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Monday, 20 February 2017

Rhosyfelin -- Coflein record is corrected

After lots of messages and a good deal of confusion, this is probably as right as it ever will be   -- it should now be almost acceptable to both sides of the argument!! 

I suggested further corrections, but these have been ignored.......

Site Description

Fieldwork in 2011-12 led to the proposal that most of the foliated Stonehenge rhyolite debitage originated from a specific 70m long area called Craig Rhos-y-felin near Pont Saeson. Petrographical sampling by Dr Rob Ixer and Dr Richard Bevins found that 99% of these foliated 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 suggests that almost all of Stonehenge foliated rhyolites have a provenance of just hundreds of square metres. The results were of considerable significance, and were published in 2011 in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Excavations between 2011 and 2015 identified Neolithic activity that may have been associated with megalith quarrying, but this is disputed by geologists, who believe that erratic materials were entrained at Rhosyfelin by over-riding glacier ice and transported south-eastwards towards Stonehenge.


Bevins, R.E., Pearce, N.J.R., and Ixer, R.A., 2011, Stonehenge Rhyolitic bluestone sources and the application of zircon chemistry as a new tool for provenancing rhyolitic litics. Journal of Archaeological Sciences, 38, 605-622.

Ixer, R.A., Bevins, R.E., 2011, Chips off the Old Block: The Stonehenge Debitage Dilemma. Archaeology in Wales, 52, 2011, 11-22.

Brian John, Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd, and John Downes, 2015, Quaternary Events at Craig Rhosfelin, Pembrokeshire. Quaternary Newsletter 137, October 2015, p16-32.

Mike Parker Pearson, Richard Bevins, Rob Ixer, Joshua Pollard, Colin Richards, Kate Welham, Ben Chan, Kevan Edinborough, Derek Hamilton, Richard Macphail, Duncan Schlee, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Ellen Simmons and Martin Smith (2015). Craig Rhos-y-felin: a Welsh bluestone megalith quarry for Stonehenge. Antiquity, 89 (348) (Dec 2015), pp 1331-1352.

L. Osborne & T. Driver, RCAHMW


Myris of Alexandria said...

I might have changed the refs cited the debitage dilemma paper is less significant (here)than the earlier Ixer and Bevins Craig Rhosyfelin paper. But hey as long as they spell your name correctly, boys.
I would also have added the Bevins et al recent radiometric dating paper, clearly demonstrating that Cryf is not the origin of SH38,40, 46 48.

I don't know any geologist who has queried the quarry, some geomorphologists/ice age wallahs, yes but no real geologists.

Future generations will see the Stonehenge ice connection as another victim of Global warming-lost in a slushy mess.


BRIAN JOHN said...

I know -- I gave them all the refs and they chose the ones they wanted. The other John/Elis-Gruffydd/Downes paper would have been more useful too. What do you mean by a "real" geologist? One who has your official approval?

MoA said...

You done broke de code!

A real geologist can determine rutile from anatase in polished thin section, the rest are just pay acting.

Peter Dunn said...

I went to art college so didn’t have much of an education, are rutile and anatase geologist terms for arse and elbow?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Could well be -- but we have to trust what the Mystical Myris tells us, since he is a PROPER geologist, unlike all those other charlatans who have been let loose in the rocky world.

TonyH said...

Pleased to hear the record has been corrected. Makes such a change from listening to the BROKEN records of archaeologists' wishful thinking, a la one - eyed Horatio Nelson's remark "Ships? I see no ships!" during the Battle of Copenhagen

Well done, Brian, for persistence in the heat of battle.

Alex Gee said...

The first paragraph is correct and scientifically accurate!

I don't understand why they felt the need to include the second paragraph giving false credibility to the Pseudo-scientific horseshit about quarrying?

Ah well one mustn't cause offence to charlatans, one may well get arrested for a hate crime?

TonyH said...

"A real geologist can determine rutile from anatase in polished thin section. the rest are just pay acting".

Typos apart, the only play acting I can recall in this particular context was the musical and thespian Spoof of the Fab Four, by "The Ruttles" (of Rutland provenance - small really was beautiful in every aspect).

Was it Eric Idle? Excellent imitators at a time when Tribute Bands had yet to be invented.

Myris of Alexandria said...

Ah Mr Dunn not so much arse and elbow as shooting oneself in the foot.
It is always unwise to insults one's patrons. I now think it highly unlikely I shall ever buy another of your paintings. A pity for both of us.

Was I the only person to buy at your recent August/September exhibition? I bought the Stonehenge winter painting. Paid from petrographical consulting fees including determining the variation in TiO2 polymorphs.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Come now, Myris. Maintain your noble patronage. Put the smile back on your face!

Peter Dunn said...

Mr Myris you have the wrong end of the stick here and have conjured an insult from a pun on your sentence on how to tell a real geologist from one of the thespian variety, a mere bit of silliness which I am prone to.
But I will confine myself to this until the effects of the Waitrose Spanish red have worn off.

Peter Dunn said...

Hello Myris I appologise if I have inadvertently insulted you, the purpose of my comment was to make a pun on that sentence and play along with your distinction between real and play acting geologists. (I was making a joke at my own expense as well) Isn’t your style of comment sometimes to make your meaning by way of a pun or cryptic phrase i.e. referring to the Ferret Club mag and the Pet Rock Boys etc.
So certainly no insult intended. I have commented my agreement with you on points you have made on this blog and thanked you for kind words on my work.
The Winter Stonehenge painting is now in the Museum collection in Devizes and thanks again if you made the donation to the Museum to allow them to buy.
No you were not the only person to buy at my exhibition, it did quite well I thought given the circumstances.
It would be a pity if you wanted to buy more of my work and this misunderstanding stopped you, however the important thing is that you see that no insult was intended, I have every respect for your knowledge on the subjects we discuss on this blog. Perhaps a pint/coffee and a chat if you are ever near Pewsey in the future would settle the matter.
Best Wishes,

Myris of Alexandria said...

Then I (with much pleasure)apologise totally and greatly for seeing offense when none was intended. Puns can be tricky things.

Yes the Museum collection is the correct place for (in my opinion)the best of those paintings, but there are others I liked nearly as well. Also it is a lovely museum with splendid staff and trustees and their acts of kindness should be rewarded. The decade of publishing in the Ferret News by the pet rock boys and colleagues is a remarkable act of generosity on their (take your pick) part, it would be nigh impossible to publish such detailed petrography plus the number of illustrations in the geological literature and to be allowed to do it again and again.

Sad for me, good for you that it went well, as there are others I liked (and other kind museums)and these painting may now be gone. I am so glad I can look again at them.

Have you have thought of painting some splendid Classical Maya sites Uxmal for example. They are blessedly free of any glacial taint, the rocks were quarried and moved by man (no wheel was involved).

I thank you for the offer of a Pewsey Pint, joining you for coffee would be splendid but at present I don't travel very much.

Peter Dunn said...

Thanks Myris glad we are ok now.
There are still Stonehenge/Durrington paintings and other Neolithic /EBA sites for sale. I sold the 3 largest paintings and some rough drawing prints, not bad for little old Pewsey.
Devizes Museum and staff very good.
Yes have thought of the Maya often since watching the Chronicle programmes as a boy and did a thesis on Classic Mesoamerica, in the past always too busy to do reconstructions for myself, now a bit too idle, but you never know!
Didn’t the Pembrokeshire ice extended briefly to Yukatan?
Here’s something for Tony , as Neil Young sang in 72....
Hate was just a legend And war was never known The people worked together And they lifted many stones
They carried them to the flatlands And they died along the way They built up with their bare hands
What we still can’t do today.
(He came dancing across the water Cortes Cortes What a killer)

I am going to go and play it now and pretend I can play the solo!