Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Was Stonehenge moved by glaciers - or our prehistoric ancestors?

In the report, experts describe a number of different landforms and sediments which can be related to the events of the Ice Age.

The famous rocks of Stonehenge were not dragged by pagans but moved by glaciers, according to a team of Welsh academics.
Previously, a team of experts from University College London (UCL) claimed to have resolved the archaeological enigma, confirming that the stones were excavated and transported from two sites in Pembrokeshire by our prehistoric ancestors.

Sunset at Stonehenge the day before Summer Solstice  Photo: Paul Grover/The Telegraph

The team of archaeologists and geologists said Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin, both in the Preseli Hills, had definitely been quarried for the mysterious stones.
They believe that between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago, rocks were taken from the Welsh mountain range by people and dragged away to where they currently stand, in Wiltshire.
But in a recent conflicting report, scientists have refuted UCL’s findings.
Dr Brian John, Dr Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd and John Downes have published their own research in the Archaeology in Wales journal, claiming there are “no traces of human intervention in any of the features that have made the archaeologists so excited”.

The group does not accept the idea of a Neolithic quarry in the Preseli Hills and says the supposed signs of ‘quarrying’ by humans at Craig Rhos-y-Felin were entirely natural.
They also believe that the archaeologists at UCL may have inadvertently created certain features during five years of “highly selective sediment removal”.
And while the team of scientists – including researchers from UCL, University of Manchester, Bournemouth University, University of Southampton, National Museum Wales, and Dyfed Archaeological Trust - believe their evidence, published in the journal Antiquity, presents detailed proof of human involvement, this latest study suggests Stonehenge’s famous bluestones were moved by glaciers, not people.
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UCL’s report said evidence proved quarry workers cut out rocks for the bluestone settings at Stonehenge.
But Dr John and his team are convinced that the debris at Stonehenge comes from glaciers which transported rocks east towards Salisbury.
In the article, Dr John and his team describe a number of different landforms and sediments which can be related to the events of the Ice Age, and in particular to the last glaciation of this area which occurred around 20,000 years ago.
The report accepts that there might have been a prehistoric camp site at the rocky crag in Wales, but suggests it was used by hunters rather than by quarrymen.
In his paper written with Dr Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd and John Downes, Dr John says: “There is substantial evidence in favour of glacial transport and zero evidence in support of the human transport theory
“We think the archaeologists have been so keen on telling a good story here that they have ignored or misinterpreted the evidence in front of them.
“That’s very careless. They now need to undertake a complete reassessment of the material they have collected.”

Stonehenge Tourist Guide

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