An interesting paper from Prof MPP and assorted others:
"Resourcing Stonehenge: Patterns of human, animal and goods mobility in the Late Neolithic"
Benjamin Chan, Sarah Viner, Mike Parker Pearson, Umberto Albarella and Rob Ixer.
Chapter 3 in:
Moving on in Neolithic studies: Understanding mobile lives
Neolithic Studies Group Seminar Papers 14
Jim Leary and Thomas Kador
Oxbow Books, 2016
Sarsen and occasionally flint and bluestone was also used for the hammer-stones and mauls used to dress the Stonehenge stones and reused as packing material in the stone-holes. In a 5m × 5m trench within the area of a much larger sarsen dressing floor just north of Stonehenge the SRP recovered 348 cobble-sized hammer-stones. Nine of these were made from saccharoid sarsen, 12 from flint and 327 from quartzitic sarsen. Bearing in mind that Trench 44 covered only a small proportion of a single dressing floor many thousand cobbles would have had to have been collected for the dressing of the Stonehenge sarsens. Both the quartzitic sarsen and flint hammer-stones were made from water-worn cobbles which occur naturally within river gravels in the area. They would have most likely have been collected from river beds and this would have been best achieved during the summer when the rivers were low and the cobbles were more easily visible and accessible.
Question: what is the evidence of bluestones being used as hammer stones? Presumably that means that there must be bluestone cobbles on the site, used as hammer stones and then chucked into stone sockets as part of the packing process needed to stabilise the standing stones, both large and small. What is the evidence on this? Does anybody know?
The origins of the sarsens and bluestones that make up Stonehenge’s famous lintels and standing stones has been the subject of extended debate which does not need repeating here (e.g. Thomas 1923; Thorpe et al. 1991; green 1997; Scourse 1997; Williams-Thorpe et al. 1997; Williams-Thorpe et al. 2006; Bevins et al. 2011; 2014; Ixer & Bevins 2011). Suffice to say that the bluestones originated in north Pembrokeshire and the Preseli mountains of southwest Wales and, whilst the glaciation hypothesis continues to have its proponents, the majority of archaeologists currently believe that the stones were brought to the Stonehenge landscape in the Neolithic. The SRP is continuing its work by investigating the potential quarry sites for the bluestones (Parker Pearson et al. 2011b). Regardless of the precise quarry location, roughly 80 bluestones weighing two tons or less (Abbott et al. 2012, 60) were moved over a distance of approximately 140 miles as the crow flies. The exact route that they took is still a matter of debate (Parker Pearson 2012, 289–91) but would have been considerably longer than 140 miles and, whether by land or sea, it would have been fraught with difficulty and potential danger.
I don't suppose we should be surprised by any of this, although I am as ever irritated by the assumption that Stonehenge was once complete, and that around 80 bluestones were involved. Let's just ignore all that stuff about "potential quarry sites" and "precise quarry locations"......
In the Conclusions:
People were probably involved in collection and processing activities across large parts of southern and western Britain throughout the course of the year in order to facilitate periods of large-scale construction in the Stonehenge landscape. The logistics involved in this endeavour would have been extraordinarily complex and would have drawn upon a deep understanding of the appropriate ways to manage, harvest and process a wide variety of plant resources and the best locations from which to gather antlers and hammer-stones. The choice of which trees, sarsen boulders and bluestone outcrops to select for monument construction also relied on an equally deep knowledge.
One grows weary of this sort of circular reasoning. People collected up bluestones from a long way off because we know they were clever enough and organized to do so, and the fact that the stones were collected up from Wales shows that they were clever enough to do all sorts of other wonderful things too. Round and round we go.......