Friday 21 April 2023

The Glacial Transport Theory - What Is Behind It?

There is not a scrap of evidence for any Glacial Transport of Bluestones to Salisbury Plain so what underpins the belief in it?

Dr. Brian John  has just repeated again and expanded on an extract from Chapter 5 of his "The Bluestone Enigma", pp 78-80, and explains.

"There are also real difficulties in imagining the "mental maps" that Neolithic people might have had of seaways and coastal configurations, and hazards including reefs and shoals. What was their capacity for planning long-distance routes? The fact that we know that long voyages were completed in the Neolithic does not necessarily mean that people were actually planning to get from A to B. They may have hoped to go to C, because some seafarer told them there were wondrous things there, fifteen days' sailing towards a particular star in the heavens, and ended up at B instead. There must have been a huge random element in these ancient voyages. And of course for every successful voyage that we may be able to reconstruct, there would have been hundreds or thousands that failed, with seafarers lost without trace...
In retrospect, much of this also applies to land navigation and to the idea of hauling 80 bluestones on the A40 route now postulated by the archaeologists."

There it is - the doubt that Neolithic people had "the capacity for planning long-distant routes".

It is reminiscent of the infamous Atkinson quote about the builders of Stonehenge: "These people were what I call howling barbarians, practically savages.."

It is that simple.  Atkinson apparently later regretted the remark and changed his opinion. So maybe there is hope. 

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