It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Parch marks in the grass at Stonehenge following a dry summer have helped solve a centuries-long puzzle about whether Stonehenge was ever a complete circle, according to a news report in The Telegraph . The parch marks - areas where the grass does not grow as strongly as in other areas during hot weather - reveal places where the missing sarsen stones may have once stood.
Although a large number of stones survive at Stonehenge, the monument is nowhere near complete. This has led many authors over the last few centuries, such as John Wood (1747), William Flinders Petrie (1880), and Christopher Tilley and colleagues (2007) to question whether the monument was ever finished. This non-completion theory is based on the presence and use of what they call ‘inadequate’ stones, the absence of approximately one third of the Sarsen Circle and the majority of the lintels, and the absence of evidence for the removal of stones. Other scholars have suggested that Stonehenge was completed but it was never a fully closed circle.
One of the mysteries of Stonehenge is what happened tothe missing Sarsens. Assuming it was complete somewhere in the order of 300 tonnes of sarsen stone is miising. Apart from the edge damage caused by visitors it seems that complete stones were removed and that they were chosen from within the monument for some reason. Why take that lintel but leave the easier to remove fallen stone here? The stones don't seem to be present in any local buildings and it seems to odd to suggest they were broken up for roadstone when the easier pickings of the bluestones don't seem to have been so.
Julian Richards has suggested that one reason that sarsens were removed was for the stone to be used for producing grinding querns. There is very little stone in neighborhood suitable for stones to grind grain with and some sarsen stone types are very suitable, other less so. So a source of excellent source material may have been irresistible in the later Bronze Age, and a quern manufactory set up.
"East of (north Fargo) plantation the field system corresponds with an area of later Bronze Age activity identified by extensive surface collection in the winter of 1980-81 and subsequently sampled more intensively (Richards, J 1990 The Stonehenge Environs Project. HBMC: London ). The surface scatter consisted of pottery and large quantities of burnt flint and burnt and broken sarsen, including quern fragments, and was interpreted as a small nucleated area of later Bronze Age settlement, lying within the area of regular field"