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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Bluestone recycling


What were we saying about the re-use of bluestones in many different setting at the old ruin?  Note that the artist has even accurately portrayed the many different bluestone lithologies..........

49 comments:

TonyH said...

It's only rock 'n roll,........ but I like it, I like it.

Were any geologists harmed in the making of this cartoon? Were any geologists involved in its making?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Nothin' to do with me, Guvnor......... I just found it on Facebook. Maybe there are geologists buried under that little lot, pleading for a quarryman to come and get them out?

TonyH said...

Later on, I realised who sang the lyric of the song I quoted!

Somebody called Mick Jagger.


Now what was the name of the band he's a part of?

PeteG said...

"I've got Lumps of it around the back!" - Life of Brian.

Q/ Does bluestone have quartz veins in it? I've not seen any at Stonehenge but then I can't tell sarsen from bluestone anyways. I've found an interesting Lump in a farmyard on the edge of the military zone on Salisbury plain.
PeteG

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, quite frequently. If the dolerite is fractured, you can get secondary accumulations of quartz crystals / veins along the fracture face. Later on, when said dolerite is broken up by weathering or erosional forces, the breakage surfaces often coincide with the quartz veins themselves, because there are presumably still planes of weakness on them. I hope Myris will concur.

TonyH said...

Returning to the subject of the esteemed Mick, bloggers here should, if possible, get an earful of MICK JOGGER & THE ROLLIN' CLONES, a marvellous, funny, Tribute Band to Mick, Keef & The Boys. Coming to a Village Hall in Preseli soon, I shouldn't wonder.

I think their mesmeric version of "Jumpin'ONY Jack Flash" might go down a storm with certain charismatic senior archaeologists and their followers in September.

TonyH said...

Pete, I noticed (from my car) an interesting lump of rock at the famous village of Edington at the junction of the lane leading up from the Priory Church and joining the B 3098 yesterday. Must take a closer look at it next time. Is this one you know of, and have included in your photographic collection of potential bluestones? You supplied photos for this Blog a few years ago, I recall. Not too sure whether or not this rock has only recently appeared there.

TonyH said...

That should, of course, have read "Jumpin' Jack Flash", as all true Stones fan will have recognised.

By the way, it's SIR Mick these days (blimey! There's hope for us all).

PeteG said...

TonyH, the Edington stone is sarsen,
PeteG

TonyH said...

Thanks Pete. Are any of the village rocks near the escarpment NORTH of the Salisbury Plain known to be bluestone do you know?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Aaaarggghhh! This horrible word "bluestone" again -- the curse of all our lives. Let;s simplify this. If Pete, or anybody else, finds on the chalklands boulders or cobbles made of anything other than chalk, flint or sarsen, then the find is potentially of significance. Simples, my friend, as the meercat says.

PeteG said...

TonyH
I've only ever found sarsen to the north of the plain. So far.
So called Bluestone pieces from the Palisade/West Kennet Long Barrow area turned out to sarsen as well.

I do have a nice Bluestone hand knive found east of Avebury.
PeteG

TonyH said...

What, what, what, Pete? You HAVE "a nice Bluestone knife found east of Avebury"??? Do you mean you yourself have the aforesaid knife? Hope you are going to speedily send it off, by 1st class recorded delivery, to Myris (or one of his associates/ pseudonyms) in the West Midlands, for forensic/geological examination and questioning, or hand it into the nearest police station, forthwith.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Nah -- that's not treasure trove. I bet people pick up flakes and blades and things all the time, and think nothing of it.......

PeteG said...

TonyH,
I have the knife here with me. It has 2 lovely polished areas from years of use.
I had an Oxford geologist confirm it is bluestone and have shown it to Avebury archaeo's Josh Pollard and Mark Giddings.
It is 'Unprovinenced' so they arent that interested in it other than to say it is a fine tool.

I won't be sending it off to anyone as I don't want bits of it cut off.
PeteG

BRIAN JOHN said...

Pete, what do you mean by "bluestone"? That could mean almost anything...... do you mean spotted dolerite?

TonyH said...

Pete........Myris, or his very good friend 'The Doctor', could take a butcher's at it for you.

I guess what we really need is a decent local geologist (Isobel Geddes, for example?) to examine it in front of your good self, and hand it back to you pronto.

BRIAN JOHN said...

As I have said a thousand times before, you don't need a specialist petrographer to tell you whether a lump of rock found on Salisbury Plain is chalk, flint, sarsen or something else. If it's something else (dolerite, rhyolite, sandstone, limestone, granite, basalt or whatever) then it is an erratic and a "bluestone." It then becomes interesting, and we need to know about shape, surface condition and precise situation in or on the ground surface. Any competent geologist can give a steer. Once we start looking for actual provenances, the skills of people like Rob come into play.

PeteG said...

I once met Steve Boreham a Geologist from Cambridge who had a look at the knife and said it wasn't a local stone and was a dolerite from Wales.
PeteG

TonyH said...

Don't know whether your last comment was directed at my last remark, Brian. I was remarking purely upon Pete having got his bluestone knife, apparently found east of Avebury! Furthermore, Wiltshire-based Geologist Isobel Geddes (associated with WANHS, for example) was suggested as she might well be able to tell whether this apparent bluestone, as stated by the Oxford geologist who checked it out for him, is spotted dolerite or rhyolite, for example.

PeteG's knife wasn't found on Salisbury Plain. No - one's mentioned Salisbury Plain in this context. Incidentally, Edington isn't on Salisbury Plain.

TonyH said...

Rather surprised, Pete, that Josh P and Mark G weren't too interested in your find. Did you yourself find it? You said they regarded it as "unprovenanced".

But you mentioned it was found East of Avebury, so presumably up on the Downs somewhere?

PeteG said...

yes Tony I found it myself but as it was not in a Layer in a trench it cannot reliably be dated.
PeteG

BRIAN JOHN said...

Not criticising your point at all, Tony -- just making the general point that erratics are generally not so hard to recognize. They just need to be different from whatever is beneath! On Salisbury Plain that is rather easy -- elsewhere you might have to check the geology map a bit more carefully!

Myris of Alexandria said...

We should restrict the term bluestone to the now accepted definition namely ‘any stone other than the sarsen that was used for or may have been used for (i.e. debitage) creating an orthostat at Stonehenge’.
NOTHING else is bluestone. It must be directly related to Stonehenge and to the stones in the inner circle and inner horseshoe.
Otherwise all sorts of adventitious rubbish can misused by various misguided, malignant, malicious apologists for their many weird theories.
Not too happy with the over-definition of erratic but were the noun modified by the adjective glacial I can see little harm to that.
There has always been a problem in archy lithic studies of too many semi-educated ‘experts’, for whom rigour is a foreign concept, guessing (often macroscopically) at the most sensational answer (and getting away with it). This may well include Oxbridge workers who have seen too little material to give a ‘solid’ judgement.
I remember the bother that dead Wainwright (in his role as “a STONEHENGE authority” caused when he told, also now a dead, Legg and the world that (glacial) erratics found on Steepholme were bluestones lost on their way to Stonehenge. I know for absolute certainty that he would not have recognised a bluestone out of context but I doubt he doubted his pontification for a moment, even when confronted with the evidence.
Anyone who has seen thousands of bluestones (ss) will tell you only a fool will give an absolute answer based on a macroscopic identification.
I know that were Dr Ixer given a box of chocolates for every ‘bluestone’ he has been given to identify by the eager he would be stones heavier than he is and would have suffered less abuse from the disappointed –(woman you still owe him the postal charges and you who sent pebbles from beaches near Southampton are ever in his thoughts…)
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
Do not start me on meteorites that have been found by Joe P, some still smoking!.
Some of these even come from the chalk on Salisbury plain (they are marcasite nodules almost always). (NOT to be confused with the rare real meteorites associated with the Stonehenge (greater) Landscape now there is another amusing set of stories worthy of the Beagle (woops Beano).
M


chris johnson said...

And what name would you assign to those bluish volcanic rocks from the Prescellis?

BRIAN JOHN said...

I might call them rhyolites, if they are bluish in colour. If they are dolerites, I would call them dolerites, just as would call chalk chalk and limestone limestone. By the way, when we did a little test at Stonehenge once, and asked people which of the two big stones near the old car park was the bluestone, almost everybody selected the sarsen stone, because it was more clearly blue in colour. The dolerites are most often grey or brownish-grey if weathered.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Over-definition of "erratic", Myris? What about the over-definition of "bluestone"?

As for this: "We should restrict the term bluestone to the now accepted definition namely ‘any stone other than the sarsen that was used for or may have been used for (i.e. debitage) creating an orthostat at Stonehenge’.
NOTHING else is bluestone. It must be directly related to Stonehenge and to the stones in the inner circle and inner horseshoe."

With all due respect, that's nonsense, Myris. The now accepted definition? By whom? Is there a bluestone appreciation society? And if somebody finds some boulders or slabs of rhyolite or spotted dolerite out there somewhere on Salisbury Plain, well away from Stonehenge, they are not to be called bluestones because it doesn't suit you? Come off it......

AG said...

Isn't it time that the terms "Bluestone" "Bluestones" are abandoned completely? Even at Stonehenge? Surely it would be better to sample every monolith at Stonehenge individually and to record its rock type/lithology as what it is?

Rather than continue to class the erratic rock types at Stonehenge into a completely, false, fraudulent, and artificial lithology?

This would at least bring some clarity to the debate? Even at the risk of upsetting the "Quarry Men"!






TonyH said...

There was a CONTROLLED EXPLOSION a couple of weeks ago near the island of Steepholm (that Myris refers to above), when World War II explosives of some kind or another were discovered beneath the waters of the Bristol Channel. Saw this as a news item on our local BBC Points West news programme. Don't know what that may have done to any lurking underwater bluestones. Hope some survived, if indeed there are any thereabouts.

TonyH said...

On Wednesday, 6th September there is an 2nd opportunity to walk in the footsteps of pioneer archaeologist William Cunnington, in whose garden the alleged Boles Barrow bluestone, now in Salisbury Museum, once stood. He is buried in Heytesbury Churchyard. It is hoped to have a plaque erected for him in the Church area.

Here is a description of the day:-

www.ccwwdaonb.org.uk/news/90/39/DISCOVER-MORE-ABOUT-THE-FOUNDING-FATHERS-OF-ARCHAEOLOGY/

Myris of Alexandria said...

Brian is correct the blue volcanic rocks at Preseli are a mixture of acid and intermediate lavas and tuffs. Most are volcaniclastic and many include a significant argillaceous component.
Had the question been blue igneous rocks at Preseli (I suspect that was the intended question) then spotted and spotted dolerites can be added to that list.
To correctly answer the initial question
If given no geographical information I would call the felsites, acid volcanics/silica-rich volcanics.
Told the rocks come from the Preseli Hills (and I believed the informant) I would call them rhyolitic tuffs, foliated rhyolitic tuffs, and possibly (crystal-lithic-vitric) tuffs depending on the size of the characteristics. Plus argillaceous tuffs.
Having sectioned the above I would call them the same but would use the adjectives with confidence. At no time would the term bluestone exit my lips.

Brian you take my breathe away since when have you been such a strong defender of MPP?
“And if somebody finds some boulders or slabs of rhyolite or spotted dolerite out there somewhere on Salisbury Plain, well away from Stonehenge, they are not to be called bluestones because it doesn't suit you? Come off it......
BUT that is just what MPP did at Bluestonehenge and now you are agreeing with his working practice. You are of course just being a devil’s advocate.
Let’s spend our lives pandering to demented molehill collecting grannies.

No bluestones are to be restricted to their early 20th definition.

Anyone who has read the literature knows that each orthostat is carefully lithologically characterised, many were initially described before 1900 (Not the buried ones). It is so disheartening to be told the totally obvious by the unread. A comprehensive!! lack of understanding of the central questions, not showing even a Reader’s Digest level of information.
Perhaps the 10 years of Stonehenge characterisation of the orthostats and debitage and their pearls have been cast too widely. Or perhaps and ever greater degree of dumbing down is needed.
Bleating about academic firewalls at least when they have been removed read the bloody stuff.
M

Dave Maynard said...

Today in my native beat, I saw a big stone moved 200m and up-ended in the ground to the sounds of rhythmic drumming and incantations.

Did the drumming and chanting move the stone? No the 13 tonne Daewoo excavator.

Possibly this stone was dragged by a Ferguson tractor to the field edge 50 or 60 years ago, wonder where it has been on its travels before?

Dave

BRIAN JOHN said...

Myris, I normally follow your line of thought reasonably well, but I am a bit lost on that last post of yours. Never mind --I'll ask a simple question. If you found a large weathered slab of foliated rhyolite in a garden in Shrewton and a boulder of spotted dolerite in a hedge near Westbury, would you, or would you not, refer to them as bluestones?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Sounds fun, Dave. Where was that? Some years ago we put up a nice standing stone in our car park, with aid of a JCB. Very nice it is too. Much admired.

Dave Maynard said...

Hebron.

Might send a photo when the rain eases up.

This stone lay beside a stream running south west towards the Taf from the Carn-Wen ridge, which runs towards Glandy Cross. There are several sets of streams running in this direction all with groups of rocks beside them. Not sure if they are naturally associated with the streams, or pushed there in field clearance.

Across the road from this erected stone, two fields have been ploughed in the last few days. The first time in many years, so, up pop various large bounders. I'll have to take the dog for a walk there...

Dave

BRIAN JOHN said...

Ah -- Rob explains to me off-record that MPP and I are now supposed to be bosom pals because we both want to describe whatever was in the pits at "Bluestonehenge" as bluestones. No no -- that's all wrong. He wanted them (the mythical bluestone fragments and the missing orthostats) to be bluestones because that fitted his wacky theory about stone transport along the Avon. I argued from the beginning, in that sorry episode, that if there ever were any stones in those pits they were probably small sarsens. I still think that, although it would indeed be quite fun if somebody was to prove, one day, that there were far-travelled erratics in the pits. If there were any, I would call them bluestones, because I'm not going to be badgered by anybody into using the term "bluestone" exclusively for stones connected with Stonehenge. That would be to invest them with a completely unwarranted signficance and to pander to those (including certain geologists) who want to mythologise them.........

Myris of Alexandria said...

Now you are being very very silly why not call all these supposed exotic rocks Nakhlites or Shergottites. The whole purpose of nicely, in the Elizabethan sense of the word, defining natural objects is to stop this nonsense.
The Devonian sst found at SH is a bluestone because of its use and location. Do you want to call all wanton ssts found in the stream sediments draining Salisbury Plain bluestones, you do for the volcanic and igneous rocks and I guess the Lower Palaeozoic sst. Of course you do not, because then all the little bits of sarsen become bluestones and we might as well pack up and join in passing around the dead dog scrumpy jar and discuss the obvious.
No. Bluestones are those non-sarsen rocks used or believed to be used in the orthostats found at Stonehenge. Nothing else can be.
I believe incidentally the chances of finding Nakhlites on the Plain are only very slightly worse than there being glacial erratics.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

We are never going to agree on this, Myris. Tell you what -- let's do a deal. Let's just call all the foreign material on Salisbury Plain not Hoofplops or Wigglebums, but "erratics." OK?

Myris of Alexandria said...

Yes stripped of all SH associations unless proved otherwise.
It is not an academic question as Dr Ixer has a few times, every year, for amateurs professionals and arch consulting groups needs to do just that. Look at Salisbury Plain the Stonehenge Landscape erratics and identify.

In 5/6 years only a single lithic has probably come from an orthostats (ie is microscopically the same as a Stonehenge Bluestone) and so been a true bluestone.

Oh! May the Gods send, from the heavens, a large volcanic Group A from Shrewton etc although I shall draw the line at wigglebumite (my Pekes have that, together with licky-end (may he be bathing in eternal bliss). Brian Aldiss also died a few days ago.

M

Steve Potter said...

"It is not an academic question as Dr Ixer has a few times, every year, for amateurs professionals and arch consulting groups needs to do just that."

Mavis, is it really ask too much for a verb in there, somewhere? Remember, dear, sloppy writing = sloppy thinking.

TonyH said...

There's a great deal more of the West Amesbury Henge (Daily Mail Readers' Bluestonehenge) underground, of course. Much more may be excavated by the MPP cohorts or descendants in future aeons. Perhaps there'll be a sliver of meteorite identical to that which once resided outside Gordon Sumner's/Sting's nearby Lake House. It's a funny old world, gents! Perhaps folk with pseudonyms have much more to reveal?

TonyH said...

Plenty of largish orthostats near Glandy Cross, from memory of my single visit. Aren't some of those probably in field banks through farmers' field clearances?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, we have talked about Glandy Cross, Meini Gwyr and Cilymaenllwyd before. There are some prehistoric features in that area, which was an abundant source of erratics.....

There has been speculation about the area as a place for MPP's "proto-Stonehenge" but as far as I know he and his jolly band of searchers have not systematically examined the area.

Myris of Alexandria said...

Stephy, my little sweetie pie, did you do any parsing at school or did you attend a comprehensive rather than a grammar?

I agree not one of my better efforts but the trouble was an overabundance of verbs rather than a dearth. The sentence has four verbs, indeed the second word is, is one, it comes from the verb to be,(present tense, third person, active voice); has comes from the verb to have; needs from the verb to need and of course to do needs little expansion. The given words become more elegant on the removal of either has or needs, your choice.

Of course folks with pseudonyms have much much more to reveal but as many of the data are not theirs, but sweetly paid for, they won't, like all good blogs what is revealed is what is revealed (deep eh!). Knowing the answer beforehand makes predicting a far safer science.

Glandy crosses the minds of the pet rock boys often.

Mavis of Alexadria would be a very different poem. Bother, I shall now have to see if I can transcribe Mavis into Egyptian hieroglyphs- back to blessed Terry P and P'tracy. One of his best conceits.
Am reviewing Scranton's The mystery of Skara Brae: Neolithic Scotland and the Origins of Ancient Egypt. (700 words to say bonkers) -will Mave appear I wonder. We may not have seen the last of Dusky Mave/Musky Dave.

M

BRIAN JOHN said...

If I may give a medical prognosis here, I suspect the villain is this thing called "mobile phone large-finger syndrome", which causes commas and apostrophes to end up in all the wrong places, full stops to disappear without trace, and sensible text to end up as gobbledeygook. The only treatment, as far as I am aware, involves teaching people to type their messages on computers with large keyboards. Remember them?

TonyH said...

Laird Scranton? Is he/she the figment of someone's fervent imagination or is he/she for real? Website seemed instantaneously very keen to lure me into its web......no thanks! "Come into my parlour", etc,etc....

Give me Screaming Lord Sutch anytime. Who's he working for these days? Marvellous, reflective bloke.

TonyH said...

Some of Dr Ixer's pal's efforts on here in very recent times have been of the top order, grammatically and language construction - wise. Full marks! Much better, shows great effort... and perspiration possibly? Have tipped off "Which?", so expect them to give him a Literary Award, or a Reviewer's Award at least. No seriously, Jolly Good Show, Myris! Splendid!


"It's Getting Better All The Time", courtesy the Erstwhile Quarrymen of Penny Lane ('used to be bad to my Peek,.... now I can't complain').

Steve Potter said...

Well, Brian, you provide a very charitable excuse for some of the self-indulgent drivel that appears on this site from time to time, but if I may say so, you miss a point.

This blog has value beyond mere entertainment and a means of sounding off. It’s an alternative to the standard methods of academic discourse which is open to all, and it aspires not to be an echo-chamber: you welcome discussion and dissenting views. In return for that right of expression all contributors have a duty, in my view, to take the trouble to express themselves in clear English.

A fondness for Occam’s razor and a deep dislike of pseudoscience notwithstanding, I have no particular axe to grind with respect to the glacial/human transport hypotheses, but if I were to judge the arguments put forward on this site on the basis of clarity of expression and scientific integrity, glacial transport would win hands down. No contest.

AG said...

RE: My post. As Brian has suggested for so many years, The alternative and most sensible name for the "Bluestones" is "erratic".

All this suggested despite my amateurism and fondness for scrumpy. And yes I did attend a comprehensive school rather than a grammar!

How amusing must the privately educated find the small petty minded bigotry and snobbery of some Grammar school educated working class lads for their comprehensive school educated fellows.

I presume Myris's mother inculculated into him the desire to scorn the offspring of those women like my Mum who with flagrant disregard for social norms, failed to scrub and polish their doorsteps within an inch of their life, or to wash or twitch their net curtains with any sort of regularity?.

What slatterns and utter low life !I'm afraid she also liked a drink!Shock Horror!

Cheers

Alex Gee