Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Another quarrying sceptic

This is from another pre-publication review of the book from a senior academic whose specialism is geomorphology.  He hasn't given me permission to use his name, but this is word-for-word!

First of all, I enjoyed reading the book. Thanks for the opportunity to do so. Your passion for the subject shines through! I also read The Bluestone Enigma. I can see why you wanted to produce an updated version of the story, in particular because of the excavations at Rhos-y-felin. I agree with you that the archaeologists have over-interpreted the flimsiest of evidence and invented an imagined Neolithic mindset based on very little (if any!) in the way of facts. They damage rather than enhance the transport origin hypothesis as a result. The Rhos-y-felin site itself is unconvincing as a Neolithic quarry, and so far no forthcoming convincing evidence of human industry there has appeared in print as far as I am concerned. You convince me that the Bluestones are actually a rag-bag of rocks of South Wales provenance and not rocks only from one or two locations in the Presell Hills. This does need to be emphasized and is not what most people would have in mind.

I must be honest and state that the above para is followed by an expression of doubt about the glacial transport thesis too, and my reviewer reiterates that there is no "killer fact" which demonstrated that glacier ice might have reached Salisbury Plain.  I agree with that -- and of course, in the book I refer to the balance of probabilitiy.  He cites a number of examples where the evidence of ancient till and ancient erratics is open to interpretation, and refers to assorted technical matters relating to glacier mechanics etc.  I'll do another post on these comments, and those from other reviewers, before too long -- there are many perfectly valid points that deserve to be debated.

That having been said, if one is unconvinced by quarrying and human transport, and unconvinced by the glacial transport theses, what is left?  Merlin the Wizard, or the activities of aliens?

1 comment:

TonyH said...

I very recently stumbled across mention of a Quaternary Geomorphologist based at St David's, Lampeter, who is currently involved in work to rediscover/relocate a pair of prehistoric stone rows (possibly sandstone) in the Taw - Torridge estuary near Fremington, North Devon - a site I know from 50 years ago when the stone rows were still discernible. I gather from Brian that he knows this researcher quite well, and that they have visited Rhosyfelin and other sites togetherand had discussions.

The same person was, incidentally, in the Research Group that located 800,000 year old footprints made by a predecessor of homo sapiens on the seashore at Happisburgh, North Norfolk.