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New glacier theory on Stonehenge
BBC News ^ | June 13, 2006

Posted on 06/13/2006 7:27:54 AM PDT by billorites

A geology team has contradicted claims that bluestones were dug by Bronze Age man from a west Wales quarry and carried 240 miles to build Stonehenge.

In a new twist, Open University geologists say the stones were in fact moved to Salisbury Plain by glaciers.

Last year archaeologists said the stones came from the Preseli Hills.

Recent research in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology suggests the stones were ripped from the ground and moved by glaciers during the Ice Age.

Geologists from the Open University first claimed in 1991 that the bluestones at one of Britain's best-known historic landmarks had not come from a quarry, but from different sources in the Preseli area.

The recent work was conducted by a team headed by Professor Olwen Williams-Thorpe, who said she and her colleagues had used geochemical analysis to trace the origins of axe heads found at Stonehenge and this backed up the original work.

There has been a great reluctance to allow facts to interfere with a good story
Dr Brian John

"We concluded that the small number of axes that are actually bluestone derive from several different outcrops within Preseli," she said.

"Axes found at or near Stonehenge are very likely to be from the same outcrops as the monoliths, and could even be made of left-over bits of the monoliths."

The research

Dr Brian John, a geomorphologist living in Pembrokeshire, said he always thought the idea that Bronze Age man had quarried the stones and then taken them so far "stretched credibility".

But he said the debate would go on until someone was able to prove beyond doubt what happened one way or the other.

"This is very exciting, and it moves the bluestone debate on from the fanciful and unscientific assertions of the past," he said.

"Much of the archaeology in recent years has been based upon the assumption that Bronze Age man had a reason for transporting bluestones all the way from west Wales to Stonehenge and the technical capacity to do it.

"That has been the ruling hypothesis, and there has been a great reluctance to allow facts to interfere with a good story.

"Glaciers may move very slowly, but they have an excellent record when it comes to the transport of large stones from one part of the country to another."



TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeoastronomy; brianjohn; carngoedog; catastrophism; craigrhosyfelin; dolerite; dyfedelisgruffydd; glaciers; godsgravesglyphs; johndownes; lwenwilliamsthorpe; megaliths; neolithic; pembrokeshire; preselihills; rhosyfelin; rhyolite; stonehenge; wales
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1 posted on 06/13/2006 7:27:56 AM PDT by billorites
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To: billorites

Bluestone Delivery Service, When it has to absolutely, positively get there sometime during the next inter-glacial period.......


2 posted on 06/13/2006 7:32:16 AM PDT by Red Badger (Liberals ignore criminal behavior, reward sloth and revere incompetence...........)
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To: billorites

Coming from a cold part of the world I always thought that the stones might have been dragged over snow and ice but this makes even more sense.

Usually the most simple explanation is correct.


3 posted on 06/13/2006 7:32:53 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (The Stations of the Cross in Poetry ---> http://www.wayoftears.com)
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To: Straight Vermonter

Your all mad! Merlyn made the stones MARCH to Stonehenge! Duh!


4 posted on 06/13/2006 7:39:42 AM PDT by 50sDad (ST3d: Real Star Trek 3d Chess: http://my.ohio.voyager.net/~abartmes/tactical.htm)
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To: billorites

Interesting book on Stonehenge by Harry Harrison.

This rousing adventure story set in the Europe of 1473 B. C. Above all sets out to entertain. But it also has a rather more serious purpose - to expound another theory about the reasons for the building of the fascinating stone circles.


5 posted on 06/13/2006 7:45:35 AM PDT by HuntsvilleTxVeteran ("Remember the Alamo, Goliad and WACO, It is Time for a new San Jacinto")
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To: Straight Vermonter

Nah, gotta be aliens. What is Stonehenge if not the original crop circle?


6 posted on 06/13/2006 7:49:11 AM PDT by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada!)
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To: billorites; SunkenCiv
"Much of the archaeology in recent years has been based upon the assumption that Bronze Age man had a reason for transporting bluestones all the way from west Wales to Stonehenge and the technical capacity to do it.

"That has been the ruling hypothesis, and there has been a great reluctance to allow facts to interfere with a good story."
7 posted on 06/13/2006 7:50:11 AM PDT by ForGod'sSake (ABCNNBCBS: An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.)
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To: Red Badger

"..............it's only a model."


8 posted on 06/13/2006 7:53:05 AM PDT by ALASKA
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To: billorites

There's something I've wondered about for years, and that is, what happened to the missing stones at Stonehenge? When you look at it, it's obvious that some are missing, and it would be quite a feat to haul one off!

Maybe there just weren't enough stones of a suitable size there in the first place, and so only those were used in its construction. There's enough there to do the astronomical observations and, enough to show exactly where the others should be placed to finish the job.


9 posted on 06/13/2006 8:07:21 AM PDT by RonHolzwarth ("History repeats itself - first as tragedy, then as farce" - Karl Marx)
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To: billorites

So what are the odds that the stones were in a much older structure and the glacier destroyed the place and pushed the stones to where they were re-used by the builders of Stonehenge? I mean, Anthony West has a credible theory that the foundation blocks (carved blocks set under the pyramids and Sphinx) under the Giza plateau are perhaps hundreds of thousands years old, matching the age of blocks at Obiados (sp?).


10 posted on 06/13/2006 8:10:20 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: ALASKA

"Look, look. Look, this is what I was asked to build. Eighteen inches. Right here, it specified eighteen inches. I was given this napkin, I mean..."


11 posted on 06/13/2006 8:11:48 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Red Badger

Makes sense to me, my grandfather lives in Devon and we would occasionally drive over to see a place called Haytor. Its basically the top of a mountain that was ripped off by the glaciers and dropped on the moors in Cornwall. I often wondered why this explanation was never given for the boulders used in Stonehenge. They may have been more conveniently located than people think.


12 posted on 06/13/2006 8:14:57 AM PDT by stacytec (Nihilism, its whats for dinner)
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To: ForGod'sSake; blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks ForGod'sSake for the ping. I would like to know however what the basis is for the claim, since there are *so many* megalithic structures (including the passage graves, and Carnac in Brittany, Avebury, Callanish, Mystery Hill, etc etc).
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13 posted on 06/13/2006 9:01:00 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (All Moslems everywhere advocate murder, including mass murder, and they do it all the time.)
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To: MHGinTN

Hoagland is favoring that idea. The foundations of the pyramids would be 200,000 years old. We ought to keep that idea around since it would hard to dismiss outright without putting unnecessary limits on our speculation.


14 posted on 06/13/2006 9:04:39 AM PDT by RightWhale (Off touch and out of base)
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To: RightWhale

Schoch and West have looked carefully at the erosion around the base of the Sphinx. Their conclusions seem too solid to ignore, that the erosion had to happen when there was abundant rain on the Giza plateau, and that would have to be more than ten thousand years ago. When one looks at the Sphinx dimensions, it is silly to assert that the face and body were carved at the same time, by people who took great care to NOT distort dimensions when building, decorating. Anthony West is a first rate researcher, and it's silly to dismiss his theories just because they don't fit the 'established' notions. Such perspective on the nature of the solar system (historically) is an example of how 'established' notions can be fundamentally flawed and in need of major revision ... masses of evidence were ignored and put aside because they didn't fit the established notions.


15 posted on 06/13/2006 10:01:03 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: SunkenCiv
"I would like to know however what the basis is for the claim, since there are *so many* megalithic structures (including the passage graves, and Carnac in Brittany, Avebury, Callanish, Mystery Hill, etc etc). "

And, if a glacier moved them over to Stonehenge, how many Blue Stones have been found 'strewn along the route' from the outcropping?

16 posted on 06/13/2006 10:05:49 AM PDT by blam
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To: RonHolzwarth
what happened to the missing stones at Stonehenge? When you look at it, it's obvious that some are missing, and it would be quite a feat to haul one off!

If memory serves (too busy at the moment to check specific sources) many were indeed hauled off for building stone. The same thing happened at nearby Avebury until the authorities stopped the practice.

The same thing has occurred around the world, including at the Parthenon, the Egyptian pyramids, etc. Humans are notorious and inventive scroungers.

17 posted on 06/13/2006 10:05:56 AM PDT by Bernard Marx (Fools and fanatics are always certain of themselves, but the wise are full of doubts.)
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To: billorites

Only way to prove any of this is a 'time machine' and since that will probably never be a reality we will just have to play around with theories.


18 posted on 06/13/2006 10:22:51 AM PDT by Dustbunny (Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me)
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To: blam

Exactly. I don't have any particular trouble with the concept of large stones being moved and deposited, but since it is the Salisbury PLAIN, why should it be expected that the glaciers made a delivery of a pile of like stones in a convenient spot? :')


19 posted on 06/13/2006 10:52:47 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (All Moslems everywhere advocate murder, including mass murder, and they do it all the time.)
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Here's an oldie:
Did Swiss Immigrant Build Stonehenge?
by Michael McDonough
An early Bronze Age archer, whose grave was discovered near the stone circle last year, may have helped build the monument. And tests on the chemical components of his tooth enamel showed he grew up in the region that is now Switzerland... The 4,000-year-old man was identified as an archer because of the flint arrowheads found by his body, along with other artifacts belonging to the Beaker Culture that flourished in the Alps during the Bronze Age... The 100 artifacts found in his exceptionally rich grave, discovered about three miles from Stonehenge, indicate he was "obviously a very prominent man" and likely involved in constructing the monument, Wessex Archaeology spokesman Tony Trueman said. Although the indigenous British originally came from mainland Europe, they settled thousands of years before the arrival of the archer, who clearly belonged to a different culture, marked by a new style of pottery, the use of barbed flat arrow heads, copper knives and small gold ornaments. His grave contained teeth and bones as well as two gold hair tresses, three copper knives, flint arrowheads, wrist guards and pottery. The copper knives came from Spain and France. The gold dated to as early as 2470 B.C., the earliest dated gold objects found in Britain.

20 posted on 06/13/2006 10:57:08 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (All Moslems everywhere advocate murder, including mass murder, and they do it all the time.)
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