Monday, 21 July 2014

White Lines at Stonehenge Experiment

There is some discussion at Mike Pitt's blog about the source of the white lines seen in old pictures of stones at Stonehenge. See http://mikepitts.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/james-bridges-at-stonehenge/ and for my take on it http://www.sarsen.org/2013/06/white-lines-on-stones-in-old-photos-of.html.

I thought an experiment might be in order.

The white stripes showed up on Stone 56 after Gowland had re-erected it.


Gowland doesn't say if he packed between his "stout timbers" and the stone, but the photo suggests there my have been something placed there.

I have a well lichened Sarsen gatepost, originally from West Kennett, and plenty of stout oak timbers so I have strapped one very firmly to the sarsen and will leave it there for a fortnight to see what happens.






Saturday, 19 July 2014

Stunning Stonehenge Images from July 2013

English Heritage Images have just made available some Stonehenge images from last July when the ground was very dry and certain parchmarks were noted.

The photos were taken on 10th July 2013 - Nine days before I noted the parchmarks which had obviously been hiding in full view for some time. Some of the marks are much clearer than the photos taken after 19th July. I especially note the marks around the base of Stone 56 which clearly show the outline of Gowland's trenches.



See also: 








Friday, 18 July 2014

Water, Water Everywhere

Neolithic Enclosures: A Perspective From North West England 
by David Barrowclough

https://www.academia.edu/7684902/Neolithic_Enclosures_A_Perspective_From_North_West_England

"Less 
well 
understood
 is 
the 
role 
that
 water
 plays
 in
 the
 location
 of
 these 
monument
 complexes.
In
almost
 every
 case
 study...
they 
sit 
alongside 
a 
river 
or 
water‐course
 in
 close proximity
 to 
a 
spring....The 
presence 
of 
water 
seems
 to 
have 
been 
a 
key 
factor 
in 
the 
initial 
selection
 of

locations.....The
 reason
 that 
water 
is 
so 
important 
is 
perhaps
 because 
of 
its 
religious
 significance, 

which 
explains 
why
 prehistoric 
monuments 
were 
built 
adjacent 
to 
springs 
and 
rivers...."

A fascinating discussion document but let me raise a note of scepticism
.

Firstly I am not convinced that it has been shown that enclosure monuments are significantly in closer proximity to water courses and springs than a random site in the same geographic area. Picking random locations on http://www.getamap.ordnancesurveyleisure.co.uk/ gives me "close proximity to water" in the vast majority of cases. This is a wet country. And when Stonehenge, which is out on the waterless plain is used to bolster the argument, then colour me unconvinced.

And secondly it may well be that they are associated with water, it would be odd if they were not. For the mundane and practical reasons of drinking, fishing and transport humans tend to live near water.

I am just not convinced that the specialness of their proximity has been shown or that it has been shown to be for religious rather than practical reasons, especially when the religious or ritual seems to have permeated every aspect of neolithic life.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

STONEHENGE AND AVEBURY WHS CLIMATE CHANGE RISK ASSESSMENT 2014



http://www.stonehengeandaveburywhs.org/assets/Climate-Change-RA-for-web.pdf

(As it points out the old rocks have put up with a lot of changes in the past - see http://www.sarsen.org/2013/11/building-stonehenge-in-time-of-climate.html for a graphic I found last year.)

Megalith 2014

This Megalith 2014 Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Newsletter provides information on what has been happening in and around the WHS in the past year or so. You can find out about developments in the management of the WHS such as the appointment of new Chairs for the local WHS committees and the new Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Partnership Panel and the progress of the forthcoming Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan – the first ever joint Management Plan.
It includes information on a new interpretation panel at Avebury, some excavations taking place this summer on the West Kennet Avenue and events featured in this year’s Festival of British Archaeology. 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Flying, pigs and Stonehenge - Article from EH Research News 2011

"The 20th century saw the most substantial physical alterations to Stonehenge and its surroundings since prehistory. Here, we feature snippets from just one of these – the appearance and disappearance of the Stonehenge Aerodrome."


Full article - here