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Stonehenge - new theories and facts

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2021 12:26 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Dramatic discovery links Stonehenge to its original site – in Wales
Quote:
Find backs theory that monument was dismantled and dragged over 140 miles to Wiltshire

An ancient myth about Stonehenge, first recorded 900 years ago, tells of the wizard Merlin leading men to Ireland to capture a magical stone circle called the Giants’ Dance and rebuilding it in England as a memorial to the dead.

Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account had been dismissed, partly because he was wrong on other historical facts, although the bluestones of the monument came from a region of Wales that was considered Irish territory in his day.

Now a vast stone circle created by our Neolithic ancestors has been discovered in Wales with features suggesting that the 12th-century legend may not be complete fantasy.

Its diameter of 110 metres is identical to the ditch that encloses Stonehenge and it is aligned on the midsummer solstice sunrise, just like the Wiltshire monument.

A series of buried stone-holes that follow the circle’s outline has been unearthed, with shapes that can be linked to Stonehenge’s bluestone pillars. One of them bears an imprint in its base that matches the unusual cross-section of a Stonehenge bluestone “like a key in a lock”, the archaeologists discovered.

Mike Parker Pearson, a professor of British later prehistory at University College London, told the Guardian: “I’ve been researching Stonehenge for 20 years now and this really is the most exciting thing we’ve ever found.”

The evidence backs a century-old theory that the nation’s greatest prehistoric monument was built in Wales and venerated for hundreds of years before being dismantled and dragged to Wiltshire, where it was resurrected as a second-hand monument.
[...]
The discovery will be published in Antiquity, the peer-reviewed journal of world archaeology, and explored in a documentary on BBC Two on Friday presented by Prof Alice Roberts.
... ... ...

hightor
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2021 04:37 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
The acidic soil had destroyed almost all organic matter that could have been carbon-dated. But traces of ancient sunlight lingering in the soil was analysed and gave a likely construction date of around 3,300BC – finally confirming Stonehenge’s secret, lost history.


I like the image that phrase brings to mind!
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2021 05:13 am
@hightor,
Indeed. But seriously: archaeology can date even e.g.the last time dirt was exposed to sunlight.
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2021 05:38 am
@Walter Hinteler,
That is just so fantastically cool — I can hardly get my head around the concept.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2021 05:59 am
@hightor,
Its pretty cool. induced luminscenc and alpha-recoil fission tracking , need to have the samples be exposed to sunlight and then "buried at some time in the past. The electrons that "build up" can be used almost like any "daughter products" and , while the techniques are fraught with lotsa calibrations and QA concerns. You can gt ome fairly good dtes (lotsa multiple samples for x checking).

Glacial geologists use the techniques on erratics and end moraines , along with another simpl trick called "seriation" to get some RELATIVE dates of when a glacier passed by your neighborhood. Ive been told the accuracy can be as short a time as 50 years ago.(ome guys used it as a forensic tools for dating old local battlefields in the Revolution v the Civil War).

We used it once but, because we had tree ring data that was more easily understood by the court, we abandoned the "Higher tech" alpha-recoil or Induced Thermoluminescence tricks.

Sometimes we do **** just to look smart and the **** de do often had no means of understandingly explaining it my mother ,
0 Replies
 
ElsieVasquez
 
  0  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2021 08:00 am
@Walter Hinteler,
very interesting
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 May, 2021 09:05 am
Stonehenge research at risk if Sheffield archaeology unit closes, say experts
Quote:
University of Sheffield’s archaeology team argue vital work will be lost if threatened closure goes ahead

Important research on Stonehenge could be put in jeopardy if the threatened closure of one of the UK’s most renowned university archaeology departments goes ahead, leading experts on the prehistoric monument have warned.
... ... ...
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Aug, 2021 11:11 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
More than 60 years ago, restorers drilled deep holes in the stone circle, then the samples disappeared. Now some have reappeared and finally reveal secrets about the history of the monument.

Petrological and geochemical characterisation of the sarsen stones at Stonehenge
Quote:
Abstract
Little is known of the properties of the sarsen stones (or silcretes) that comprise the main architecture of Stonehenge. The only studies of rock struck from the monument date from the 19th century, while 20th century investigations have focussed on excavated debris without demonstrating a link to specific megaliths. Here, we present the first comprehensive analysis of sarsen samples taken directly from a Stonehenge megalith (Stone 58, in the centrally placed trilithon horseshoe). We apply state-of-the-art petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical techniques to two cores drilled from the stone during conservation work in 1958. Petrographic analyses demonstrate that Stone 58 is a highly indurated, grain-supported, structureless and texturally mature groundwater silcrete, comprising fine-to-medium grained quartz sand cemented by optically-continuous syntaxial quartz overgrowths. In addition to detrital quartz, trace quantities of silica-rich rock fragments, Fe-oxides/hydroxides and other minerals are present. Cathodoluminescence analyses show that the quartz cement developed as an initial <10 μm thick zone of non-luminescing quartz followed by ~16 separate quartz cement growth zones. Late-stage Fe-oxides/hydroxides and Ti-oxides line and/or infill some pores. Automated mineralogical analyses indicate that the sarsen preserves 7.2 to 9.2 area % porosity as a moderately-connected intergranular network. Geochemical data show that the sarsen is chemically pure, comprising 99.7 wt. % SiO2. The major and trace element chemistry is highly consistent within the stone, with the only magnitude variations being observed in Fe content. Non-quartz accessory minerals within the silcrete host sediments impart a trace element signature distinct from standard sedimentary and other crustal materials. 143Nd/144Nd isotope analyses suggest that these host sediments were likely derived from eroded Mesozoic rocks, and that these Mesozoic rocks incorporated much older Mesoproterozoic material. The chemistry of Stone 58 has been identified recently as representative of 50 of the 52 remaining sarsens at Stonehenge. These results are therefore representative of the main stone type used to build what is arguably the most important Late Neolithic monument in Europe.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2021 09:09 am
There's a special exhibition about Stonehenge in the Westphalian Museun und Landschaften[/i] ("Stonehenge - Of People and Landscapes")>link< (in English).
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2021 06:23 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
Stone 58 is a highly indurated, grain-supported, structureless and texturally mature groundwater silcrete, comprising fine-to-medium grained quartz sand cemented by optically-continuous syntaxial quartz overgrowths. In addition to detrital quartz, trace quantities of silica-rich rock fragments, Fe-oxides/hydroxides and other minerals are present. Cathodoluminescence analyses show that the quartz cement developed as an initial <10 μm thick zone of non-luminescing quartz followed by ~16 separate quartz cement growth zones. Late-stage Fe-oxides/hydroxides and Ti-oxides line and/or infill some pores. Automated mineralogical analyses indicate that the sarsen preserves 7.2 to 9.2 area % porosity as a moderately-connected intergranular network. Geochemical data show that the sarsen is chemically pure, comprising 99.7 wt. % SiO2. The major and trace element chemistry is highly consistent within the stone, with the only magnitude variations being observed in Fe content. Non-quartz accessory minerals within the silcrete host sediments impart a trace element signature distinct from standard sedimentary and other crustal materials. 143Nd/144Nd isotope analyses suggest that these host sediments were likely derived from eroded Mesozoic rocks, and that these Mesozoic rocks incorporated much older Mesoproterozoic material. The chemistry of Stone 58 has been identified recently as representative of 50 of the 52 remaining sarsens at Stonehenge. These results are therefore representative of the main stone type used to build what is arguably the most important Late Neolithic monument in Europe.
Signature


I gotta apologize how some of these rocknockers communicate. They dont write to communicate they write to IMPRESS.

What its saying is that the sample stone a very hard conglomerate CEMENT rock has been identified as all but 2 of the sarcens AND all these rock slabs probably come from the same spot, probably the Welsh Fjords where the rocks are really old metamorphics. NSDT

.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2021 03:43 am
The ancient people who built Stonehenge “wanted it to last a long while.”
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2021 09:51 pm
@hightor,
"secrets of the Dead" on PBS this week, "Stonehenge's First Circle" about the archaeological research that lkoicated Stronehenge's blue stones to quarry in Wales, th==stone circle there, then moved to England, possible energy efficient way to do it, and predecessor henges. You can probably get it stresamed free wherever you are.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2021 07:02 am
New tests show neolithic pits near Stonehenge were human-made
Quote:
When a series of deep pits were discovered near the world heritage site of Stonehenge last year, archaeologists excitedly described it as the largest prehistoric structure ever found in Britain – only for some colleagues to dismiss the pits as mere natural features.

Now scientific tests have proved that those gaping pits, each aligned to form a circle spanning 1.2 miles (2km) in diameter, were definitely human-made, dug into the sacred landscape almost 4,500 years ago.

The structure appears to have been a boundary guiding people to a sacred area, because Durrington Walls, one of Britain’s largest henge monuments, is located precisely at its centre. The site is 1.9 miles north-east of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, near Amesbury in Wiltshire.

Prof Vincent Gaffney, of Bradford University, an archaeologist who headed the team that made the discovery, said science had proved that this was indeed a huge neolithic monument. “Some of the debate about the discovery and Stonehenge seemed bonkers to me,” he said.

Soon after the discovery was announced in June 2020, one doubting archaeologist referred to the pits as “blobs on the ground” and said linking them to Stonehenge was “entirely hypothetical”. Another argued that archaeologists who had previously looked at some of the pits had suggested they were natural hollows, and that they could “be trusted to recognise a natural feature when they encounter one”.

The arguments shocked Gaffney, who recalled one archaeologist suggesting his team should have had a geologist on site to recognise natural features. In fact, he said, they had two.

While part of the circle has not survived, owing to modern development, Gaffney said the latest fieldwork involved scientific analysis of nine of the pits. “We’ve now looked at nearly half of them and they’re all the same. So effectively this really does say this is one enormous structure. It may have evolved from a natural feature, but we haven’t located that. So it’s the largest prehistoric structure found in Britain.”

Each pit is about 10 metres across and 5 metres deep, and science supports the theory that the neolithic people who constructed Stonehenge also dug this monument.

https://i.imgur.com/Afan2F0.jpg

... ... ...
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2022 10:11 am
Many theories about the origin of Stonehenge cannot be proven, but are quite improbable. The theory, on the other hand, that Stonehenge had something to do with the seasons and the position of the sun is accepted by many experts. A new study by Timothy Darvill, an archaeologist at Bournemouth University, now seems to confirm that the stone circle served as a solar calendar: a ring of 30 upright sarsen stones supporting 30 horizontal lintels represents the days within a month. Certain stones within the circle marked three ten-day weeks each, according to the study. Twelve such months would make 360 days. In addition, there would be other stones that, according to Darvill, would stand for the additional five days needed to achieve the 365-day solar year.

Keeping time at Stonehenge

Sounds convincing, even if colleagues immediately came forward to express reservations. I guess we'll never quite fathom the mystery of Stonehenge after all. But isn't it reassuring to know that you can always try again as long as the stones remain standing?
0 Replies
 
 

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