Monday 25 June 2018

Megalith quarries for Stonehenge’s bluestones

Fascinating new paper out about the Stonehenge bluestones - "persuasively lays to rest the misconception that Pliocene or Pleistocene glaciers might have been responsible for transporting the bluestones to Salisbury Plain"

Megalith quarries for Stonehenge’s bluestones

Parker Pearson, Mike, Pollard, Joshua, Richards, Colin, Welham, Kate, Casswell, Chris, Schlee, Duncan, Shaw, Dave, Simmons, Ellen, Stanford, Adam, Bevans, Richard and Ixer, Rob (2018)

"The geological and archaeological evidence from Carn Goedog, and the results from Craig Rhos-yfelin, have firmly identified Stonehenge sources and Neolithic megalith-quarrying at those outcrops. This persuasively lays to rest the misconception that Pliocene or Pleistocene glaciers might have been responsible for transporting the bluestones to Salisbury Plain (e.g. Kellaway 1971; Williams-Thorpe et al. 1997). The dating of quarrying activity at both outcrops places the megaliths’ extraction from the Preseli sources within two or three centuries of the bluestones’ first erection at Stonehenge Stage 1"

Megalith quarries for Stonehenge’s bluestones. Antiquity. (In Press)
Available under License University of Southampton Accepted Manuscript Licence.

Download (2MB)

More information
Accepted/In Press date: 1 June 2018
Local EPrints ID: 421631
ISSN: 0003-598X
PURE UUID: 37e9a6b9-8385-45ff-bbe7-7a5007dd782e


  1. If one encloses the southern end of Britain in a giant rectangle, as I have just done, one that accomodates those Welsh quarries (top left), the Suffolk coast (top right), the Dover Strait and English Channel (bottom right) and the tip of Cornwall (bottom left), then adds the two diagonals, guess where they meet?

    Answer: yes, they meet on Salisbury Plain, a little north-west of present-day Salisbury itself, and a short distance needless to say from Stonehenge itself.

    I believe that Stonehenge- with my proposed avian-assisted industrial-scale system for disposing of the newly-deceased - served a purpose attuned to the Neolithic concepts of life v death, soul-release etc. It attracted the bereaved (transporting their loved one) from scores of miles around, maybe a hundred or more. Why? Because with those unique sarsen megalith lintels (bird perches!) laboriously installed over decades, probably centuries, there could be only one Stonehenge, so it had to be centrally situated to serve the largest number of paying clients.

    Maybe it was 'ringing' dolerite and other bluestones that implanted the initial idea of moving a proto-Stonehenge from the Preseli mountains to somewhere more centrally situated. Maybe the bluestones were moved in small instalments by migrants on the move over the course of a few centuries (think human endeavour at glacial speed - now how's that for conceptual compromise?) ;-)

  2. Have just sent this email to Sarah Knapton, the Telegraph's Science Editor (I don't normally put my emails online, but am less than happy with Ms Knapton for failed to acknowledge my previous one regarding the supposed application of Pythagoras theory (ho,ho) to Stonehenge design and geographical orientation):

    Hello again Sarah

    Have just been reading your article about the standing stones near Barnstaple.

    It's fine as far as it goes, but a shame it stops short of invoking the E word, despite the passing reference to "Sea Henge".

    Even the BBC briefly invoked the E word back in 1999 when it reported on what it dubbed "Seahenge":

    It appeared shorly after the reference to the "elements, birds, wild animals". The BBC no longer mentions it, the BBC seemingly having been got at... Now there's a surprise...

    Please, PLEASE don't be party to the outrageous blind spot aka taboo displayed by English Heritage and most of the UK's archaeological establishment towards the Neolithic era's preferred two-stage means of disposing of the recently deceased (substituting more marketable, tourist-friendly 'archaeoastronomy' - alignments to summer or winter solstices, vernal equinoxes, anything vaguely related to the sun, moon, Planet Zog etc ).

    I refer to first stage avian-assisted "sky burial" to facilitate "soul release", probably followed in most instances by cremation of what was left, presenting the bereaved finally with a sterile take-home package of body ashes, not too dissimilar finally from modern day practice (except they did not have efficient gas-fired crematoria for dealing with whole bodies so had to seek out an alternative - for which Mother Nature provided on the wing (the voracious seagull being probably the British substitute for the Continental/Middle East vulture).

    Kind regards

    Colin Berry (PhD, retired biomedical scientist)

  3. Shame about this site's lack of Stonehenge-focused followers/responders. How much longer before there's an active vibrant Stonehenge forum? Why's there not one right now? I suspect dark forces at work, attempting to suppress new thinking...

    Never mind - Tim's site is still somewhere to put things on record.

    Any future historians looking for evidence of the sheer rotteness of the UK mass media in reporting on Stonehenge (and much else besides) could do a lot worse than view what appeared this morning on the Mail's website:

    Garbage. Complete garbage from start to finish, not even delivering on the stony-road HEADLINE allegedly used to transport bluestone megaliths from Wales to Stonehenge with ambiguity as regards precise route (plus the obligatory input of tourist-attracting propaganda from English Heritage)

    The UK's mass media is a disgrace - a total disgrace- and has been for the last 20-30 years at least (things used to be be better when there were the occasional 'in-depth'
    articles that have now all but disappeared, being replaced by brain-dead non-joined-up thinking shallowness...

    Where are the learned societies? Why aren't they protesting? Why are they all but invisible on the national scene?


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