THE BOOK
Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my book called "The Bluestone Enigma" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click
HERE

Monday, 9 November 2015

Rhosyfelin -- the official record



More evidence -- if any is needed -- of the manner in which officialdom has been sucked into the perpetration of myths, instead of promoting good science.

I found this record on the Coflein (Royal Commission) web site, and we can take it as the current "official record" for Rhosyfelin. 

Here is what the record says:

http://map.coflein.gov.uk/index.php?action=do_details&cache_name=ZXh0ZW50dHlwZSxCT1hfbWlueCwyMTEyODhfbWlueSwyMzU3MzRfbWF4eSwyMzYzMzBfbWF4eCwyMTIwODFfc2VhcmNodHlwZSxhZHZhbmNlZF9vcmE=&numlink=416247#tabs-4

Site Description

Fieldwork in 2011-12 by National Museum Wales and Leicester University confirmed that the Stonehenge rhyolite debitage originated from a specific 70m long area namely Craig Rhos-y-felin near Pont Saeson. Petrographical sampling by Dr Rob Ixer and Dr Richard Bevins found that 99% of these rhyolites could be matched to rocks found in this particular set of outcrops. Rhyolitic rocks at Rhos-y-felin are distinctly different from all others in South Wales, which gives almost all of Stonehenge rhyolites a provenance of just hundreds of square metres. The results were of considerable significance, and were published in 2011 in the internationally recognised Journal of Archaeological Science.

In June 2011 more detailed sampling identified the outcrop known as Craig Rhos-y-felin near Pont Saeson as the source of the majority of the rhyolite debris recovered during excavations at Stonehenge and the vicinity. Excavations led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson and a multi-disciplinary team have carried out further research at the site.

The results from these excavations were published in the journal Archaeology in Wales in December 2011. See also Parker Pearson, M. 2012. Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age mystery. Simon & Schuster.

Neolithic activity at the outcrop quarry may be linked to the nearby henge/hillfort at Castell Mawr (NPRN 304047) and the Carn Meini outcrops on the Preseli hills (NPRN 401672).

Photographed during RCAHMW aerial reconnaissance

L. Osborne & T. Driver, RCAHMW


-------------------------------

Let's see if we can add a little accuracy here.

1.  Fieldwork was not conducted by National Museum Wales and by Leicester University, but by two individuals who have associations with those august institutions.   I hate it when this sort of sloppy phraseology is used, in order to invest research with some sort of sanctity.  I could just as well say that this is an Oxford University blog, because I once worked there.

2.  ".....confirmed that the Stonehenge rhyolite debitage originated from a specific 70m long area..."  It did nothing of the sort."  It PROPOSED THAT MOST OF THE SAMPLED STONEHENGE RHYOLITE DEBITAGE came from the Rhosyfelin area.  That's a very different matter.  We have a lot of evidence on the table, but a published proposal, no matter how detailed is quite different from a confirmation, as any scientist would agree.  And most of the Stonehenge debitage has not been excavated properly, let alone examined petrologically.

3.  "...Excavations led by Professor Mike Parker Pearson and a multi-disciplinary team have carried out further research at the site.  The results from these excavations were published in the journal Archaeology in Wales in December 2011."  Wrong.  None of the results of these excavations have yet been published in any peer-reviewed journal, and the Archaeology in Wales article in December 2011 was a geological paper that had nothing to do with the archaeological dig.

 4.  "Neolithic activity at the outcrop quarry....."  There is no published proof of Neolithic activity at this site, and no published evidence that points to this being a quarry site.  This is hearsay and speculation, and it should have no part in an official record which might be read by gullible people and accepted as the truth.

5.  ".......may be linked to the nearby henge/hillfort at Castell Mawr (NPRN 304047) and the Carn Meini outcrops on the Preseli hills (NPRN 401672)."    Again, there is not a shred of evidence to support any of this.  The site might just as well be linked to Pentre Ifan, or Bedd yr Afanc, or Carn Alw.  This sort of wild speculation does nobody any good.

Please, dear people of the  RCAHMW, you do a wonderful job on the whole, but on this matter in particular, get your act together and get your records straight.

4 comments:

Myris of Alexandria said...

Still they spelled the names of the pet rock boys correctly," so that's all good then"
I agree they really could have checked the facts, it will have been done by some intern I suspect.
A bit sloppy.
I know last year Dr Ixer had to correct EH claiming that West Amesbury Henge had bluestone debitage. They did make the correction.
M

TonyH said...

With regard to the West Amesbury Henge, aka, erroneously, Bluestonehenge, good on yer Dr Ixer, splendid work.Less legends, more truth.

chris johnson said...

Work of Dr Ixer and others is being misrepresented to make other others work sound more interesting.

One hopes the above narrative can be corrected quickly and publicly now. Left as it is runs the risk of discrediting the institution behind the words, which at a time of major budget cuts (again) cannot be smart.

TonyH said...

They might have well also asserted that they have uncovered the early origins of the Tribe Presley, which later produced a legend in his own lifetime, and several lifetimes beyond, viz Elvis. That's All Right, Mama, Any Way You Do*....


*circa 1954