Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- due for publication on June 1st 2018. After that, it will be available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Mesolithic eco home near Stonehenge

 Shock! Horror!  Mesolithic men did not use modern building techniques, but built eco homes in the forest.  This drives one to despair -- an endless stream of completely underwhelming drivel.  It seems that anything with the word "Stonehenge" in it is good for a headline and a breathlessly excited write-up.  One sometimes loses the will to live.....


Myris said...

Did they have the flint ducks on the mantle shelf. We don't hear enough about those ducks anymore.

I agree, this is bizarre, as for the photograph, his agent should have warned him, I am reminded of the late and very great Mr Sewell who so memorably said about a painting done by monkey "I don't even like the frame".

Dear Mr Sewell so wise so accurate, probably now telling the Pre-R Brotherhood where they went wrong. Think "Bubbles".
It is a seamless weave on a Jackson Loom.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Myris says that should be Jacquard Loom... all a complete mystery to me....

TonyH said...

I would guess that what Myris is getting at is......the guy in the photograph looks to be David Jacques, he of the Mesolithic site at Blick Mead, near the misleadingly - titled Vespasian's Camp, at the spring site above the "Hampshire" Avon, just outside Amesbury, and within 1.5 to 2 miles to the S.E. of Stonehenge.

I think it's great we now have a very significant Mesolithic site so close to Stonehenge, and am closer to over - rather than under - whelmed.

But, yes, we need MORE DUCKS to really clinch its worthiness for inclusion in the annals of Stonehenge folklore or comics.

Helen said...

This paragraph sounded curiously familiar:

"Rather than it being assumed, said Jaques, that the prehistoric ritual landscape was built by Neolithic people arriving from the continent to emptiness, "it looks as though they are meeting with a long-lasting Mesolithic community ... therefore Stonehenge becomes a much more multi-cultural place."

Gathering of the clans, anyone?

Myris of Alexandria said...

Tony reread Pitts account of Blick Mead in BA or the chapterette in The new Stonehenge Landscape book. The Blick data are significant, strip away the pink-stained fairy dust, but, but a Mesolithic presence in the area has been known since the post-holes in the Stonehenge car park, 50 years? Better read Pitts on "digging deeper" blog for a cool balanced informed opinion.
One of these voids appears to be a tree throw perhaps we shall hear this was a Nascent Mesolithic Housing estate.
Lots of excellent data from Block but some candy floss interpretations, they need to get all their ducks in a row before taking their best shot at its significance.

BRIAN JOHN said...

We should be very cautious about attaching any significance whatsoever to finds such as this, dating from the Palaeolithic or Mesolithic. The only significance lies in the fact that you choose to dig here rather than somewhere else -- so you cannot say anything meaningful about distributions or concentrations of settlement sites. This may actually be of zero cultural significance -- there may be far more significant sites of the same age ten miles away, or twenty -- and nobody knows anything about them because nobody has seen fit to look.

Same argument with Rhosyfelin. The fact that you find lots of bits of charcoal here, and assume there has been settlement, does not mean the site had any great "significance" -- you can only say that sort of thing if you have looked at scores of other similar sites and found that this one is unique.

Myris said...

Blick is just one of a number of similar Mesolithic sites in the area. Similar settings etc so data probably good and useful.(See the Pitts' blog)

CRyf quarry is not like other sites in the N Preseli Hills. (Until the other quarries are found of course).

We are never going to have a finger tip search of the northern slopes of the P Hills so must go on the probabilities.


BRIAN JOHN said...

Ah, your quarrying obsession is becoming unhealthy, Myris. CRyF is not unique. There are several other sites to the north of the hills that have very similar characteristics. I wouldn't mine betting they they have old camp-sites beneath the crags too, and a nice assortment of bits of charcoal.... maybe MPP would like to go and check them all out?

TonyH said...

There is a lot of work being done on Mesolithic sites within about 50 miles or so of the Amesbury Blick Mead site. Much of Reading University's work has been described in British Archaelogy during 2015 e.g Kennet and Thames Valleys and Basingstoke in Berkshire. Then the Bouldnor underwater discoveries off the Isle of Wight, partially attributable to our friend Vince Gaffney (he of the recent Durrington sub - surface stones findings).

No one on this blog paid much attention at the time to the excellent BBC programme on Mesolithic discoveries broadcast this Summer. I expect at least Myris and GeoCur know what I am referring to.

Not sure what Myris means in his 30th October 07.06 comment, by "50 years?". Is this a

quote from the Guardian piece? Have yet to check.

As to significance or otherwise of Blick Mead, the very MAGNITUDE of the artefact/ bone discoveries, linked to the length of time that the site was either used or occupied, makes
it pretty significant.

There is already a fair amount of evidence of a Mesolithic presence in the 5 - mile vicinity of Blick Mead Amesbury, within the Avon Valley - as Dr Phil Harding will readily demonstrate,he was involved in many of the low - key findings.

Myris of Alexandria said...

I suspect that he may have done, is doing, or will do.

But surly finding the provenance of the stones should be everyone's quarry. It is the pet rock boys'.


Hugh Thomas said...

It always baffles me that when discoveries are made the people writing for the masses have to dumb it down for the masses to grasp , the discovery becomes " the first something" or "the last something " and they HAVE to mention Stonehenge or Pyramids to give people a reference to work from. In this case it has to become an "Eco home " for Joe public to grasp in 2015. Could be wrong but I doubt that planning permission , health and safety or the use of asbestos was much of a problem back then.... So this now becomes the local "show house " on the mesolthic estate locally with all dwellings around built to an eco friendly blueprint. If they could do it back then just think how the Government could save on house building costs....Wimpy and Barret homes missed a trick here.... :)