Stonehenge

catseye

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They are stones, they've lasted a few billion years, give or take a weekend, they aren't going to wear out if you don't erect them in a circle. I mean, I am firmly in MPP's corner here, but I'd still like to see the 'extended Director's cut' of that programme, with all the real information in, rather than the stuff that's going to make the average punter go 'oooh'.
 

pandacracker

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I've just done a quick search and can't find anything but my question is; are there other Preseli bluestone megaliths we know of?
 

Aurora Newman

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Waun Mawn. They did it by looking at the quartz in the soil. The dude had to be covered over with a black sheet. So as not to excite the quartz and ruin the test with the sun light. He used red light and dug deep. Then put it into the machine later for analasys. Quartz keeps a spark of solar activity in it and he extracted quartz that had not been seen by the sun since those times. They took it to test dated it to 3400BC. They couldn't do carbon dating because it's on marsh lands.
 
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maximus otter

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I got round to watching it yesterday evening.

l found the “DNA fingerprinting” of the bluestones by chemical analysis to be interesting; the actual DNA testing of remains from Stonehenge suggesting a possible Welsh origin was new to me, and suggests further avenues of enquiry.

l have to say, however, that Prof. Pearson’s linking of the Waun Mawn “hole” to the Stonehenge stone caused my brow to furrow and my lips to purse...

maximus otter
 

catseye

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Waun Mawn. They did it by looking at the quartz in the soil. The dude had to be covered over with a black sheet. So as not to excite the quartz and ruin the test with the sun light. He used red light and dug deep. Then put it into the machine later for analasys. Quartz keeps a spark of solar activity in it and he extracted quartz that had not been seen by the sun since those times. They took it to test dated it to 3400BC. They couldn't do carbon dating because it's on marsh lands.
But that only proves when the soil was last disturbed. There are lots of reasons that the quartz could have been exposed to sunlight, and they don't all relate to moving the stones.
 

Analogue Boy

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I’d still just like to know how they could remove a huge stone from the ground and still leave a perfect imprint hole.
 

catseye

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And why they deduced that the Stonehenge bones were from people from Wales when, as someone pointed out earlier, the same isotope signatures could have come from Dorset? Unless there were other things that were diagnostic of Wales in particular and we just weren't told this. The whole thing was a bit...simplistic, but I guess you alienate the more casual viewer if you start using specialist or very precise terms.
 

ramonmercado

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And why they deduced that the Stonehenge bones were from people from Wales when, as someone pointed out earlier, the same isotope signatures could have come from Dorset? Unless there were other things that were diagnostic of Wales in particular and we just weren't told this. The whole thing was a bit...simplistic, but I guess you alienate the more casual viewer if you start using specialist or very precise terms.

The skeletons were intermingled with those of sheep.
 

GNC

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What we need is a nice Forum piece in the mag about this.
 

hunck

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Here's a lengthy & detailed Cambridge Uni Press article on the recent findings

The shape of stone 62 at Stonehenge & it's similarity to a hole at Waun Mawn is part of the story but not a major point. Some excerpts:

Potentially, then, stone 62 began its life at Waun Mawn.

The identical diameters of Waun Mawn and the enclosing ditch of Stonehenge, and their orientations on the midsummer solstice sunrise, suggest that at least part of the Waun Mawn circle was brought from west Wales to Salisbury Plain. This interpretation complements recent isotope work that supports a hypothesis of migration of both people and animals from Wales to Stonehenge.

Another link between the two sites is provided by their shared diameters. Stonehenge is enclosed by a circular ditch with a diameter of 110m; Waun Mawn is the only known British Neolithic monument with the same diameter (see Figure 4). The imprint of stonehole 91 at Waun Mawn matches the basal cross-section of stone 62 at Stonehenge, further hinting at a close relationship between the two monuments.

While we believe a strong case can be made for Waun Mawn as the origin of at least part of Stonehenge, it is unlikely that the former circle ever contained as many as 56 standing stones—the number indicated by the Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge.

That the four unspotted dolerite Waun Mawn stones were left behind may, of course, help to explain why there are so few such pillars at Stonehenge. It seems more likely, however, that Waun Mawn contributed only a small proportion of Stonehenge's 80 or so bluestones.

The shared diameters of Waun Mawn and Stonehenge's enclosing ditch, as well as their midsummer solstice sunrise orientations, suggest that key aspects of the circle's architecture were brought by the people of west Wales to Salisbury Plain, to be both transformed and reinstated

This interpretation is supported by recent isotopic analysis on 25 of the approximately 60 cremation burials from Stonehenge. Of these 25 individuals, four (16 per cent) have strontium isotope ratios that are consistent with having lived the last decades of their lives on the Ordovician/Silurian rocks of south-west Wales—including around the outcrops of the Preseli Hills

In conclusion, it seems that Stonehenge stage one was built—partly or wholly—by Neolithic migrants from Wales, who brought their monument or monuments as a physical manifestation of their ancestral identities to be re-created in similar form on Salisbury Plain—a locale already holding a long tradition of ceremonial gathering
 

Mikefule

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I finally got to watch the programme last night and found it interesting.

I tried to set aside the breathy "Escape to the Country" style presentation and pay attention to the somewhat limited factual content.

I was happy to accept that they have found the specific quarry which was the source of at least some of the blue stones at Stonehenge. It was interesting to see some unfinished split stones still at the quarry.

I was interested in the idea, but not entirely convinced by the professor's confident assertion, about which stones on the quarry floor were pivots and trestles.

Also, I was persuaded that the one particular stone at Stonehenge probably did come from that particular hole at Waun Mawn.

I was less impressed by the supposed importance of the coincidence of the diameters of the two circles. The exercise of a group of kids pulling a small stone on a sled over smooth wet grass proved nothing, but if it got the kids interested in history and gave them a happy memory, it was worthwhile.

I would have liked more detail about the naturally occurring sub-surface striations which happen to be aligned with the solstice sunrise. This suggested a possible reason for the builders choosing that locus for Stonehenge.
 

catseye

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I finally got to watch the programme last night and found it interesting.

I tried to set aside the breathy "Escape to the Country" style presentation and pay attention to the somewhat limited factual content.

I was happy to accept that they have found the specific quarry which was the source of at least some of the blue stones at Stonehenge. It was interesting to see some unfinished split stones still at the quarry.

I was interested in the idea, but not entirely convinced by the professor's confident assertion, about which stones on the quarry floor were pivots and trestles.

Also, I was persuaded that the one particular stone at Stonehenge probably did come from that particular hole at Waun Mawn.

I was less impressed by the supposed importance of the coincidence of the diameters of the two circles. The exercise of a group of kids pulling a small stone on a sled over smooth wet grass proved nothing, but if it got the kids interested in history and gave them a happy memory, it was worthwhile.

I would have liked more detail about the naturally occurring sub-surface striations which happen to be aligned with the solstice sunrise. This suggested a possible reason for the builders choosing that locus for Stonehenge.

This was pretty much my reaction too. I know they have to make these programmes 'accessible' for the casual viewer without much background in the subject, so I forgive a lot of the superficial treatments of the subject.

There were many points at which I arched an eyebrow, but, no doubt, more articles of the nature of @hunck above will come out and give more detailed analyses of things that were brushed over in the programme. Again, I believe that Mike Parker Pearson knows what he is doing and wouldn't make confident assertions that didn't have at least some form of more rigorous academic backing.
 

hunck

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One thing Pearson said towards the end - 'Stonehenge is/was linked to the dead, Woodhenge to the living' - with no further elucidation, could've done with some expanding but in an hour long prog you can't cover everything.
 

Mikefule

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One thing Pearson said towards the end - 'Stonehenge is/was linked to the dead, Woodhenge to the living' - with no further elucidation, could've done with some expanding but in an hour long prog you can't cover everything.
I noticed that too, and didn't like the certainty with which it was asserted.

I have come across this idea before, that the timber monuments (timber being transient in nature) were associated with the living, and the stone monuments (stone being permanent) were associated with the dead.

With no texts or relevant art from the period concerned, what the people believed, and how the site was regarded can only be speculation. Some reasonable inferences can be drawn from the archaeology, but not in this level of detail

The consensus is that Stonehenge was built, developed, and remodelled over a period of approximately 1,500 years which is around 75 generations. Throughout that period, it seems likely that it went through a range of meanings and purposes.
 

catseye

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One thing Pearson said towards the end - 'Stonehenge is/was linked to the dead, Woodhenge to the living' - with no further elucidation, could've done with some expanding but in an hour long prog you can't cover everything.
This has been the theory behind much of his previous work, he's written fairly extensively on the subject and I think they've done programmes on Durrington Walls which covers all this. It's quite old and established thinking now.
 

bugmum

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One thing Pearson said towards the end - 'Stonehenge is/was linked to the dead, Woodhenge to the living' - with no further elucidation, could've done with some expanding but in an hour long prog you can't cover everything.

Having read his Stonehenge book, he explained that someone from South East Asia commented to him that stone monuments were for the dead; the living used wooden ones.
 

Mungoman

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Having read his Stonehenge book, he explained that someone from South East Asia commented to him that stone monuments were for the dead; the living used wooden ones.


Ah...not quite.

1615244171253.png


These are Pukumani Poles, and are part of the 'farewelling' ceremony for the No Names. (Ngummunjiya).
 

EnolaGaia

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Acoustic testing conducted with a scale model of Stonehenge indicates the monument should have been capable of acoustically insulating / isolating the area within the main circle from the outside and vice versa.
This new Smithsonian article addresses this same research project and provides some additional details on the study and its findings.
What Did Stonehenge Sound Like?

... The study was conceived by Trevor Cox, an acoustical engineer at the University of Salford. “Some acoustical research had already been done at Stonehenge, but it was all based on what’s there now,” Cox says. “I wanted to know how it sounded in 2200 B.C., when all the stones were in place.” ...

To find out, he borrowed a standard technique from architectural acoustics and built a scaled-down model. The tallest replica stones are approximately two feet high. Cox and his co-workers based the model on laser scans of Stonehenge that were provided by Historic England ... , as well as the latest archaeological thinking about the different construction phases and configuration of the original stones.

To create replicas, he 3-D-printed 27 of the stones. Then he made silicon molds of them and cast the other 130 stones. Some of the model stones were hollow plastic; cavities were filled with aggregate and plaster mix. The others were cast using a plaster-polymer-water mix. Gaps were filled with children’s modeling clay. All the replica stones were sealed with a cellulose car spray paint to prevent sound from being absorbed. Once the model was complete, he began experimenting with microphones and speakers, and measuring sound waves with a computer.

“We expected to lose a lot of sound vertically, because there’s no roof,” he says. “But what we found instead was thousands upon thousands of reflections as the sound waves bounced around horizontally.” These reflections would have produced “significant amplification—four decibels,” Cox says, as well as a powerful reverberation effect, meaning that the sounds would have boomed and lingered before fading away. ...

He thinks it’s extremely unlikely that these acoustic properties were there by design, but once they were discovered, people surely would have exploited them. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/listening-stonehenge-180977956/
 

Mungoman

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EnolaGaia

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Now, lets do it with speakers replacing the henge stones, and play...I dunno - one of my preference would be Vivaldi's Dresden Concerti No3 - another one would be Mr Floyds Meddle.
Can anybody ascertain if this would work?
Replicating the soundspace within the stone structure is a reasonable possibility.

Cox (the lead researcher on the acoustics project) has already been contacted by musicians inquiring about simulating the acoustic characteristics of a complete Stonehenge ...
Cox has also been approached by a number of musicians who are eager to replicate the same precise reverberation in their recordings. “It’s an exciting thought for them,” he says. “Through a mathematical process called convolution, they can record their instruments to sound like they’re playing at ancient Stonehenge.”
 

EnolaGaia

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UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is considering changes to Stonehenge's official status - specifically, adding Stonehenge to the World Heritage in Danger list of sites threatened by destruction or loss of irreplaceable heritage features.
Unesco Weighs Changes to Stonehenge’s Cultural Heritage Status

Unesco caused an international stir on Monday, when the organization published a report detailing dozens of historic sites that might soon face changes to their esteemed heritage status.

The report was submitted by the World Heritage Committee, a body of the United Nations that maintains a list of over 1,000 officially designated World Heritage Sites. Places are considered for this honor if they are deemed to offer “outstanding universal value to humanity,” such as the Taj Mahal in India or the Galápagos Islands in Ecuador.

In particular, the committee recommended that some sites be added to the list of World Heritage in Danger or be stripped of their heritage status entirely. ...

Stonehenge, the hulking Neolithic rock formation built 5,000 years ago in what is now England, is recommended in the report for inscription in the World Heritage in Danger List, unless significant changes to planned government renovations occur. Last fall, the British government approved a plan to drastically renovate the landscape surrounding the immensely popular tourist destination, with the goal of reducing traffic and pollution at the site.

Currently, the A303 road that runs past Stonehenge supports about twice as much traffic as it was designed to accommodate. The government plans to dig a massive tunnel and move this two-lane highway underground—a $2.2-billion public works project.

Supporters of the plan argue it will decrease gnarly traffic bottlenecks and offer visitors a clear view of Stonehenge’s landscape, unimpeded by cars. On the other hand, some archaeologists argue that the construction work necessary to create the tunnel will result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of Neolithic artifacts.

The World Heritage Committee previously condemned the plan in 2019, saying it would have an “adverse impact” on the “outstanding universal value” of the site ...

This past Monday, the committee had a harsher warning ... “The proposed tunnel length remains inadequate to protect the [outstanding universal value] of the property,” the organization wrote.

The committee requested that plans be modified to accommodate a longer tunnel, so that the entry points do not have a “highly adverse and irreversible” impact on the nearby Stonehenge site ...

Unesco further requested that the United Kingdom government send an updated report on the status of Stonehenge’s conservation plans, ahead of its 45th session in 2022, when the committee will discuss whether Stonehenge should be added to the World Heritage in Danger list.
FULL STORY: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smar...onehenges-cultural-heritage-status-180978058/

UNESCO REPORT: https://whc.unesco.org/archive/2021/whc21-44com-7B.Add-en.pdf
 

ramonmercado

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Nah, it was Aliens.

It is a mystery that has confounded experts for centuries - how were huge stones transported 180 miles (290km) from the Preseli Hills to Stonehenge?

Some think humans, or even cows, pulled them to their resting place on Salisbury Plain.

However, a Denbighshire man believes it was a long-forgotten "machine" which appeared to defy gravity and was even possibly referenced in the Bible.

A leading expert said his theory was "as good as any, and better than most".

"It may look like something out of Last of the Summer Wine, but we've lifted a third of a tonne with it and theoretically it could move any weight," said carpet fitter Steven Tasker, 66, from Llanrhaeadr.

A lover of Ancient Egypt, Steven wanted to explain how the Pyramids were built - but believes his theory also sheds light on how stone circles were created on various sites, from Orkney's Skara Brae to Stonehenge. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-57639510
 

Trevp666

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Stonehenge tunnel campaigners win court battle

Campaigners have won a court battle to prevent the "scandalous" construction of a road tunnel near Stonehenge.
The £1.7bn Highways England project aimed to reduce A303 congestion but campaigners said it would detrimentally affect the world heritage site.
The government approved plans in 2020 for a two-mile (3.2km) tunnel to be created near the Wiltshire monument.
etc....


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-58024139

I could never understand why they built Stonehenge so close to such a busy road.
 

escargot

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More Brian May news -

Stonehenge: Brian May finds oldest family photo

An image thought to be the oldest family photo taken at Stonehenge, is going on display after being discovered in the collection of a music legend.
The 3D stereoview image, dating back to the 1860s, was found in Queen guitarist Brian May's archive.
Taken by photographer Henry Brooks, the image depicts his family enjoying a day out at the ancient Wiltshire monument.
It can be viewed through a digital stereoscope at Stonehenge visitor centre until the end of September.
 

Trevp666

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'dating back to the 1860s'

So when Brian was only a toddler then?
 
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