Tuesday 23 March 2021

Stonehenge Cart Tracks?

Landscape and Monuments
Mike Parker Pearson, Joshua Pollard, Colin Richards, Julian Thomas, Chris Tilley & Kate Welham | 2020

Within this book there is a discussion and diagrams of the Cart Tracks or Wheel-Ruts that were discovered within the Avenue at Stonehenge and that overlie the periglacial grooves.

Cart tracks should, I think, come in pairs which are the right width apart, and at first sight the figure doesn't show this:

It appears they follow the lines of the fissures rather than being independent features. I can only presume the fissures are softer ground and so rut more.

The oft repeated myth that railway lines are the same width apart as carts and chariots wheels does have a bit of truth to it. The width of cart tracks will be between 1.2 and 2 metres with the usual width about 1.4 - 1.5m. 

So do these features have these properties. On closer examination it seems that they do as I have tried to show with paired parallel lines. It isn't as clear as might be hoped for and some crushed stone in the bottom of the ruts would have been helpful.

Click to embiggen


  1. Just to let you know, Tim, that I have today proposed what I believe to be a brand new theory for those sarsen trilithons.

    See tail-end of my current posting (aka "mini-textbook" in the making!).


    Answer to conundrum (some 9 years in the making, with several hypotheses re those enigmatic lintels flagged up, then later discarded):

    Stonehenge was designed as a communal breeding livestock centre ("CBLC"), with secure tethering of the heavyweight members, breeding bulls especially, the main concern. Local farmers brought in their cows for - guess what?

    Colin Berry

    Herts, UK

  2. Correction: "CLBC" - Communal Livestock Breeding Centre (cattle especially, bulls in particular).

  3. Have just changed my Stonehenge site's banner to flag up the latest thinking (which I suspect is the final hunch that ticks for me at any rate, most if not all the boxes re the purpose of installing those heavyweight lintels at Stonehenge).

    The latter were an essential ingredient to a site that promoted itself in the late Neolithic era - 4000 to 5000 years ago - as a CLBD (- i.e. Communal Livestock Breeding Centre- for cows and bulls especially) !

    Farmers were looking for a stable centralised secure tethering points for the otherwise troublesome bulls - securely-constrained nearby - a few miles away at most - to supply calves - albeit in the fullness of time - for their own otherwise docile quietly-grazing milk-supplying cows.

    Bulls had their uses, natch, but supplying milk on a daily basis was not one of them.

    Answer: keep the bulls segregated in a separate convenient location (like, guess what? Stonehenge?) for an occasional one-off purpose, needing just their 2 hindlegs for support while doing the business- not the full four!

  4. Have just posted the following comment to my own site: ;-)

    "Three or four days have passed since putting up this new explanation for Stonehenge and its mighty lintels. Thus far: no response whatsoever, here or elsewhere.

    Does that surprise me? No! Why should it? I’m the originator of what must surely be the most banal, yawn-provoking, eye-glazing solution to the otherwise mind-challenging enigma of Stonehenge.

    Mind you, explanations that are banal etc. are not necessarily wrong! They just look wrong alongside those mind-blitzing ideas like Stonehenge serving to track annual, twice a year midsummer v midwinter solstices (longest v shortest days of the year).

    I raise my hat to you, Rev.Dr.William Stukeley. You stamped your authority back in 1740. Shame however there wasn’t more by way of factual support, bar that opening in the bank of the causewayed enclosure – pointing to the north-east. Shame there wasn’t one pointing in the south-west also (to create a diametrically-opposed AXIS for the claimed solstitial alignment).

    Sorry to have dropped a wet blanket on Stonehenge. I just prefer to keep my pair of plonking science-based tootsies on the ground, rooted in reality… "


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