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Monday, 18 September 2017

Engleheart on Boles Barrow and the Bluestones



On looking again at the Boles Barrow material, I was reminded of this comment from Rev Engleheart, tagged onto the end of the article by Howard Cunnington in the 1924 Wilts Magazine, p 432.

https://archive.org/stream/wiltshirearchaeo421922192#page/436/mode/2up

He has his dates all wrong, which is not terribly surprising-- and he tells a nice tale about the Neolithic bluestone argonauts passing by Heytesbury, dropping and breaking a bluestone monolith, and then chucking the pieces into Boles Barrow along with many chunks of sarsen collected from the vicinity.  But the reverend gentleman was a pretty good observer, and he states quite categorically that the bluestones at Stonehenge "were not quarried but were picked up as boulders, more or less worn and smoothed by the action of the ice and exposure through ages to the weather."  A man after my own heart -- agreeing with Thomas about a glacial transport process, and saying what I have been saying for years about the characteristics of the Stonehenge bluestones (apart from a few which have clearly been worked).

And talking of those fragments in the debitage -- "one at least shows unmistakable ice-striation".  That's rather interesting.  I wonder what happened to that fragment?

As I have said before, the quarrying fantasy did not start with Thomas, but with Atkinson and those who followed him.  So that particular myth is really only about 60 years old. 


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