New Stonehenge discovery

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Raggedyann
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New Stonehenge discovery

Post by Raggedyann » 05-10-2014 05:13 PM

Stonehenge Discovery 'Blows Lid Off' Old Theories About Builders Of Ancient Monument

From who built it to what it was used for, Stonehenge is surrounded by many enduring mysteries -- and researchers from the University of Buckingham in England now say they've solved one of them.

"For years people have been asking why is Stonehenge where it is, now at last, we have found the answers,” David Jacques, an archaeology research fellow at the university, said in a written statement.

Last October, Jacques led an archaeological dig at a site 1.5 miles from Stonehenge. His team unearthed flint tools and the bones of aurochs, extinct cow-like animals that were a food source for ancient people. Carbon dating of the bones showed that modern-day Amesbury, an area that includes the dig site and Stonehenge itself, has been continuously occupied since 8820 B.C. Amesbury has now been declared the oldest continually occupied area in Britain.

The finding suggests that Stonehenge was built by indigenous Britons who had lived in the area for thousands of years. Previous theories held that the monument was built in an empty landscape by migrants from continental Europe.

"The site blows the lid off the Neolithic Revolution in a number of ways," Jacques said in the statement, referring to the assumption that those migrants drove Britain's transition from a hunter-gatherer to a farming society in the 6th Century B.C. "It provides evidence for people staying put, clearing land, building, and presumably worshipping, monuments."

The researchers say evidence suggests that before erecting Stonehenge, people living in the area set up gigantic timbers between 8820 and 6590 B.C. -- a sort of wooden precursor to the stone monument. Jacques likened the area to a "Stonehenge Visitor's Center," where visitors from far and wide came to feast and tour the site with local guides.

"The area was clearly a hub point for people to come to from many miles away, and in many ways was a forerunner for what later went on at Stonehenge itself," he said.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/0 ... 89118.html
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Post by Fan » 05-12-2014 11:24 AM

Seems obvious eh? Some guys did not just show up and lug around thousand pound monoliths for no reason.
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Post by SquidInk » 05-12-2014 07:15 PM

But they did move those stones a long distance.
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Post by Fan » 05-13-2014 11:52 AM

SquidInk wrote: But they did move those stones a long distance.


Absolutely. But not for no reason, they were there a long time and had reason to think this place was special I would say.
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Post by SquidInk » 05-13-2014 03:05 PM

RA's post had me reading about the stones. One theory is that the stones were transported from their known origin in Wales to the current location of Stonehenge (some 160km away) by glacial action, before the arrival of humans.

To me this presents a plausible scenario. Those stones are massive, but retreating glaciers could easily have moved and deposited them on this field in England. If such stones were an anomaly on the local landscape, then superstitious neolithic humans may have taken it as a "sign", building a temple complex in order to "fullfill" something or another.

Overall, it's fascinating that the site is so ancient, and that the stone structures may have been version 2!
Last edited by SquidInk on 05-13-2014 03:35 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Raggedyann » 05-13-2014 03:26 PM

SquidInk wrote: RA's post had me reading about the stones. One theory is that the stones were transported from their known origin in Wales to the current location of Stonehenge (some 160km away) be glacial action, before the arrival of humans.

To me this presents a plausible scenario. Those stones are massive, but retreating glaciers could easily have moved and deposited them on this field in England. If such stones were an anomaly on the local landscape, then superstitious neolithic humans may have taken it as a "sign", building a temple complex in order to "fullfill" something or another.

Overall, it's fascinating that the site is so ancient, and that the stone structures may have been version 2!

A very plausible theory. I had been wondering how the origins of the stones fit into this new theory.

I went to Stonehenge a few years ago. It is smaller than I would have imagined it would be and a bit eerie.
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Post by Fan » 05-13-2014 03:37 PM

but there are neolithic sites throughout Britain, and all the stones appear to have been transported... why is it implausible to think they were transported by human hands? We have seen many instances where this seems to have been done, including times even earlier than these...

Also, glacial action tends to leave stuff all over, this is not a landscape littered with dolmens.

I went on a tour of neolithic stone sites last time I was out there, mostly the unknown ones, and I personally am quite sure they were placed where they are on purpose. I don't necessarily buy into "ley lines" but it seems there was an advanced type of geography and mathematics as well as astronomy at play.
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Post by SquidInk » 05-13-2014 03:44 PM

Fan wrote: ... why is it implausible to think they were transported by human hands?
It's not. It is simply also plausible that the stones were moved by other means. Additionally, we have observed glaciers moving enormous stones, we only have theoretical evidence that humans, without the wheel and without simple machines could do it.

I personally believe in a scenario where humans built the ancient monuments, including the transport of the building materials. I have no idea how it was done though. In most cases, I bet it was rather simpler than we would expect. For example, I have read that in ancient times, the Nile's course came within a few hundred yards of the Pyramid complex at Giza, allowing the huge stones to be floated right to the site. That does not explain the build quality though -- something it is said we still could not reproduce today, with modern tools.
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Post by Fan » 05-13-2014 03:54 PM

SquidInk wrote: It's not. It is simply also plausible that the stones were moved by other means. Additionally, we have observed glaciers moving enormous stones, we only have theoretical evidence that humans, without the wheel and without simple machines could do it.

I personally believe in a scenario where humans built the ancient monuments, including the transport of the building materials. I have no idea how it was done though. In most cases, I bet it was rather simpler than we would expect. For example, I have read that in ancient times, the Nile's course came within a few hundred yards of the Pyramid complex at Giza, allowing the huge stones to be floated right to the site. That does not explain the build quality though -- something it is said we still could not reproduce today, with modern tools.


gotcha, I agree we don't know, which is why it is interesting :)

I still stand by my contention that glacial action would have left far more than just a few rocks. I live in a zone with extensive deposition, and it is obvious when you are in that zone it is littered all over with massive stones... basically to me it means either a) someone transported those few rocks manually or b) someone transported AWAY all the thousands of other stones that would have been deposited by a glacier.
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Post by Fan » 05-13-2014 04:02 PM

Check out this list of JUST stone circles http://www.stone-circles.org.uk/stone/ the distribution is staggering.

This circle is right next to my british family's ancestral home, I have visited many times. It is a magical place http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Merry_Maidens another close by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boscawen-Un and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boskednan_stone_circle

Another amazing thing is the Barrows, of which even less seems to be known or studied. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_barrow
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