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Stonehenge's Bluestone Mystery

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posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 04:04 PM
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It has long been known that the bluestones that form Stonehenge’s inner horseshoe came from the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, around 140 miles from Salisbury Plain.

Carbonised hazelnut shells and charcoal from the quarry workers’ campfires have been radiocarbon-dated to reveal when the stones would have been extracted.

Prof Mike Parker Pearson, director of the project and professor of British later prehistory at University College London (UCL), said the finds were “amazing”.

“We have dates of around 3400 BC for Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3200 BC for Carn Goedog, which is intriguing because the bluestones didn’t get put up at Stonehenge until around 2900 BC,” he said. “It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view. It’s more likely that the stones were first used in a local monument, somewhere near the quarries, that was then dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire.”


www.theguardian.com...

It seems like we're faced with an anachronistic mystery. The Bluestones were quarried around 3200 and 3400 BC in Wales, but were not erected at the Salisbury Plain before 2900 BC?

I agree that it is unlikely that it took them 500 years to move the stones 140 miles, from Wales to Cornwall. So, what are the other opitions? I find it plausible that they would quarry the stones with a specific construction in mind. The original Bluestone henge could have been erected somewhere in Wales, then taken down and moved to Salisbury Plain roughly 500 years later. The stones could have been offered, sold or taken as war trophy.

Some things to take into account. The 3400 BC - 3200 BC dates take the Bluestones back in time. Normally, Henges are associated with the Late Neolithic and early Bronze Age (3000 BC to 2500 BC in Britain). If this Bluestone Henge once stood in Wales as early as 3400 BC to 3200 BC, then it re-writes once again the history of henges and Neolithic culture in Britain, and if so our attention should perhaps shift from Cornwall and the Orkneys towards Wales.

Another alternative is that the Bluestones were quarried with Stonehenge in mind, and that we've misinterpreted the true age and the construction chronology of the Wiltshire monument. This of course make archaeologists uneasy, but perhaps it is a likely theory. According to the present theory, the original earth bank which constitutes the earliest Stonhenge goes back to approximately 3100 BC. If the Bluestones were brought to Salisbury Plain around that date or even earlier, it means that they were part of the original conception of the site, in contrast with the present notion that Stonehenge evolved through time, with the Bluestones as a later addition.

But, there are many ways of interpreting this data and I'm interested in hearing yours. Opinions?

Additional article:

www.geek.com...




posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 04:23 PM
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a reply to: Heliocentric
Interesting.
And... not Obama related.
And ... not gun related.




posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: Heliocentric

You made a mistake. It is not Cornwall. The county is Wiltshire where Stonehenge is located.

There are many stone circles and ancient monuments in Cornwall. I live in West Penwith, Cornwall and there are many up on the moors. They are all located away from where people dwelled. The weather up high on the moors is very inhospitable with no shelter. Why they built them away from the villages is a mystery. People would have had to travel there especially.

I think they are ancient temples and religious sites relating to the animism of spirituality back them (nature worship), part of a certain idiosyncrasy of culture that lasted a certain period of time like the Egyptian Pyramids.

The blue stone stones could have been used close to the date they were quarried. Stonehenge may have been erected then dismantled because of war or to rebuild it. Getting the stones there must have been quite a challenge.


Men An Tol, West Penwith.


Ding Dong, West Penwith.


Lanyon Quoit Burial Chamber, West Penwith.


edit on 7-12-2015 by Revolution9 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 04:48 PM
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I think the answer is staring them in the face
Bedd Arthur is right near the quarry
en.wikipedia.org...
It is seen as a prototype for the Bluestones at Stonehenge

So I think

3400bce Bedd Arthur constructed
3200bce, Bedd Arthur Bluestones removed and sent to another site (site 2) then replaced from the quarry
2900bce, Site 2 stones taken to Stonehenge

As we know that Stonehenge was a centre of healing for the Neolithic culture that built it, then that suggests that before it was built that they must have had a previous centre of healing. I would imagine, that's where site 2 is...

The preseli hills according to Legend is where the Welsh Gods arrived from Ireland, so are considered sacred and holy
en.wikipedia.org...




posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 07:56 PM
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I say follow the money. Dig in the tax records. Check out the deeds. The answer is out there people.

//sarc off//

Cool stuff. Maybe after the stone was quarried and finished to some degree it became a prized commodity. Move around as generations changed what/where was important.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: Heliocentric

I have no idea if it's possible, but it would be interesting if there's anything that could be done to expose traces of a former location for the stones between initial quarrying and Stonehenge. I guess it would be like gathering forensic traces, millennia old, but if there is or eventually is a way, perhaps more clues to the history could be found.



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 10:36 PM
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I think the idea that they were reused is quite plausible.

BTW, changing the date does not really change our ideas about Neolithic culture, since there's around a 200 year margin of error there (perhaps a bit more, since writing came late to that area.)



posted on Dec, 7 2015 @ 11:25 PM
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It is fascinating to wonder why it was built. For all we know, these stones could simply have been the foundations of a circular buildings. There's some theories here:

www.smithsonianmag.com...

In the Welsh mountains, natural springs had been modified to form bathing pools for ill people. It was thought the stones had some magical properties that would aid in healing. But since it was too far and hilly for people to travel, these stones were carved and transported to somewhere more central.

Stonehenge started out as a Woodhenge, then the bluestones are transported across. It's interesting to see that Stonehenge forms a protective circle shape, then a lucky horseshoe shape as well as being aligned with the various equinoxes.

But if it were a place of healing, what would they have done to provide a water supply? That would be important if it were used as a hotel, or even as an entertainment site.



posted on Dec, 8 2015 @ 12:30 AM
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originally posted by: stormcell
But if it were a place of healing, what would they have done to provide a water supply? That would be important if it were used as a hotel, or even as an entertainment site.


The river Kennet is very close to the site
Kennet is derived from the Celtic word for "life giving waterway", previously called "Cunnit".
This word began to be applied to a life giving waterway attached to women during the Anglo Saxon period
Yes, that one, which today is still in use, although with a couple less letters.



posted on Dec, 8 2015 @ 09:29 AM
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originally posted by: Byrd
I think the idea that they were reused is quite plausible.

BTW, changing the date does not really change our ideas about Neolithic culture, since there's around a 200 year margin of error there (perhaps a bit more, since writing came late to that area.)


It's possible that the stones were used in an earlier construction, yes.

Although, we do not - as far as I know - have any knowledge of a site where the Bluestones could have stood before Stonehenge, either in Wales or Wiltshire.

The 200 year margin you talk about is valid only if you accept the theory that the Bluestones were erected around 3000 BC, based on Pearson's work on cremated bone fragments found on the site.
The other theory is that the Bluestones were erected between 2400 BC and 2200 BC, based on Darwills and Wainwrights carbon datings from within the henge.

Whatever the case is, the data we have at hand from the henge itself and its surroundings does not allow to pinpoint an exact date for the raising of the Bluestones, which is why these quarry dates are interesting. If they're confirmed, something was at work as early as 3400 BC. It does not necessarily change our ideas of Britain's Neolithic culture, but it pushes the dates back and therefore re-writes the history of the henges, which is what I said.

Another possibility is that the Bluestones were raised right at the outset of the Stonehenge construction, and that a later reconstruction of the henge has led archaeologists to believe in a later raising of the Bluestones. But that is of course just another theory...


originally posted by: Revolution9
a reply to: Heliocentric

You made a mistake. It is not Cornwall. The county is Wiltshire where Stonehenge is located.


I stand corrected. Wiltshire it is!
edit on 8-12-2015 by Heliocentric because: Angry clouds Fierce winds Freezing rain



posted on Dec, 8 2015 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: Heliocentric

While an interesting mystery, history shows us that buildings are raped for their materials all throughout history and used to create new ones--none more notably so than the Pyramid of Khufu (or whomever built it
). It would stand to reason that this is a good theory from which to start, IMO.

But like with everything in life, I could be wrong.



posted on Dec, 8 2015 @ 01:23 PM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey
a reply to: Heliocentric

history shows us that buildings are raped for their materials all throughout history


Is raped the right word there, in this case wouldn't hunter-gathered be more appropriate




posted on Dec, 8 2015 @ 03:34 PM
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a reply to: Marduk

Meh...I'm never known for being the most politically correct in the group.

But I'm willing to bet that the older building didn't give its consent.

Or it was drunk at the time.



posted on Dec, 9 2015 @ 08:37 AM
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originally posted by: SlapMonkey
a reply to: Heliocentric

While an interesting mystery, history shows us that buildings are raped for their materials all throughout history and used to create new ones.


Yes, quite so. But buildings are stripped apart for convenience. Already cut stone blocks are preferable to quarrying and cutting stone, cut timber as well.

But in this case, there's no convenience in moving approximately 80 stones, with an estimated weight of 2 to 4 tons each a 140 miles from Wales to Wiltshire. It would have been much easier and less costly to cut these standing stones in a local quarry. We can therefore draw the conclusion that the builders of Stonehenge wanted these stones in particular, either for their particular quality, or to rob the Welsh of a prestigeous monument, like the Romans, English and French later did with Egyptian Obelisks.

Once again, we have no indication whatsoever that these Bluestones stood somewhere else before arriving at Stonehenge, it was simply a suggestion put forward by an archaeologist who's at a loss to explain the time discrepancy.


originally posted by: Revolution9
a reply to: Heliocentric

There are many stone circles and ancient monuments in Cornwall. I live in West Penwith, Cornwall and there are many up on the moors. They are all located away from where people dwelled. The weather up high on the moors is very inhospitable with no shelter. Why they built them away from the villages is a mystery. People would have had to travel there especially.


As far as I've understood it, forensic climatology tell us that the British climate was different in the late Neolithics. The moors were covered with forest in those days, it was warmer, wetter and the trees created shelter. I believe it was a fine piece of real estate in those days.

Important and sacred buildings have always been built on heights, starting with Göbleki Tepe until our days.

edit on 9-12-2015 by Heliocentric because: Sun from our heavens gives life to beautiful plants. Let all flowers shine.



posted on Dec, 9 2015 @ 09:08 AM
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a reply to: Heliocentric

True, but there's no evidence that they weren't part of another structure either--yet.

Like "they" say, a lack of evidence is not evidence that something didn't happen.

But I do tend to agree with you that it seems unlikely that the stones were taken and used out of 'convenience.' Of course, they could have been part of another sacred structure that needed to be relocated due to miscalculations or war or any other reason that has yet to be identified.

Regardless, the time lapse really is a mystery that would be great to have solved.



posted on Dec, 9 2015 @ 04:54 PM
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www.manchester.ac.uk...




Professor Julian Thomas, from The University of Manchester and a co-director of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, said the monument was a circle of bluestones, dragged from the Welsh Preseli mountains, 150 miles away around 5,000 years ago.

The new stone circle is 10m (33 ft) in diameter and was surrounded by a henge – a ditch with an external bank.

The standing stones marked the end of the Avenue that leads from the River Avon to Stonehenge, a 1¾-mile long (2.8km) processional route constructed at the end of the Stone Age - or the Neolithic period.

The outer henge around the stones was built around 2400 BC, but arrowheads found in the stone circle indicate that the stones were put up as much as 500 years earlier.


site 2 ?

edit on 9-12-2015 by Marduk because: (no reason given)




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