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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Boles Barrow Bluestone -- coming in from the cold?


 West Kennet long barrow, Wiltshire.  It now appears to be perfectly OK for long barrows to have bluestones in them..........


My thanks to Phil, who has been looking through the pages of Prof MPP's new book, and who reports the following:

"Radiocarbon dates indicate that  the quarrying of megaliths took place at Craig Rhos-y-Felin c 3400-3300 BC and later on in the Bronze Age after 2000 BC. Intriguingly, the quarrying activity took place directly on top of a sequence of hearths that date back much further - to just before 8000 BC."

 "The same may be said for Carn Goedog, visited by Mesolithic hunters long before its dolerite pillars were quarried c 3300-3200 BC."

We are not going to budge the good professor from his unshakeable belief that we have Early-Middle Neolithic quarries at Rhosyfelin and Carn Goedog -- but what is interesting about this is that he is now apparently arguing for the extraction and transport of monoliths much earlier than has ever been proposed before.  So if the earliest stone transporting expeditions really took place around 5400 - 5300 years ago, in his view, that pushes things back into the period of long barrow building -- and that in turn may mean that the Boles Barrow bluestone comes in from the cold.........

For many years archaeologists have argued that the stone parked in Heytesbury House garden for many years could not possibly have come from the heart of a long barrow, because Boles Barrow was built 500 years too early -- well before the earliest assumed use of bluestones at Stonehenge.  Some of the long barrows date to c 6000 years BP.  But now, if Prof MPP and his colleagues are arguing that the Early or Middle Neolithic tribal groups were the ones who started all this bluestone haulage business, it would have been perfectly acceptable not only for these stones to be used at Bluestonehenge and in the Aubrey Hole settings, but also in long barrows as well.

It all gets very convoluted, and very interesting!  One might as well argue that the stones were all glacial erratics, lying around on Salisbury Plain well before the start of the Neolithic period, as some of us have been saying for many years........

PS.  We have coverd this topic -- relating to the DEBU (date of earliest bluestone use) several times before, including this entry:

http://brian-mountainman.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/stonehenge-debu-date-of-earliest.html

5 comments:

chris johnson said...

I did not realise there are bluestones in West Kennet long barrow - or am I misinterpreting?

BRIAN JOHN said...

No no -- I'm not suggesting that there are. But there COULD be, and this would be accommodated, presumably, in the latest MPP time line......

TonyH said...

You mention "Bluestonehenge". Remember though, that Myris has knowledgeably told us that NO bluestone evidence, however small, has been found there. He insists it is now named West Amesbury Henge.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, I know, Tony. Just having fun.......

TonyH said...

Perhaps it will come to be known (say in 50 years), not as the former Bluestonehenge, but as Parker Pearson's Prank?