Sunday, 4 September 2011

Construction

Construction


Moving the stones must have been one of the most consuming jobs for the builders. Hawkins (1965) calculated that with sixteen men per ton, and at an average weight of thirty tons (with the trilithons weighing up to fifty!), it would have taken eight-hundred men to transport the stones via a sledge and log rollers. Even more amazingly, this process would have taken at least a full seven years! Others, up to two-hundred, were probably along just to help clear the way and guide the sledge. Numerous theories abound as to how the transport actually might have taken place, but in any case, it was a colossal endeavor.

Once at the location, the stones had to be worked using tools such as mauls weighing up to sixty pounds! Because of sarsen's extremely hard composition, the tools used to shape the stones would have had to have been made of an equally hard material, such as sarsen itself. Experimenters found that a strong man bashing away at a block of sarsen with a maul can chip away just a scant six cubic inches per hour! With at least 3,000,000 cubic inches needing to be chipped from the Stonehenge sarsens, this endeavor alone could have taken a considerable amount of time. This dressing, of course, was only the coarsest of the process, with many more days spent smoothing the stone to its final shape.

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