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Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
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GLADMAN
922 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 04, 2010, 23:41
Perhaps a rather obvious question - so advance apologies to all the archaeologists - but has anyone ever come up with a plausible reason as to why Stonehenge is just so, well, different to any other site in these Isles? To my knowledge no other surviving site has utilised the 'trilithon' configuration, so where did the idea come from? A group of classical immigrants? And why were the Bluestones deemed so important to be continuously recycled. I've been to Carn Meini and assumed that I'd seen quarry sites there, with unused roughouts lying about? The glaciation theory would mean these were natural weathering?

I guess the bluestone glaciation debate will run and run... don't think there is currently enough data for a conclusive answer, if that will ever be possible... but bearing in mind the uniqueness of the site and that something seriously important was obviously going on at Stonehenge, why would there appear to have been no attempt at imitation - even on the most basic scale - anywhere else? Other ideas seem to have caught on pretty fast..
megadread
1202 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 05, 2010, 00:16
GLADMAN wrote:
but bearing in mind the uniqueness of the site and that something seriously important was obviously going on at Stonehenge, why would there appear to have been no attempt at imitation - even on the most basic scale - anywhere else? Other ideas seem to have caught on pretty fast..


Maybe it was one last attempt to save a dying "religion", or a way of life.
I guess we'll never know.
Sanctuary
Sanctuary
4698 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 05, 2010, 06:45
megadread wrote:
GLADMAN wrote:
but bearing in mind the uniqueness of the site and that something seriously important was obviously going on at Stonehenge, why would there appear to have been no attempt at imitation - even on the most basic scale - anywhere else? Other ideas seem to have caught on pretty fast..


Maybe it was one last attempt to save a dying "religion", or a way of life.
I guess we'll never know.


That would be my take on it as well Geoff. The coming to the end of a way of life and a possible take-over from 'outsiders' with alternative or new beliefs. The whole site would appear to be a bastardisation of various ideas/cultures/beliefs that just continually throw spanners into the works and prevent out true understanding of it. One thing is for sure though, IF the bluestones were dragged from Wales then it was for one hell of a good reason that people would put themselves to SO much trouble for and I think that makes for the most important issue. I don't personally think all of it, maybe one stage only, was for the 'ancestors' as MPP thinks but for their own continuence of life into the hereafter. That, to my way of thinking, was THE most important reason of all to sweat and toil like your very life depended on it....which of course it would have done!!
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 05, 2010, 08:13
GLADMAN wrote:
To my knowledge no other surviving site has utilised the 'trilithon' configuration, so where did the idea come from? A group of classical immigrants?


Timber circles may have had "lintels " and considering the reference to wood in the stonehenge architecture this could have been a source of inspiration .
mountainman
90 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 05, 2010, 08:51
Littlestone wrote:
Is it not even more magnificent to think of glacier ice playing a significant role in the Stonehenge story? Why do so many people have a problem with that?


Some people might have a problem with that but I'm not one of them. Nor do I have a problem with imagining that the Bluestones were moved manually. But what about you? Are you saying, categorically, that the Bluestones could not have been moved manually from Preseli to Stonehenge?


I would never use the word "impossible" -- but what we are talking about here is weight of evidence, and probabilities. This is not something one can quantify, but if pressed I would say it is now 90% probable that glacier ice carried the stones from West Wales to the Somerset - Wilts area (up from 80% a year ago, in view of the extra geology now available, showing that there are stones and fragments from even more localities on Salisbury Plain). What is the weight of evidence and probability of the stones having been moved all the way by human agencies? Maybe 10% at best?
mountainman
90 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 05, 2010, 08:55
megadread wrote:
GLADMAN wrote:
but bearing in mind the uniqueness of the site and that something seriously important was obviously going on at Stonehenge, why would there appear to have been no attempt at imitation - even on the most basic scale - anywhere else? Other ideas seem to have caught on pretty fast..


Maybe it was one last attempt to save a dying "religion", or a way of life.
I guess we'll never know.


Well, I have suggested that it was a folly. Just think about it -- you know it makes sense:

http://brian-mountainman.blogspot.com/
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 05, 2010, 09:06
mountainman wrote:
Littlestone wrote:
Is it not even more magnificent to think of glacier ice playing a significant role in the Stonehenge story? Why do so many people have a problem with that?


Some people might have a problem with that but I'm not one of them. Nor do I have a problem with imagining that the Bluestones were moved manually. But what about you? Are you saying, categorically, that the Bluestones could not have been moved manually from Preseli to Stonehenge?


I would never use the word "impossible" -- but what we are talking about here is weight of evidence, and probabilities. This is not something one can quantify, but if pressed I would say it is now 90% probable that glacier ice carried the stones from West Wales to the Somerset - Wilts area (up from 80% a year ago, in view of the extra geology now available, showing that there are stones and fragments from even more localities on Salisbury Plain). What is the weight of evidence and probability of the stones having been moved all the way by human agencies? Maybe 10% at best?


We have been over this ground before ( pun groan ) and as glaciation had an impact on most of the areas where megaliths are found in Britain it could always be a reasonable explanation . However not so far from those areas where glaciation had a 0% impact we find that megaliths have been moved great distances by human agency . Fwiw I think the glaciation idea is plausible but we are a long way from being able to prove it . The human agency theory , whilst possible is almost impossible to prove . Even finding a local human and auroch cemetery whose tooth enamel show they were from Pembrokeshire might not be enough . The only real evidence is going to come from the earth sciences and only if it can categorically state the bluestones were never moved to the area by glaciation can the human agency theory be accepted by those that believe otherwise . It's all a bit angels and pins to me .
nigelswift
8067 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 05, 2010, 09:11
mountainman wrote:
Littlestone wrote:
Is it not even more magnificent to think of glacier ice playing a significant role in the Stonehenge story? Why do so many people have a problem with that?


Some people might have a problem with that but I'm not one of them. Nor do I have a problem with imagining that the Bluestones were moved manually. But what about you? Are you saying, categorically, that the Bluestones could not have been moved manually from Preseli to Stonehenge?


I would never use the word "impossible" -- but what we are talking about here is weight of evidence, and probabilities. This is not something one can quantify, but if pressed I would say it is now 90% probable that glacier ice carried the stones from West Wales to the Somerset - Wilts area (up from 80% a year ago, in view of the extra geology now available, showing that there are stones and fragments from even more localities on Salisbury Plain). What is the weight of evidence and probability of the stones having been moved all the way by human agencies? Maybe 10% at best?


No no no no (with respect!) You can't validly put percentages on unknowns.
It's like saying it's 90% (or 10% or 99.9%) likely there are aliens out there.

The only sensible approach is to assess if a particular scenario "could have" happened and I guess both scenarios (and a big spectrum of hybrid ones) could have happened.

To say human agency is only 10% likely is based on what precisely? (bearing in mind there have been scores of successful stone moving exercises worldwide)
nigelswift
8067 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 05, 2010, 09:21
tiompa wrote:
Timber circles may have had "lintels " and considering the reference to wood in the stonehenge architecture this could have been a source of inspiration .

Despite having suggested you can't put percentages on unknowns I reckon it's 99.999% certain there were pre-existing Stonehenge-type timber monuments.
You'd have to be seriously tapped to construct tongue and groove and mortise and tenon joints in massive sarsens without having first learned to create them in wood!
GLADMAN
922 posts

Re: Myths, truths and theories - Stonehenge
Sep 05, 2010, 10:12
nigelswif wrote:
Despite having suggested you can't put percentages on unknowns I reckon it's 99.999% certain there were pre-existing Stonehenge-type timber monuments.
You'd have to be seriously tapped to construct tongue and groove and mortise and tenon joints in massive sarsens without having first learned to create them in wood!


I agree.. timber lintels would have been a good idea from a purely structural stability point of view, too, but unless we happen to find a timber circle-henge sunken in some peat bog we'll never know for sure.... My problem has always been why, since the geographical spread of circle-henge is pretty wide, is Stonehenge the only one with stone lintels? Did everyone else think 'barmy chieftain so and so is SO old school .. I mean, have you seen his big effort he's putting up to try and rival Avebury. Now there's a proper temple... muppet'

The evidence would therefore seem to be that the Stonehenge builders were totally out of synch with general perception. Could this trait have also led them to some insanely extravagant public show of bringing stones all the way from Preseli? It would take a nutter to do something that barmy, I guess.
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