For the protocol, I believe that 20 circles have been found so far in a 22 acre-sized area, of which four have been partially excavated. Perhaps more
circles will be found, but probably not in the immediate vicinity of GT.
Yes, 20 have been identified in the area that Schmidt has leased, I was referring though to the area that has been planted with trees that Schmidt has
not got permission to excavate and which is currently enclosed by a barb wire fence.
In correction to what I mentioned earlier, about the tourism aspect, further reading seems to suggest that the tide has shifted somewhat and the
information I posted is out of date. Now the problem is containing the tourists, the owner having realised that such visitors are lucrative, and bus
loads are arriving and trampling the site. Schmidt fears that the site will be turned into a 'Disneyland' and attempts are being made to divert
tourism by producing reproductions of the pillars that can be positioned away a way where the tourists cannot do damage.
Whatever the reasons they must have been fantastic to invest such time and effort and skill and resources for supposedly a ragtag bunch of nomadic
wandering tribes with seemingly nothing more than that in common!
You said it. If we are to believe that the greatest monumental building known to us – in effect the Great Pyramid of Giza – catered to the
megalomania of a single ruler, then what type of motivation did these people have? We can only speculate.
That said, I do not for a second believe these monuments were built by a roaming band of nomadic hunter-gatherers. The key word here is organisation.
For the mere construction, we need unskilled labor, stone-workers, masons, carpenters, tool-makers, craftsmen and artists, for the planning of these
monuments we need architects and engineers, and for conceiving them we need a highly organized culture that can sustain this type of hierarchy of
workers. It speaks of a powerful, centralized leadership. If the reason why there are pyramids all over the world is that this is the logical way to
construct large monuments, then this is the logical way to organize a large construction site, you can't really work yourself around it with a site
the magnitude of GT.
This seems to be the feeling of teams working the site too, they are talking about leadership and organised labour being an obvious factor. I don't
think that there is any issue about the skills, they would have been well-developed by that point. Lithic technology was highly developed and since
about 20,000 BC grinding stones for processing grains, are known to have been cut from cliff faces and the such like and then worked to produce a
useable shape. Similarly, temporary seasonal huts had been built using timber, and contemporary to GT, such seasonal dwellings had begun to be built
using stone and mud bricks. So each of the small groups that congregated at GT would have supplied their own team of skilled workers.
Emphasis has been placed on the absence of agriculture and pottery at GT, as if these were necessary steps in a linear evolution of a complex society
and civilisation. We now know this is wrong. Basket weaving was probably brought to perfection and filled almost all the functions of pottery, the
food source to sustain a large, sedimentary population was clearly there, otherwise the people would not be there.
Absolutely, baskets were not only used to carry and store dry goods, but were lined with bitumen in order to transport liquids. Stone vessels were
also probably used. Ceramics really only improved the variety of the diet, leading to what some call the 'culinary revolution', with the inclusion of
soups, stews and porridge which enabled food to go farther.
A vast number of bones have been found at GT, primarily gazelle but the bulk of the meat would have come from wild cattle, given the weight for weight
basis of the two animals. Wild pig, Onager and red deer bones are also amongst the debris left. This seems suggestive that the reason for getting
together in that particular location may have been to combine forced in order to intercept migratory herds. And given the change in climate, at the
end of the Younger Dryas period, it may also explain why the site was abandoned, when those migratory patterns changed.
We also need to keep asking the returning questions within megalithic culture, why build in such a hard way when you could build with easier
techniques and materials? Why build so large when you could build smaller and more functional? It's clearly built to impress, but who? Other
tribes/nations, or supernatural beings/gods?
They were not built in one go, sometimes developing over thousands of years and reflecting changes within the social and ideological structure. At
GT, each stone circle was used for a few years, then filled in and rebuilt a bit further along, so it was a constant cycle of refreshment and
replenishment. What we see at the site today, is a poor reflection of how the site would have looked when in use. Similarly, places like Stone Henge
evolved over time, beginning perhaps as just a semi-circle etched into the chalk bed with a few marker stones, eventually leading to the placement of
the huge monoliths. We can only guess at the whys and the wherefores, I agree, but I would have thought that there were aspects of wanting to show
the import and status of the ancestors being worshipped, possibly a little one up manship that sprung from a need to keep up with the Jones'. So, as
you say, impressing each other, and the 'gods'.
edit on 21-3-2014 by KilgoreTrout because: fix quotes