Island), Waun Mawn standing stone, Parc y Cromlech (Penrhiw), Devil's Quoit (Broomhill Burrows), Pentre Ifan, Ffyst Samson (Trellys), Carreg Coetan Arthur (Newport) and Carreg Samson (near Trevine).

Some of the stones used in these structures are quite sharp-edged or angular, and could have been taken from nearby rocky outcrops, but in general the stones used by the megalith builders have rounded or sub-angular edges and have clearly been picked up from the morainic / erratic materials readily available across the Pembrokeshire landscape.  One day I'd like to do a detailed analysis.  Some of the stones used are quite interesting -- for example, the capstone at Pentre Ifan has a glaciated upper surface and a fresh or broken underside.  Before being used as a capstone, was it embedded in the ground and smoothed by over-riding ice?

As suggested by many authors, the key determinant of megalith location has nothing to do with ley lines, solar or lunar alignments or astronomical observations and everything to do with the availability of convenient stones.

What was true for Wales was no doubt also true for Stonehenge........

106 comments:

Jon Morris said...

As suggested by many authors, the key determinant of megalith location has nothing to do with ley lines, solar or lunar alignments or astronomical observations and everything to do with the availability of convenient stones.

What was true for Wales was no doubt also true for Stonehenge......



Could be Brian. A few authors have suggested this, but do not actually have any proof for their suppositions: What if an archaeologist were to come up with a falsifiable and testable reason why Stonehenge had to be sited exactly where it is and he/she were then able to test and, to whatever extent it is possible, prove that reasoning.

Would you see this as having a serious negative impact on your glacial transport hypothesis?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Haven't the numerologists and astronomical geeks come up with a host of "falsifiable and testable" theories already? The literature is full of diagrams with numbers and angles and alignments all over them..... and full of headlines such as "Stonehenge mystery solved at last!" Most of them seem to fall by the wayside because the hard evidence on the ground is never quite what the "experts" would like it to be.... the circles are not quite round, the lines are not quite straight, and the stone spacings are very inconveniently inexact.

Jon Morris said...

.... the circles are not quite round, the lines are not quite straight, and the stone spacings are very inconveniently inexact.


True.. there are currently no testable hypotheses out there that have passed that sort of test: In addition, almost every hypothesis to date has been found to not correspond to subsequent discoveries. Nevertheless, it is possible that an archaeologist may be able to publish something which does pass and is tested and then verified by subsequent discovery.

But if that happens, we would have a reason for something like Stonehenge to be exactly where it is. I'm getting the sense, from your post, that you think that this sort of discovery (if it ever happens) might rule out the glacial transport hypothesis?

Geo Cur said...


Stonehenge has an obvious solstitial solar alignment ; between bluestones 31 and 49 , Sarsens 1 and 30 , Slaughter stone and site of stone in stone hole E , Heel stone and the site of stone 97 ,along the orientation of Avenue which leads to the point where the summer solstice sun rises on the horizon . The line is straight and none of the stones are “inexact “ .
You could build the same arrangement and get the same result elsewhere ,after the relatively simple task of finding where the solstice rises or sets .It’s not as if the site or arrangement had to be there .
The astronomical alignment , wherever or whatever the site , would require a minimal amount of astronomical observation prior to the monument being built .After it was built it would be unnecessary ,unless you wanted to confirm what you already knew .If you want to make astronomical observations you can do so anywhere , clear skies are useful , you don’t want rude stones or trees getting in the way .

No archaeologist suggests that “ley lines” are the reason for siting anything .

The siting of monuments is a not quite as simplistic as having locally available materials . Stone is freely available in huge tracts of the country that are free of monuments and monuments are not necessarily sited in the stoniest of areas . The siting of different types of megalithic and non megalithic monuments show that the sites are chosen and found in distinct situations .
Just as you wouldn’t build a house or even a stone circle on an inhospitable Welsh “mountain top “ , (by that I mean one of the bigger hills in the Brecon Beacons , not relatively hospitable small hills like Preseli ) , simply because there was sufficient stone , but you would build one of the many Bronze Age cairns that are found on the higher hills tops .
Recumbent stone circles are generally sited so that the recumbent is facing SE –SW with the clear and longer view in that direction . This is not haphazard , the site has been chosen for reasons other than the availability of ubiquitous stone . We know for sure that Pyramids used stone that came from Aswan over 900 km away when they could have used stone from much closer to home or built the pyarmid in Aswan .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Not really, Jon. In all probability the truth, in th end, will involve a bit of one crude hypothesis and a bit of another, giving us something modified and more sophisticated! Clearly people didn't build monuments JUST because there were stones available. There are masses of places where stones were available where megalithic structures were NOT put up.....

BRIAN JOHN said...

Don't have a problem with most of that, Geo. The "lunar alignment" people might disagree...... and of course if you build a stone circle on a flattish landscape, with lots of stones on its periphery, some of the stones are pretty well bound to line up with something or other "exact" on the horizon.

I like the point that Stonehenge COULD have been in masses of other places where alignments with the rising solstice sun would have been equally easy.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Don't have a problem with most of that, Geo. The "lunar alignment" people might disagree...... and of course if you build a stone circle on a flattish landscape, with lots of stones on its periphery, some of the stones are pretty well bound to line up with something or other "exact" on the horizon.

I like the point that Stonehenge COULD have been in masses of other places where alignments with the rising solstice sun would have been equally easy.

Jon Morris said...

You could build the same arrangement and get the same result elsewhere ,after the relatively simple task of finding where the solstice rises or sets .It’s not as if the site or arrangement had to be there .

That's true George. If Stonehenge is only about that one (solstice) alignment, it could have been built anywhere at all.

But as Brian points out, someone (probably a clever archaeologist) may at some point publish a theory that is a bit more extensive and sophisticated: So far, all that largely exists are weak hypotheses for the intent of monuments: An encompassing theory explaining the development of these monuments would be falsifiable and testable.

The argument of Brian's post appears to be that the key determinant of megalith location has nothing to do with ley lines, solar or lunar alignments or astronomical observations and everything to do with the availability of convenient stones. .

If such an encompassing theory required a monument such as Stonehenge to have been placed exactly where it is, then it struck me that the glacial transport argument could be diminished.

Geo Cur said...



The problem with many putative "alignments " is that they are statistically likely if you are simply taking bearings from any one point over a collection of peripheral stones/points , and archaeoastronomers are unlikely to consider them for that very reason . Some form of indication is required .
In the case of Stonehenge we have quite a collection of indicators although the Avenue would probably have sufficed on it’s own , “between bluestones 31 and 49 , Sarsens 1 and 30 , Slaughter stone and site of stone in stone hole E , Heel stone and the site of stone 97 ,along the orientation of Avenue “ and what is being indicated i.e. the solstice , is found at other contemporaneous monuments which also have indications suggesting intentionality and a common cultural interest .
If you have a clear view of the horizon then the solstices will be in view , you don’t need a flattish landscape anywhere will do . It’s not difficult , time consuming or require any astronomical knowledge to mark those points . Children could do it with a bunch of sticks .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Geo,

I don't have a problem with most of that, either! Except, I would argue the intent and choice for "the sitting of monuments" may not be entirely human.

Most of the stones for the Giza Pyramids did not come from Aswan 900 km away! Most were quarried at the Giza Plateau or thereabouts. Just the granite blocks used as plugs to block passages and for the internal chambers came from Aswan.

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Don't go with that, Jon. The glacial transport theory would stand up very well if the builders of Stonehenge simply chose to site their monument where stones were most frequent, for convenience. I have argued many times that when the monument was under construction the law of diminishing returns kicked in -- and you can see the whole thing in cost-benefit terms. When they had to go further and further away from the "central location" the effort in finding satisfactory stones became greater and greater, until at last the effort was not worthwhile. So they simply gave up, and Stonehenge was never finished. That's a perfectly coherent theory.

Maybe they would have preferred to use nice upright pillars, but had to make do with that strange assortment of boulders and slabs that we see nowadays in the bluestone circle -- because there was nothing better to be had.

Geo Cur said...

As has been mentioned more than once here , the sites where megalithic monuments are found have a history , with the megalithic component usually being being later . They are often sited on earlier sites that had minimal to no megalithic component e.g. cooking sites , pits containing domestic rubbish , charcoal , cremations or simply just backfilled . The key determinant of the original siting had nothing to do with the local availability of stone and the subsequent activity was related to the original .
The same applies to Stonehenge . The earliest monument that we are aware of at the megalithic structure was the ditch and bank which had no need or consideration of any stones in the area , if anything they would have been a nuisance and in the way . The key determinant was obviously not stone .
Aubrey holes with cremations followed ,the key determinant in their siting was not availability of stone but the earlier bank and ditch , a type of monument found elsewhere that also had no use of megaliths .
The megalithic monument which followed was erected approx 500 years later in the centre of the earlier monument .It is unlikely that the original builders of the bank and ditch foresaw or had in mind the later erection of the megaliths . and the key determinant in the siting of the megaliths was the earlier monument .
A cursory (pun intended ) look at the contemporaneous monuments i.e. predating the megalithic monument , in the Stonehenge area shows that their siting also had nothing to do with stone availability , they are all earthen monuments e.g. Long Barrows , cursuses ,causwayed enclosure etc .

Geo Cur said...


My use of “siting “ entailed intentionality and I was not suggesting animals or aliens .

It’s not the volume of stone from Aswan that is salient or even the distance it was transported but the fact that local stone was not used when it was available .


Geo Cur said...



The argument of Brian's post appears to be that the key determinant of megalith location has nothing to do with ley lines, solar or lunar alignments or astronomical observations and everything to do with the availability of convenient stones. .

The fact that megalithic monuments are often sited on the sites of earlier non megalithic monuments refutes the availability of convenient stones idea . Ley lines were never going to be an option , astronomical observation has nothing to do with megalithic monuments . Solar or lunar alignments , when they exist , are secondary to the original siting . Megalithic monuments are varied typologically encompassing domestic , defensive , ceremonial , hunting and agricultural and found over great time scales in different landscape settings .To suggest that there is a key determinant for them all does not make sense . That local stone is used is most often used in megalithic monuments is simply a truism and tell us nothing about the actual reasons for siting .



Jon Morris said...

The problem with many putative "alignments " is that they are statistically likely

Sorry George.. I wasn't inferring that there were more alignments, just noting that the one (solstice) alignment could be duplicated almost anywhere else. Come to that, any set of alignments could be duplicated at the same latitude (providing mountains were not in the way). So 'alignments' would not provide a reason to site Stonehenge in that particular location.

Therefore, if an archaeologist does eventually publish a theory (rather than hypothesis) that is a bit more extensive and sophisticated, and does also pinpoint why the Stonehenge construction had to go there rather than anywhere else, it is unlikely to have anything to do with 'alignments'.

Jon Morris said...

Don't go with that, Jon. The glacial transport theory would stand up very well if the builders of Stonehenge simply chose to site their monument where stones were most frequent, for convenience.

That's a different argument Brian: It relies on the monument not being required to be sited at that location. If a clever archaeologist were to show that Stonehenge's purpose required that it be located at that specific location, I imagine the glacial transport theory would be blown out of the water?

Geo Cur said...


"So 'alignments' would not provide a reason to site Stonehenge in that particular location."

That was one of my points .
i.e. "Solar or lunar alignments , when they exist , are secondary to the original siting . "

Geo Cur said...


"If a clever archaeologist were to show that Stonehenge's purpose required that it be located at that specific location, I imagine the glacial transport theory would be blown out of the water?"

Given what we know and are likley to discover in the near future I think overinterpreting would be more fitting than "clever " .

If you are looking for reasons why the monument is sited at that particular location then the earliest monument , at the moment the ditch and bank ,( I’m excluding the car park posts and Blick Mead as they are different sites ) is the most obvious place to look . That explains the siting of the later megalithic monument .
Whether the bluestones were brought to the site by the punters or a glacier dumped them 20 Km away is neither here nor there .

Similarly the purpose of erecting the Shard or Gherkin is to be found in the present but we have to look back to a much earlier period to explain why it should be at that particular spot , latitude and most importantly town .

Jon Morris said...

Given what we know and are likley to discover in the near future I think overinterpreting would be more fitting than "clever "

That would be a hypothesis. I don't think anyone would argue that a hypothesis would impact on the glacial transport argument or that any sort of theory is likely to be developed for decades: The archaeological system is not arranged to facilitate that sort of thing. Here's a handy guide to the difference between hypotheses and theories:

http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-difference-between-a-theory-and-a-hypothesis.htm

Jon Morris said...

i.e. "Solar or lunar alignments , when they exist , are secondary to the original siting . "

Agreed

Rich said...

Vicky Cummings analysis of Carn Turne. this reveals deliberate shaping of the underside of the capstone of portal dolmens both in Britain, Wales and Ireland. Attempt to read it with an open mind - Vicky Cummings is a very good archaeologist indeed.

BRIAN JOHN said...

That's interesting -- was that shaping and chipping away done from the inside of the chamber, once the structure was complete?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Geo -- you say "Whether the bluestones were brought to the site by the punters or a glacier dumped them 20 Km away is neither here nor there." Beg to differ on that -- it is a rather important point -- and a lot of other people think so too, if the ongoing debate on this and other sites is anything to go by! It is also rather important if we really do want to understand what the technical capabilities and motivations of Neolithic men were.

And I disagree about this: the existence of an old ditch and bank "explains the siting of the later megalithic monument." I take the point about a long pre-Neolithic history, but that does not explain the siting of the megalithic monument. There arte circles, banks and ditches all over the place. If you are right, why haven't all of them had later incorporations of standing stones with complex settings? Clearly something else has come into play in the case of Stonehenge, which everybody agrees is unique. Back to the availability of stones.....

Geo Cur said...



Brian ,
In context ""Whether the bluestones were brought to the site by the punters or a glacier dumped them 20 Km away is neither here nor there."
was related to Jon’s comment “about the glacial theory being blown out of the water “ and also the siting of the monument , not it’s relative anthropological importance .

The megalithic monument is the centre of the earlier earlier henge like monument , it even references the causeway . I think it unlikely that the builders of the megalithic monument chose that particular site regardless of the earlier monument but more likely because of it . The erection of megalithic monuments on the site of earlier monuments is quite common , that is the point and why I mentioned it .

Geo Cur said...


Re GT , it is suggested that ,
"rhyolite flakes from the shaping of the capstone appear in the
stratigraphic sequence. From this, we can discern that the base of the capstone was shaped as
it was supported over the pit."

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur,

You write, "It’s not the volume of stone from Aswan that is salient or even the distance it was transported but the fact that local stone was not used when it was available . "

Aswan granite stone blocks were used at Giza BECAUSE granite was not available at Giza! And granite was needed for certain parts of the construction design!

And this makes sense! What does not make sense is why you keep dragging pyramids across this intellectual desert in any discussion about Stonehenge!

Stonehenge must stand on its own! Or fall under the pile of narratives with every new excavation season!

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Thanks Geo -- so our friendly Neolithic stone mason worked on his back, like Michaelangelo, sheltered from the rain...... very cosy.

Geo Cur said...



You miss the point .
If local stone was a key determinant why did they go 900 km to Aswan when local stone was available ? As with all the other pyramids between Giza and Medium they didn’t need to use granite but they did and made the cost benefit analysis that bit more difficult to justify .
Read the posts ,Stonehenge has been mentioned you have just failed to respond apart from the potentially hilarious non human siting of the monument which hasbn't been expanded upon . I wonder why ?

Jon Morris said...

For some reason, last post did not get through

Given what we know and are likley to discover in the near future I think overinterpreting would be more fitting than "clever "

That would be a hypothesis. I don't think anyone will argue either that a hypothesis would impact on the glacial transport argument or that any sort of theory is likely to be developed for decades: The archaeological system is not arranged to facilitate the development of this type of theory.

If you are looking for reasons why the monument is sited at that particular location then the earliest monument , at the moment the ditch and bank ,( I’m excluding the car park posts and Blick Mead as they are different sites ) is the most obvious place to look .

Agreed.. that would appear to be the most obvious.

On the other hand, at some point in the distant future, it is possible that an archaeologist may be able to make sense of it all (including Stonehenge) and then publish in a way that fellow archaeologists can discuss: If they then agree that the 'clever' archaeologist is probably correct, it will become a theory rather than a hypothesis. If such a theory is ever developed, it is also possible that the reason for location of one or more phases of the monument will prove to be something which is not obvious except in retrospect.

If there is a reasoning for the location of the bluestone-inclusive phase of the monument, then I sense that the hypothesis which uses the glacial transport theory will be in trouble. But interested in Brian's view on this.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur,

To reiterate... Granite stone blocks were needed at Giza to seal and secure the passages and the interior of the pyramids.

The only stone available at Giza and the surroundings is limestone. Which is much softer than granite. And so unsuitable for a Pharaoh's undisturbed afterlife.

The Giza builders did not go 900 km to bring stones to Giza they could get at Giza. But to get granite stones to Giza they could not get at Giza. Makes sense to me!

Besides dragging pyramids across your desert, you now also stoop to drag animals and aliens!

Most settings of prehistoric sites were made by Nature. What else would you call the caves where cave art exists?

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Sorry Jon, but I do not know what you are on about here. You could say that any wonderful hypothesis or theory which is well founded might make other hypotheses or theories redundant. That's what happens. So what's your point?

Kosta Dean said...

Brian,

I think I know what Jon may be saying!

If the archeologists can come up with a really good story most everyone believes, than there will not be much descent among the ranks and people! And the glacial transport theory, whether true or not, will be forgotten!

Isn't exactly that that MPP has been trying to do for years? And in the doing being handsomely rewarded through books and lectures and TV for all his efforts?

Sorry to say this, Brian! This is not about Science! It's about best sellers! And who writes Prehistory!

Kostas

Jon Morris said...

That's what happens. So what's your point?

The location Brian: If the location proves to be critical under a hypothesis that eventually became generally accepted as theory, (not that we have any such hypothesis/theory published or likely to be published), then that location would be determined by the design.

If such a hypothesis were to become accepted as theory, this would contrast with the (currently fairly strong) argument for glacial dumping based on the supposition that this monument, like other monuments, was built from materials found at the location: “As suggested by many authors, the key determinant of megalith location has nothing to do with ley lines, solar or lunar alignments or astronomical observations and everything to do with the availability of convenient stones.

Just wondered what your take on that hypothetical turn of events would be: Abandon the glacial transport hypothesis?

Jon Morris said...

If the archeologists can come up with a really good story most everyone believes, than there will not be much descent among the ranks and people! And the glacial transport theory, whether true or not, will be forgotten!

If an archaeologist were to publish a hypothesis that fills so many gaps that it becomes generally accepted as a theory, then the hypothesis that glacial transport theory may have been responsible for transport method would become more, not less, interesting? It might be the only gap left.

However, if such a theory (explaining a testable multitude of other things) were to require Stonehenge to be located where it is, regardless of where the source materials came from, then the hypothesis related to glacial transport might become a forgotten byline?

BRIAN JOHN said...

I still don't see your point, Jon. It makes no difference whether we are talking about hypotheses or theories -- if the evidence doesn't stack up they are going to be abandoned and replaced. For something to be designated as "a theory" it must be capable of explaining all of the phenomena on the ground in a satisfactory way. This refers to location as much as it refers to process. See the recent chat with Geo......

Jon Morris said...

For something to be designated as "a theory" it must be capable of explaining all of the phenomena on the ground in a satisfactory way

Sorry if phrasing it badly. Doing corporate accounts for the last few hours (mostly): Brain fried.

In the exceptionally unlikely circumstance that a theory of Stonehenge; the reason why it and other monuments were built, required that Stonehenge be located where it is regardless of the effort required, then such a theory (not hypothesis) might tend to work against the hypothesis that glacial transport was responsible.

Do you see it otherwise?

Constantinos Ragazas said...

""... the base of the capstone was shaped as
it was supported over the pit."


Perfect! As I thought!

Brian, before MPP et al release the Rhosyfelin C14 dates, I like to go on record these will vary greatly.

What dates fit MPP 's narrative will be accepted as "residual" Neolithic/Mesolithic, and so valid. While what dates do not fit will be labeled "intrusive" (like you and me). Deposited by the nearby river at some unrelated time to the "Neolithic quarrying activities". And therefore not valid!

MPP has cleared the ground under his "proto-orthostat" clear of much dirt and stones. Has he remembered to take some samples for C14 dating? I wonder!

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Getting nowhere Jon. Shall we say that if you or I subscribe to an hypothesis relating to something, and another hypothesis comes along that better fits all the facts on the ground, then of course one would have to hold one's hand up, abandon the old hypothesis and accept the new one. That's how science advances.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Kostas -- you can only use organic materials for radiocarbon dating, and you can only date what you find. If there were no organic materials beneath the "proto-orthostat" there would have been nothing to sample and date. You just have to hope that anybody reporting on a dig like this is honest enough to report on all the dates, both convenient and inconvenient to the central hypothesis, in a truly scientific fashion. If there is any selection involved, for example through the rejection of awkward dates (or even a failure to mention their existence) then that would be seriously dodgy practice.
I'm sure MPP and his colleagues would not sink to such depths!

Jon Morris said...

Thanks Brian

Cheers

Jon

Myris of Alexandria said...

Boys my dear dear boys. You give archies too little credit.
When the D and W Stonehenge dig found Roman dates at the bottom of the hoped for Neolithic pit, they kept them tightly to themselves but then released them after a few months within a new interpretation.
That that does not kill us makes us stronger.
The C14 dates at CRyf will be instructive and honest.
M

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

I hope so too!

Of course we need organic material for rc dating. My point is the rc dates that cannot be dismissed as "intrusive" are organic samples taken from under the "proto-orthostat".

We know MPP has done extensive excavating under this lying megalith. I hope he got some samples from under for rc dating! Since any other rc dates from elsewhere he can reject as "intrusive".

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

I'm sure you are right, Myris. I don't share Kostas's scepticism... and anyway, dodgy dealings are never worthwhile, because the truth will out and academic reputations once destroyed are very difficult indeed to rebuild.

Geo Cur said...


Granite from Aswan was used in a variety of setting e.g. the Grand Gallery , burial chamber , columns in temples , sarcophagi , lower casings , and an in eight separate pyramids , it was not structurally necessary to use granite as limestone had been found in the similar structural circumstances , further , basalt was also locally available .
The stones were not dragged across the desert , they came up the Nile .
The art in the caves was made by humans .the stones at Stonhenge and other stone circles and megalithic monuments were erected by humans . No word on the “the potentially hilarious non human siting of the monument “ ?

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur,

If we strip all sense from human activity then all human activity will be equally nonsense. Equating Aswan granite for Giza pyramids with Wales bluestones for Stonehenge is such nonesense!

Kostas

Geo Cur said...



You have still failed to appreciate the point .

The point was in relation to the main thread i.e. the key determinant of the siting of megalithic monuments being local availability of stone . This obviously applies to multiple monuments .
We encounter a regular stream of nonsense yet still attribute it to human activity with the expectation of more e.g. the non human siting of the Stonehenge monumnet .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur,

"You have still failed to appreciate the point ."

Must I explain everything? I must!

If we strip the sensible reasons why the Aswan granite stones were brought to Giza, than we have the nonsense of stones from some 900 km away somehow present at the Giza pyramids without any sensible reasons. We can then equate this nonsense with Wales bluestones somehow present at Stonehenge from Wales.

The Giza pyramids have absolutely nothing to do with Stonehenge! And yes! Brian's argument is sensible.

Kostas

Geo Cur said...



“If we strip the sensible reasons why the Aswan granite stones were brought to Giza, than we have the nonsense of stones from some 900 km away somehow present at the Giza pyramids without any sensible reasons. “
Brilliant .
It has already been pointed out to you , and ignored , that despite your mistaken belief that “Just the granite blocks used as plugs to block passages and for the internal chambers came from Aswan. is wildly inaccurate 1) in terms of the volume of granite , 2)it’s structural uses ,3) the fact that pyramids in other areas apart from those at Giza also used granite from Aswan ,4) The granite was not necessary as limestone had been used for the same structures in other monuments e.g. sarcophagi , burial chambers ,temple columns and casings 5) There were a variety of choices locally available to the builders including basalt . They simply chose to use granite from Aswan when other material that had done the same job elsewhere was available locally .
Why have you not expanded upon "the sitting of monuments" may not be entirely human.

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur,

Your argument in a nutsshell: Ancient Egyptians brought granite to Giza from Aswan 900km away for no sensible reason

With such reasoning, who needs logic!

Why I have not expanded on "not entirely human"?
Brian won't let me! But you have!

Kostas

Geo Cur said...

If you had read rather than imagining what was written you would have noticed that the only person comparing bluestones with Egyptian granite is yourself , if anything I contrast them but actually see them as irrelevant to the question .
Hopefully there is no need for the usual triplicate + repeat of the situation at Giza ,
which is entirely different in how it problematises the siting / availability of stone question . In the case of Stonehenge here is what was said “The earliest monument that we are aware of at the megalithic structure was the ditch and bank which had no need or consideration of any stones in the area , if anything they would have been a nuisance and in the way . The key determinant was obviously not stone .” and fwiw "Whether the bluestones were brought to the site by the punters or a glacier dumped them 20 Km away is neither here nor there. “ Note how the Bluestones are irrelevant to the argument ,not central , as you imagine . Your response ‘ "the sitting of monuments" may not be entirely human ‘ provided the hope for further “sensible reason “ humour , but alas we will just have to remind ourselves of others that slipped through the net or read a bit of Lear . Maybe write a “ paper “ and put it in there , a follow up to the original Stonehenge paper would be eagerly anticipated .

The granite was brought to the various sites for a very sensible reason , the Egyptians wanted it there . Answer the points , don’t attempt to make a glib nonsensical précis without reading and understanding the posts and don’t think your idea of what is sensible or otherwise is in accord with the majority of your culture never mind another five thousand years ago .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur,

"The [Aswan] granite was brought to the various sites for a very sensible reason , the Egyptians wanted it there ."

This is not sensible. This is sensible.

"The [Aswan] granite was brought to the various sites for a very sensible reason , the Egyptians wanted it there " and could not find it locally.

Kostas

Myris of Alexandria said...

Nice point Geocur, just another wooden henge monument.
But once there why did they keep fiddling with the bluestones.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

Back to my earlier point in response to Geo: "And I disagree about this: the existence of an old ditch and bank "explains the siting of the later megalithic monument." I take the point about a long pre-Neolithic history, but that does not explain the siting of the megalithic monument. There are circles, banks and ditches all over the place. If you are right, why haven't all of them had later incorporations of standing stones with complex settings? Clearly something else has come into play in the case of Stonehenge, which everybody agrees is unique. Back to the availability of stones....."

And why did they keep on fiddling with the stone settings? As I have suggested many times before -- because they simply did not have enough stones for the "completion" of the immaculate stone monument which somebody or other might originally have planned.

Geo Cur said...



"The [Aswan] granite was brought to the various sites for a very sensible reason , the Egyptians wanted it there ."

Appending the above with “and could not find it locally “ is unnecessary ,we know that it couldn’t be found locally .
It is telling that such a change is enough to change not sensible to sensible it telling in your “reasoning” .
More to the point

The appeal to common sense is a logical fallacy , for reasons all to obvious ,(scroll down to “Informal fallacies ) . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies .

Geo Cur said...

Typology is always a nightmare when there are so many variant forms within monument types and there is no Platonic form or blueprint (groan) .



Although there are no shortage of post holes there is no certain dating and nothing that resembles a timber circle is the description “ wooden henge monument “ appropriate ? Fwiw I’d go for an anomalous henge due to the internal bank ?, then possibly an enclosed cremation cemetery after the addition of the Aubrey cremations .

Fiddling with the later megalithic settings has nothing to do with the fact that their presence does not explain the siting of the monument . It looks like they may have fiddled with the post settings too . It’s more flux ,and change as we find at many monuments , they develop through time as other generations /peoples adapt them to suit their own purposes.

Apart from Stonehenge and excluding the huge number of megalithic sites built upon earlier monuments , some henges with megalithic monuments include Avebury has three stone circles , Arbor Low , Cairnpapple , Moncrieffe , Stanton Drew , Ring of Brodgar ,Durrington Walls had timber circles within the monument ,Stones of Stenness , Woodhenge had stone as well as timber components ,Mount Pleasant timber circles within henge , Devils Quoits , Dyffryn Lane , Broomened of Crichie . and that’s just henges .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur,

I am not "appealing to common sense". I am not arguing by "consensus". That has been often your first and last appeal. I use "sensible"as adjective and not as noun.

It cannot be "a logical fallacy". Such determination of an argument can only be ascertained by a logical analysis of the argument itself. Want to try again?

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Myris,

There are two type of statements we can make about anything Stonehenge. 'Scientific facts' and 'made up stories'. As a scientist, surely you opt for scientific fact.

Seeking to explain the intent of prehistoric people whose intent we cannot know is going down a Rabbit's Hole. All fantasy, no science.

Try seeking scientific explanations to the 'facts on the growing' and you will be more successful than all the archeologists past, present and future put together.

Kostas

Jon Morris said...

“There are circles, banks and ditches all over the place. If you are right, why haven't all of them had later incorporations of standing stones with complex settings?”

One other possibility is that the Phase III (Cleal) monument had a purpose which required it to be sited in that particular location and that the previous phases (I, II) were 'ordinary' monuments, perhaps duplicated to some extent in many other places, and serving a somewhat different purpose.

Either way, that it was sited over an existing monument indicates that either the Phase III construction was a great improvement on what previously existed or that it was sited there to symbolically erase and incorporate the 'old' purpose (in the same way that Churches were located over existing remains)

Geo Cur said...

"One other possibility is that the Phase III (Cleal) monument had a purpose which required it to be sited in that particular location "

I find it very difficult to believe that the siting of the megalithic monument was not related to the site of the earlier monument .The alternative is too close to the "The Big Job " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Job_%28film%29

Alex gee said...

Recently I've started to think that this whole debate is somewhat similar to that between religionists and atheists!

The religionists have some 7000+ different god's and explanations for how the universe or world was formed; or how the rocks got to Stonehenge: All of which have no evidence to support them!

The Athiests /scientists have one explanation, and don't want to rubbish, injure or kill anyone!

All they want to see is some proof!

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Alex Gee,

For my part, I have no problems with Religion. As long as Religion is not presented as Science.

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Typo correction to my post on 22 February 2015 at 17:32

'facts on the growing' should read 'facts on the ground'

I hate 'autocorrect'. Little green aliens doing your thinking is no less annoying than 'experts' claiming your brain!

Kostas

Jon Morris said...

I find it very difficult to believe that the siting of the megalithic monument was not related to the site of the earlier monument .

So do I George. Just an opinion, but my guess would be that it was purposefully sited over the earlier monument. Therefore, if the reasoning for building phase III required that a Stonehenge-like monument be placed where it is now found, that (secondary) reasoning could only have provided a general location.

Loved that film. Must be thirty or forty years since I last saw it.

Geo Cur said...

“I use "sensible"as adjective and not as noun. “
Sensible “ is not (a) noun .
Want to start again .

I have presented you with an argument that you have only responded to with mistakes and nonsense . Pointing out that your arguments ,when you make them , have no support is not the same appealing to a concensus view ,the arguments are refuted first and the lack of support is merely a remarkable statistic .that gets mentioned as an aside and has no bearing on the refutation.
The logical fallacy of the appeal to common sense is favourite of yours usually found in the phrases like “This just does not make sense!” “There are other more sensible ways of explaining all you see “ , “Makes no sense!” “This makes sense.” ,” The shape of this stone makes no sense as an orthostat in a Neolithic monument. But it makes great sense as a Roman or Medieval ramming stone “ This just does not make sense!” These types of comments are not arguments they are meaningless platitudes known as appeals to common sense .

Geo Cur said...

Alex Gee’s faith one true theory as opposed to wild speculation has more in common with the attitude of religious monotheists than science . There is no proof of human involvement in the transport of the stones to Stonehenge just as there is no proof of the glaciers having transported them there . Both are possible or even a combination of both are possible but if you believe one scenario over an other it is not science based , just that a belief and in many cases a faith . Some of us don’t have much truck with faiths or strident believers .
However neither of these beliefs have much to do with the current thread which is about the siting of megalithic monuments . As a proponent of one it is a bit like shoehorning your particular god into a scientific discussion . Why was there no comment on the actual subject at hand ?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Geo -- the phrase "there is no proof" (like the phrase "there is no evidence") should not be used lightly. What you actually mean is "there is no known proof" -- the evidence is certainly out there, and will be discovered. We are all guilty of slapdash phraseology now and then.

To get back to the topic, I have seen nothing in this protracted conversation to convince me that availability of stone was NOT a determinant in the siting of megalithic monuments like Stonehenge, Stanton Drew, Avebury etc etc. The fact that there are many megalithic monuments on the sites of older circles does not invalidate the point. It looks to me as if they were ALL turned from "earthwork" monuments into "stone monuments" because, when the use of large stones became fashionable, they all had adequate stone resources in the vicinity.

Geo Cur said...


The evidence for any one of the three possible scenarios may be found one day . But it is not available to us today .

I totally disagree ,there has been a very good case made for showing that the key determinant of the siting of later megalithic monuments had nothing to do with availability of stone “ and it hasn’t been refuted . In the case of “ the key determinant of megalith location had everything to do with the availability of convenient stones.” it is very difficult to prove a negative particularly one where stone is entailed in megalithic monument but the case of Stonehenge and many other later megalithic monuments which had no use for stone even when locally available suggests that stone had no influence in the siting of that monument , particularly when stone was being used in the same period for building monuments elsewhere , i.e. stone had long been “fashionable “ when the ditch and bank were built and long before the building of the megalithic monument at Stonehenge .

Geo Cur said...

“Therefore, if the reasoning for building phase III required that a Stonehenge-like monument be placed where it is now found, that (secondary) reasoning could only have provided a general location. “

Don’t agree 100% Jon. That makes the megalithic monument sound like pre-fab , a blueprint for an x that that can be assembled and erected anywhere that is convenient . A monument in search of a site .
The megalithic monument had to adapt to the constraints of the earlier monument . It used much the same centre , stayed within the perimeter , respected the Aubrey holes /deposits , the causeway and general axis .

Jon Morris said...

"To get back to the topic, I have seen nothing in this protracted conversation to convince me that availability of stone was NOT a determinant in the siting of megalithic monuments like Stonehenge, Stanton Drew, Avebury etc etc."

As it happens, I think that there may be a method of determining whether or not the location of Stonehenge III (Cleal) was a general requirement combined with a need to 'over-write' the type of philosophy expounded by the existing monument (Phase I,II): This is why I'm particularly interested in your views on that question. The method involves a small amount of confirmatory (or otherwise) investigation at another location.

I'm not keen on doing much more unless it's via peer review, so it may take some time to get to this particular argument.

Cheers


Jon

Geo Cur said...

“the evidence is certainly out there “ .No matter how sophisticated future technologies may be there will be no evidence of glaciation at Stonehenge if glaciation never extended that far , although proponents of glacial transport to Stonehenge could always say “not as yet “ , it’s very difficult to prove that negative .
Even if there were direct evidence that glaciation could be shown to have extended to Stonehenge there is still the problem of proving that the bluestones were entrained in that glaciation , again proponents can always claim “not as yet “ .
Meanwhile the proponents of the human transport theory can say exactly the same for finding direct evidence but at least they know that humans were capable of shifting the stones , whether 20 or 200 km i.e. there are no limiting factors and what possible evidence could prove that they didn’t shift the stones , an even more difficult negative to prove . But the glaciation transport theory has two potential limiting factors ; the glacier extending to the site and also entraining the stones found at the site .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Dodgy logic, Geo. You say: " .....at least they know that humans were capable of shifting the stones.." and "...there were no limiting factors..." There were HUGE limiting factors, as all of us who have contributed to this blog know full well. I don't need to itemise them. And just as some people apparently know that humans were capable of shifting stones, in the absence of confirming evidence, so other people know that glaciers were also capable of shifting stones -- in the absence of confirming evidence thus far, as far as Salisbury Plain is concerned.

The limiting factors relating to the glacial transport theory? You misunderstand glacial theory. Glaciologists agree that ice COULD have reached Salisbury Plain. There is also perfectly adequate glacial theory relating to the entrainment of the stones found at Stonehenge. Just bang in "entrainment" into the search box.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Geo -- you say: ".....there has been a very good case made for showing that the key determinant of the siting of later megalithic monuments had nothing to do with availability of stone - and it hasn’t been refuted." Who made that case, and who decided it hasn't been refuted? Throwaway lines like this do nobody any good.

Geo Cur said...

What exactly are these limiting factors that could stop punters moving a four ton stone 20 or 200 km ? Of course it could be achieved .

“ Could have “ is the same problem for both sides . Just no evidence that they actually did , for either side .
Of course glaciers can entrain stones similar to bluestones or even bigger but there is no evidence that they actually did for the bluestones at Stonehenge .The same applies to the human transport theory . Of course punters can move stones long distance but it doesn’t mean they did and there is no evidence for either relating to the bluestones at Stonehenge .


Geo Cur said...


The most obvious case has been made here for Stonhenge ., and any other megalithic monument built on the site of an earlier non megalithic monument .
Are you suggesting that the earelier henge and ditch were not the key determinant of the siting of the megalithic monument , that is what you have to refute .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Geo -- terrain, geography, technology, vegetation, weather, tides, distance, manpower...... and so on. You might say that the transport of an assortment of stones of many shapes, sizes and petrologies from West Wales to Stonehenge COULD have been achieved, but where are the signs of the development of this wonderful ability from elsewhere in the British Neolithic lexicon? There aren't any. To argue for an aberration on this scale is really rather absurd -- and unnecessary.

As for the glacial transport theory, we know that the Irish Sea glacier extended in to Somerset, so that's a start on the evidence front. The shapes, sizes and varied petrologies of the bluestones, and the evidence of considerable abrasion on stone edges and corners, constitute further evidence. Isobel Geddes thinks some bluestones retain traces of glacial striae -- I need to look at that evidence for myself, but if the identifications of striae are reliable, that too would be suggestive.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Geo -- you misunderstand me on the "determinant" front. I am perfectly happy to accept that earthworks were created at Stonehenge at some pre-megalithic stage for reasons that remain to be determined. What I am saying is that the STONE MONUMENT was created on this pre-existing site because there were abundant stones to be had in the vicinity. If those stones (both sarsens and bluestones) had not been available, no stone structure would have been created here.

Geo Cur said...



“terrain, geography, technology, vegetation, weather, tides, distance, manpower..”

None of the above precludes punters from moving four ton stones 20 km , or 200 km . Of course it is possible , just as it is possible that glaciers can entrain boulders but because both scenarios are possible doesn’t man that they did happen and there is no evidence for either .
Even if it could be shown that glaciation extended to Stonehenge it doesn’t mean that the bluestones were entrained . But our present understanding is that the glacier did not reach Stonehenge and therefore the only way the stones could have got to the site from the furthest eastern reach of the glacier , if they were entrained , is by human transport . If “key determinant of megalith location had everything to do with the availability of convenient stone “ why was Stonehenge not sited at the point where the glacier reached it’s easternmost point (assuming the stones were entrained ) ?

Geo Cur said...

“you misunderstand me on the "determinant" front.”
The comment was “the key determinant of megalith location has nothing to do with ley lines, solar or lunar alignments or astronomical observations and everything to do with the availability of convenient stones.”
I understand that perfectly , you are talking about the megalith location but that has now been amended to “What I am saying is that the STONE MONUMENT was created on this pre-existing site “ That is entirely different ,the original line has been thrownaway .You have changed location to monument .
The key determinant for the siting of the megalithic monument at Stonehenge was because of the earlier ditch and bank , not the presence of locally available stone , that is not a throwaway line and has not been refuted . We know that there was an earlier monument but we don’t know if there were any locally available bluestones . Further , if the stone monument was likely to have been sited where there was locally available stone why wasn’t it built where the glacier is considered to have reached it’s easternmost point where it may have deposited the assumed entrained rocks ?

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Brian,

In Mathematics we talk about "necessary and sufficient" conditions for a conclusion to be true.

Here, we can reliably say the "availability of stones" in the vicinity of Stonehenge is a "necessary condition" but not a "sufficient condition" for the sitting of Stonehenge.

Assuming of course Stonehenge was build by Neolithic people. Which is only a belief! And is yet to be proven.

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur,

All this Giza blah, blah, blah is, of course, pointless! Since the Giza pyramids have absolutely nothing to do with Stonehenge.

Such arguments of desperation are grasping for Egyptian scrolls as proxy for putative Neolithic builders of Stonehenge.

Kostas

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur writes, "Alex Gee’s faith one true theory as opposed to wild speculation has more in common with the attitude of religious monotheists than science . "

Wrong again! Science believes in Truth. And Truth is One. The Truth of Stonehenge is one. Whether we know it or not.

GeoCur does not believe in Science if he does not believed in objective Truth! No wonder he is so confused and convoluted in his thinking.

Kostas

Myris of Alexandria said...

Now let us play nicely boys.
It appears that the bluestones were more likely to be two tons rather than four so quite easy to move.
Years ago, decades ago, Dr Ixer said that the agent of transport was unlikely to be proved but the proof of quarrying would be a clincher, that is why he determined on a course of very detailed petrography.
Washington
Always ahead of the games the elephant in the circle is the Altar Stone no two tonne weakling but also not a lithography that travels well,large poorly indurated siliciclastics are rare as erratics.
Just a little more grappa for the mix.
M

Geo Cur said...

Very convenient to describe Giza as blah blah when you got the detail and grammar wrong and failed to understand the point . It looks like the usual minimum of six repeats are necessary .The only person connecting Giza with Stonehenge and blahing was you . But if need be we could contrast and compare the two contemporaneous monuments .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Agree that the bluestones are highly varied in shape and size -- and weight -- and that transporting them would be easier for humans than transporting big blocks of up to 5 tonnes in weight. Not sure what the latest weight estimate is for the wondrous "proto-orthostat" at Rhosyfelin, but it's certainly a lot larger than many of the bluestones at Stonehenge.....)

Not for the first time, I disagree with Dr Ixer on the matter of transport. Proof of quarrying is not a clincher at all -- if you find a quarry somewhere and can show that it is indisputably a quarry, all that does is show you that some quarrying was done there at some time or other, for purposes unknown. It does NOT show you that stones from that spot were carried all the way to Stonehenge, even if there is a match of petrologies. We are dealing with possibilities and probabilities here -- not "proofs."

I also think the agent of stone transport will one day be "proved" -- it would be a foolhardy person who claims that such a thing is "unlikely." All we need, for example, is the discovery of a sledge in the mud of the Severn estuary, with a nice elongated bluesone strapped on top of it. Or several sledges in a convoy...... Or a patch of indisputable till somewhere near Heytesbury on Salisbury Plain, containing large smoothed and striated stones from eastern Preseli, maybe even with a lump or two of Rhosyfelin foliated rhyolite. Neither would constitute "proof" but they would certainly make things rather interesting, and would shift the balance of the debate very considerably!

BRIAN JOHN said...

Geo -- we are going round in circles -- not for the first time. OK -- I should have expressed myself more clearly. Let's say it like this: the stone monument at Stonehenge was built on a site previously used as an earthwork site (and therefore deemed "special" in some way) because there were abundant stones available locally. This was also true of other sites where earthworks were created close to abundant stone sources. Other earthwork sites where there were no convenient stones available were not developed in this way, because the technology and resources were not available for long-distance orthostat transport. And please don't tell me that our Neolithic forefathers COULD have moved the stones if they really had wanted to -- that argument, as Kostas has repeatedly pointed out, leads precisely nowhere......

Geo Cur said...

"Wrong again! Science believes in Truth. And Truth is One. The Truth of Stonehenge is one. Whether we know it or not."

That's religious fundamentalist blethering .

Wrong again . Science does not "believe in truth " , truth is for fundamentalists and UFO hunters .You have been told this countless times .
Science is more likely to get closer to “truth” than fantasists but it doesn’t claim that it it’s results are the “truth” that is for people like you , the fantasists .Science produces better models that mirror reality with no expectation that the current model is the "truth" merely the best model yet , until the next improves upon it .

Geo Cur said...

Brian ,
You did express yourself clearly ,the summation of the blog post was “the key determinant of megalith location has nothing to do with ley lines, solar or lunar alignments or astronomical observations and everything to do with the availability of convenient stones “ ( caps in the original ) . The ley lines etc are straw men and the capped part has been shown to be wrong and you have now amended it to something else .

O Williams -Thorpe a glacial transport proponent accepts that “ megalith stone movement on the scale of 1-2 Km took place during monument construction ,and that local stone transport occurred up to 5 km as a result of human agency . “ she also says “ There is therefore no evidence of long distance Neolithic /Bronze Age megalith transport “ slapdash phraseology ? I don’t believe so , it’s simply true , just as there is no evidence for glaciation at Stonehenge .
Among the examples included in the above is the Kerloas menhir (100-150 tonnes ) .There are ethnographic examples from the past couple of centuries including film of movement of stones much heavier than the bluestones with the same technology available to Bronze Age peoples . Of course they punters in the period could have moved the stones , they also erected the monument which is much more interesting .
We say “could” because they could , just as a glacier “could” have entrained the bluestones , neither comment infers did .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

GeoCur,

Call me Science Fundamentalist! I'd be proud to carry that cross. And thank you for ousting me in this public forum. As you have ousted yourself; as having no idea of Science and the Objective Truth it seeks.

Far from Monotheism, where that One Truth is holy subjective, Science begins with the search for Objective Truth. Whether this can be found intact and complete does not negate this scientific attitude that drives science.

Apart from philosophy, let's consider a simple example relevant to Brian's blog.

To the question of the transport of Walsh bluestones to Stonehenge, is there one and only true answer? Whether or not we know it at this time?

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

We are now having a sterile debate on the meaning of truth (!!) and on whether people could have moved lots of large stones from West Wales to Stonehenge if they had wanted to. We've been over this many times before, and are no further forward. Time to stop this thread so that Geo and Kostas can calm down and think beautiful thoughts instead of trading insults......

No more please.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Excuse me, Geo -- but comment deleted. Enough, enough..... and no more from you either, please, Kostas.

Jon Morris said...

Difficult to follow the George/Kostas debate.

Having thought about it, not entirely sure that I agree with your assessment Brian: At some point in the distant future, we may get to know why the existing monument (SH I,II) was chosen to be the location for the SH III monument. If that reason has a geographical component of some sort, I'm not entirely convinced that the glacial transport argument would automatically be discounted. Just wanted to check with you again that you would hold the opinion that it would be discounted if this set of circumstances occurred.

Timescale is a problem with SH. Nothing happens fast: The next generation may not have either the appropriate skills or interest.

chris johnson said...

Curious why no bluestones found in the several long barrows around Stonehenge. One would expect this had the Stones been lying around.

Geo Cur said...


If there was the unliley scenario that it was possible to know the actual reasoning for choosing the site of the monument .That decision whewther based on the geographical location or not would not preclude the stones having been brought ot the site by glaciation . G/K "debate " , your'e joking , it's a side show deflecting from the central key determiant problem .If you didn't follow something you could always ask .

Geo Cur said...

" One day I'd like to do a detailed analysis. "
See http://brian-mountainman.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/perched-residual-brittany.html
Scroll to last post .
For an example of analysis of quarried megaliths .

Constantinos Ragazas said...

Chris,

The "few" bluestones from West Wales at Stonehenge are likely the "ones that got away"! Most others are likely at the bottom of Bristol Channel or along the coast.

From what I know, Bristol Channel is full of megaliths. As also is the SW coast.

Kostas

BRIAN JOHN said...

Here is Geo's relevant post from 2012:

"Dominque Sellier,Prof of physical geography at Nantes Uni and usually described as a geomorphologist has shown in two papers 1) that the landscape around Kerlescan consisted of grantitic outcrops “Analyse morphologique des marques de la meteorisation des granites a partir de megalithes morbihannais 1991." And, following on from other studies relating to cleavage planes and the tendency of granite to fracture along orthogonal planes, which when quarried displays two main faces, one displaying the fresh face corresponding to the surface where the stone was broken away and the weathered face, a convex side of the stone that was initially exposed to the open air. A close inspection of the exposed face reveals traces of erosion called micromodeles and then in 2) Elements de reconstitution du paysage premegalthique sur les sites des alignemnets de kerlescan a partir des criteres geomorphologiques “(1995) defines two specific categories of micromodeles which can be used to distinguish between weathering before extraction and erosion after erection. Of course as has been mentioned before the Kerlescan alignment overlies and thus postdates a barrow."

This is interesting, but as any fule kno (to quote my hero Nigel Molesworth) it ain't that simple. I'll do a post on this....

Geo Cur said...


As any fule nose the key determinat of siting of megalithic monuments ain't as simple as locally available stone .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Chris -- the Boles Barrow spotted dolerite boulder, from a chambered tomb older than the megalithic part of Stonehenge, which causes such grave inconvenience to the archaeological establishment that there has been an ongoing attempt to prove that it never came from there at all.......

Geo Cur said...


"From what I know, Bristol Channel is full of megaliths. As also is the SW coast."

Why are you alone is this "knowledge "?

Geo Cur said...

Brian ,
I look forward to a critique of the prof’s , (who teaches geomorphology at Uni of Nantes ) papers .

BRIAN JOHN said...

Send me the papers, Geo, and I'll be happy to oblige.

chris johnson said...

Geo, no point rising to the bait.

Brian, the boles barrow bluestone is uncertain. Anyway there are à dozen or more long barrows close to Stonehenge that do not contain bluestones and predate the stone circle

BRIAN JOHN said...

Of course the Boles Barrow stone is claimed to be uncertain -- in all areas of research, when something pops up that is deemed to be inconvenient, the first thing you do is spread uncertainty and create confusion. We see it in medical research, botany, geomorphology etc etc etc.....

Of course there are many long barrows on Salisbury Plain that do not contain (as far as we know) bluestone boulders. Why should they?

Geo Cur said...



"Geo, no point rising to the bait."

Judging by the comment "it ain't that simple " I assumed they had been read.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Relax, Geo. My comment "it ain't that simple" refers to your summary of what the papers purportedly showed.

chris johnson said...

Geo,
I had Kostas remarks in mind, actually.