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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Rhosyfelin Quarry -- going, going.........gone?


Had a pleasant visit to Craig Rhosyfelin this morning in the company of geomorphologist Dr Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd and geologist John Downes. We examined many of the features of the site and hunted hard for a quarry.......

Quite a few earth scientists have now visited the site privately or in university field study groups, leading U3A field trips etc -- and I think I am right in saying that not one of them has seen anything suggesting human quarrying activity.  Two groups have visited the site in recent weeks.

The "features" cited by Prof MPP as indicative of quarrying, such as rock props, rails, wedges, hammer stones, scratch marks etc are examined with incredulity, and are universally interpreted as entirely natural.

The consensus is that what we have here is an assortment of Holocene deposits dating back to the Devensian glaciation -- rockfall debris, till, fluvio-glacial and fluvial sediments, some stillwater sediments, slope deposits and modern soil.  What we are also agreed upon is that there is a lot of organic material incorporated into the rockfall and slope deposits, because trees and shrubs on the crag and in the little meltwater channel have played a key role in the degradation of the crag -- thus many rockfalls will have dragged down roots, trunks and branches over a very long period of time, to be incorporated in the organic-rich sediments that "enclose" or incorporate the rock debris including the famous pseudo-proto-orthostat..

5 comments:

TonyH said...

So the "smoking gun" of the proto - orthostat, of which Mike PP further wrote** "We could hardly believe our luck ....The game was up for anyone still trying to argue that the bluestones were not quarried in Preseli during the Neoloithic, and then taken to Wiltshire" has turned out to be a decidedly damp squib. Oh dear.

** Stonehenge, 2012, Chapter 17, page 286

BRIAN JOHN said...

We discussed the big stone yesterday, and agree that its current prominent position, in glorious isolation, is simply an artifice, created by the archaeologists who have simply cleared away everything that previously surrounded it. It was simply part of a large assemblage of rockfall debris -- and there are other large stones even further out from the rock face. It is certainly very big and very heavy -- much larger than the Stonehenge bluestones. What does MPP propose that his fabled quarrymen planned to do with it? Push it downslope into the valley, or upslope and out of the valley? Either way, a vastly complex and difficult enterprise, given the nature of the terrain.

A Gee said...

Alex G

The stone must belong to someone its been Gift wrapped!

Perhaps MPP's been overcome by an overwhelming urge to shove it up your chimney, as a thank you gift this Christmas?

Sorry I meant "Down"

BRIAN JOHN said...

Well, the National Park man wrapped it up, so maybe it belongs to them. Maybe when the dig is over it will be removed with due ceremony and erected somewhere (with a little plaque on it) as a monument to mankind's stupidity?

Alex Gee said...

If we erected monuments to mankind's stupidity, would there be room enough for us to walk?