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Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
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Littlestone
Littlestone
5386 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 06, 2010, 08:59
Sanctuary wrote:
Have a look at some of this amazing stonework. If you scroll down you will find the dovetail joints I mentioned at Dendera.

http://davidpratt.info/andes2.htm


Amazing!
nigelswift
8067 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 06, 2010, 09:02
Wow! Love the stone-softening leaves....
Littlestone
Littlestone
5386 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 06, 2010, 09:35
Yup, makes sense though.

There's so much we don't know (or have lost). Fermented persimmon juice is a waterproofing agent for paper - coat it on any ferrous metal though and it produces a hard black surface that'll prevent it rusting (I know, I've done it).

Then there's the Iron pillar of Delhi that might be as much as one and a half thousand years old. The pillar, "...is 98% pure wrought iron, and is a testament to the high level of skill achieved by ancient Indian blacksmiths. It has attracted the attention of both archaeologists and metallurgists, as it has withstood corrosion for over 1,600 years in the open air." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_pillar_of_Delhi
BuckyE
468 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 07, 2010, 23:18
My brother Pete has a mantra, picked up from a former employer: "If you're working hard, you're doing it wrong." The idea being that there's always some trick of the trade, some better way to arrange materials, something, to make the manual labor relatively easy.

Absolutely we've lost many techniques that made pyramids and cyclopean masonry and so forth much less physical effort than we imagine was put into them.
Resonox
604 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 08, 2010, 05:32
BuckyE wrote:
My brother Pete has a mantra, picked up from a former employer: "If you're working hard, you're doing it wrong." The idea being that there's always some trick of the trade, some better way to arrange materials, something, to make the manual labor relatively easy.


LOL..My late uncle had a similar mantra(though not with the same sentiment)
"If you're working hard ...the boss is watching!!"
nigelswift
8067 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 08, 2010, 06:42
BuckyE wrote:
Absolutely we've lost many techniques that made pyramids and cyclopean masonry and so forth much less physical effort than we imagine was put into them.


I so agree with this. If you watch an old boy using a scythe or a shovel it's clear that 30 years of experience has taught him to do it just right, far better than the strongest, fittest townie. And if you watch someone hedge laying it's evident the same can be said of crafts that have been developed and refined over many generations.

Which is why I think we tend to be bedazzled by the idea of people pulling big stones in the old days. It was do-able, without great fuss. When you first try it it seems impossible, then you tweak what you're doing, and again and again. The first time the Stonehengineers (unfit townies) tried it they improved their efficiency every few minutes and on the second day they tripled it with some minor changes to the technique. Oh, and then we got a fit tug 'o war team on the job and the stone moved so fast it left scorch marks. Almost. ;)

Add to that a couple of years or generations of accrued experience and they could obviously do what seems magical to us, stuff we just don't have the time to replicate.
Sanctuary
Sanctuary
4698 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 08, 2010, 07:14
nigelswift wrote:
BuckyE wrote:
Absolutely we've lost many techniques that made pyramids and cyclopean masonry and so forth much less physical effort than we imagine was put into them.


I so agree with this. If you watch an old boy using a scythe or a shovel it's clear that 30 years of experience has taught him to do it just right, far better than the strongest, fittest townie. And if you watch someone hedge laying it's evident the same can be said of crafts that have been developed and refined over many generations.

Which is why I think we tend to be bedazzled by the idea of people pulling big stones in the old days. It was do-able, without great fuss. When you first try it it seems impossible, then you tweak what you're doing, and again and again. The first time the Stonehengineers (unfit townies) tried it they improved their efficiency every few minutes and on the second day they tripled it with some minor changes to the technique. Oh, and then we got a fit tug 'o war team on the job and the stone moved so fast it left scorch marks. Almost. ;)

Add to that a couple of years or generations of accrued experience and they could obviously do what seems magical to us, stuff we just don't have the time to replicate.


Unless you're trying to strike a match on jelly then I don't think there's much you can't do if you have the manpower, the will and a damn good reason for doing it. And yes of course the methods adopted could only improve the more you do it as you learn more, but the 'want' to do it must still remain I believe for it to be fully effective!
Emyr-j
2 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
May 08, 2012, 22:40
I know i've missed the boat slightly with this one but have just joined the site and have a few things to add. As a local to the preseli area I have often wandered about the blue stones going to stonehenge. Several programes I've watched about stonehenge mention the fact that of the so called "blue stones" only about half of them are spotted dollerite and actually came from carn meini. The rest are a mixture of stones believed to come from south wales generally.
On this note I came across an excavation in the valley bellow my house last autumn, Mike Parker Pierce (I think), renowned stonehenge archaeologist and a team from sheffield university were excavating around a rock outcrop on the avon berian valley, a tributary of the river nevern. Geologists had taken samples from the outcrop (looking for the sources of the other "blue stones") and the end of the outcrop had given them a exact match for 2 of these stones, 5 or more other samples had been taken from the outcrop, but the sheer cliff side was the only true match. They'd excavated along the side of this cliff face and found a couple of stone tools, they then came out further from the face and unearthed a stone some 10 foot by 4 foot by about 2 foot thick. They were convinced that this was a neolithic quarried stone destined for stonehenge or some local henge, having been abandoned because it had cracked and a section underneath had come loose.
The theory that the blue stones were carried to salisbry plain by glacial action can't really account for this, a neolithic quarry site in a enclosed valley, on the wrong side of the preselis with an exact geological match for stones that are part of stonehenge.
The archaeologists are due back at some point this summer to take the excavations further, looking for evidence of which way the stones were moved (up stream towards the preselis or down stream towards the sea)... They were very excited and said that this was the first time a neolithic quarry had been found with an abandoned stone. Funnily enough at their talk they did in Newport after the dig, Brian John stood up and did his "we all know it was glaciers" speech, but I just don't see how they'd take a few stones from one place, a couple more from somewhere else and them all be the right size to be used in a structure like stonehenge
Littlestone
Littlestone
5386 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
May 08, 2012, 22:58
Ach! This is one of those great old TMA threads - thanks for resurrecting it!
Emyr-j
2 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
May 19, 2012, 17:25
Not quite sure when the archaeologists r back, but will keep an eye out for them. Will post a few pictures when they re-excavate the abandoned stone...and update on what they find
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