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Thread: Stone Henge built by a "wizard"?

  1. #1 Stone Henge built by a "wizard"? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia Article on Stonehenge
    Arthurian legend
    A giant helps Merlin build Stonehenge. From a manuscript of the Roman de Brut by Wace in the British Library (Egerton 3028). This is the oldest known depiction of Stonehenge.

    Stonehenge is also mentioned within Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth said that Merlin the wizard directed its removal from Ireland, where it had been constructed on Mount Killaraus by Giants, who brought the stones from Africa. After it had been rebuilt near Amesbury, Geoffrey further narrates how first Ambrosius Aurelianus, then Uther Pendragon, and finally Constantine III, were buried inside the ring of stones. In many places in his Historia Regum Britanniae Geoffrey mixes British legend and his own imagination; it is intriguing that he connects Ambrosius Aurelianus with this prehistoric monument, seeing how there is place-name evidence to connect Ambrosius with nearby Amesbury.

    According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the rocks of Stonehenge were healing rocks which Giants brought from Africa to Ireland for their healing properties. These rocks were called The Giant's Dance. Aurelius Ambrosias (5th century), wishing to erect a memorial to the nobles (3000) who had died in battle with the Saxons and were buried at Salisbury, chose (at Merlin's advice) Stonehenge to be their monument. So the King sent Merlin, Uther Pendragon (Arthur's father), and 15,000 knights to Ireland to retrieve the rocks. They slew 7,000 Irish. As the knights tried to move the rocks with ropes and force, they failed. Then Merlin, using "gear" and skill, easily dismantled the stones and sent them over to Britain, where Stonehenge was dedicated. Shortly after, Aurelius died and was buried within the Stonehenge monument, or "The Giants' Ring of Stonehenge".

    Now, I don't really think that story would ever stand up to scrutiny, nor do I suspect Merlin himself was likely connected to the structure in any direct way (other than legend).


    I'm wondering, though, if in some far gone era a person who identified them self as a "wizard", who perhaps came from some area of the Mediteranean where people were literate, and advanced construction methods were known to scholars, might have overseen the construction.

    We're always asking ourselves how (supposedly) primitive Celtic, or pre-Celtic people could have built this amazing and imposing structure using only the technologies that were available to them, and I'm thinking maybe.... they didn't.

    Maybe they used technologies more advanced than those they were using in their ordinary lives, technologies that only a "wizard" would have been familiar with.


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    i would say that you would be putting yourself in the van daniken camp.

    i would just say that what you quoted is just adding more details to the legend to make england look better thanhaving a bunch of blood thirsty druids construct such a thing.


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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i would say that you would be putting yourself in the van daniken camp.

    i would just say that what you quoted is just adding more details to the legend to make england look better thanhaving a bunch of blood thirsty druids construct such a thing.
    'Cause heathens are bad.
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    Stonehenge is a portal that when aligns with the centre of the earth, the sun and the centre of the galaxy activates at the same times world wide with all other stone circles and druids akin to them.... This sets earth out of phase with the event so that it is preserved and exists temporarily out of space and time so that the three type of people this time around in the great harvest will be able to go off on their own to their rightful ascensions plains.... This is the only time this can happen... A lot of people will vanish on 21st Dec 2012... either a) to the beginning again of 25,000 years ago, b) to be where the positive energy beings reside, c) to be where the negative energy beings reside.

    Did I just type that off my head?
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Stonehenge predates druids by a great deal. The theory is that it was (mostly) built somewhere between 3000 and 2000 BC. That means it was up and gathering moss before the Greeks ever marched on Troy. Long before Rome was a city. Long before there even Greek tribes.

    In fact, it mostly predates writing and literacy. Fact is, the only stone monument building ancient race contemporary with the building of Stonehenge is Egypt and maybe some of the Indus Valley civilizations (They hadn't been discovered while I was in school so I never learned much about them).
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    In fact, Stonehenge is older than all the 7 wonders of the ancient world except maybe the pyramids. It's roughly contemporary with the pyramids, or maybe a bit older.
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  8. #7 Stonehenge 
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    We can't simply dismiss all the legends associated with Stonehenge, there are too many coincidences. It’s a fact that there are exotic stones at Stonehenge (the bluestones) that came from the west; nobody in the middle ages could have known this. Also not enough is made of the fact that some of the bluestones re-used in the surviving arrays were once part of an earlier lintelled structure, and one that may have stood somewhere other than Stonehenge (the spacing of the early Q and R holes would not accommodate them as ‘trilithon structures’).

    As early as the 17th century Aylett Sammes suggested that the knowledge to build Stonehenge may have come from the east, for which we can say meant to some ‘Africa’. The latest research shows the stone arrays were mathematically structured, using elegantly simple geometric principles to create a symmetrical mirrored design. It was almost certainly carefully planned on a prehistoric ‘drawing board’ and the stones were largely prefabricated. Whoever created it was skilled in geometry; and whoever he was ‘Merlin’ will do for me!

    http://www.solvingstonehenge.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    Stonehenge predates druids by a great deal. The theory is that it was (mostly) built somewhere between 3000 and 2000 BC. That means it was up and gathering moss before the Greeks ever marched on Troy. Long before Rome was a city. Long before there even Greek tribes
    possible. i, for one, think it may date back to the pre-flood civilization (possibly like th esphynx) but i do not want to turn this into a religious discussion.
    That would be consistent. Assuming you take a literal reading of the genesis story and extrapolate some dates from it. And ignore the last 100 years of geological science.

    In fact, it mostly predates writing and literacy
    considering that we have not discovered all the books and writings of the ancient world, i would say this is an assumption that should not be made.
    The history of writing is pretty well known, all things considered. It seems to have appeared in its earliest form about 4000 BC ish. It was pretty well figured out by 2500s BC in some very specific areas (Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc.). But most of the world was illiterate when Stonehenge was being built.

    If you want to take a theory of a foreign "wizard" orchestrating the building of Stonehenge, I'd look to Egypt. Egypt had the science and mathematics necessary to construct Stonehenge. Really they were about the only major player at the time. And originally Stonehenge was something of a ceremonial tomb, so there are enough similarities that it would be a good basis for an historical fiction type story.

    Not something I'd stake a lot of scientific credence on, but at least the dates and technologies are consistent.

    Also, purely anecdotal, I remember a story of Ancient Egyptians circumnavigating basically the entire African continent by sailing along the coast for a while, then stopping and planting crops, then continuing on after harvest, for many years. In a purely fantastic scenario I can imagine Egyptian explorers navigating up the coast of Europe from the Mediterranean and crashing into England during a channel storm, and then influencing the culture there to be more Egyptian, and even building a mini dynasty and erecting a stone tomb monument.

    It really stretches plausibility, but it's just possible enough that I could suspend disbelief if this were a story.
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    Creating a Dan Brown type of story would be a lot of fun. I tried starting one once, but discovered that literary writing is harder than it seems.

    For me, it just doesn't seem reasonable for a bunch of primitive people, possibly hunter gatherers, to actually have enough surplus food in storage so that they could start a project that large and be assured of completing it. You'd need someone to plan it out ahead of time, with reasonably stable deadlines for completion, and you'd probably need a few labor saving devices/techniques in play.

    I could see a small group of skilled architects from some far away place that had a knowledge of large scale construction methods (and literacy) doing it, perhaps using the locals for all the grunt labor, and I could see the locals wanting to build something that would impress all their neighbors.

    But... human nature tells me that people don't like to start projects they can't be sure they'll finish. Only an architect skilled in geometry, mathematics, and literacy can deliver a ready made plan, with finite requirements, and guarantee you it's going to work if you trust them. Warlords and religious zealots are also the same that way. They don't want to try at some big project, fail, and then have the people not want to follow them anymore. They'll want to know for sure that they can succeed before they begin.
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    most of the world was illiterate, up until only a few centuries ago. nothing new about that. and the Egyptians had knowledge of math and engineering the Sumer and Mesopotamia did not have until later. some achievements of Egypt were taken BY Babylon.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    But most of the world was illiterate when Stonehenge was being built
    i will disagree with that. it is a gross assumption.
    Okay. How about this: there has been no evidence recovered which would indicate any knowledge of literacy, writing, runes, or anything more advanced than pictographs in and about north western Europe at the time Stonehenge was constructed. Likewise no writing has been found on any of the stones.

    it is quite possible that the egyptians got their knowledge from the chaldeans or mesopotamians, they were around before the egyptians, along with the sumerians.
    Your time frame is off if you're talking about "Chaldea". "Chaldea" wasn't a player until after 1000 BC. Sumer was around, so yes, I guess you could consider them a contender. But early dynasty Sumer isn't really known for massive stone monuments (that I know of anyway. Feel free to correct me). Likewise while (indirect) trade between ancient Egypt and Sumer is probable, I think their developments of writing and science are largely independent.

    You might be able to make a case that Stonehenge is sort of like Ishtar's Gate, but that wasn't constructed until about 500BC.

    And originally Stonehenge was something of a ceremonial tomb, so there are enough similarities that it would be a good basis for an historical fiction type story.
    i would disagree with that as well. it is pretty hard to say what it was since we have no writings about it and we do not know who really built the thing.
    I quote from wikipedia quoting Mike Parker Pearson, head of Stonehenge Riverside Project:

    "Stonehenge was a place of burial from its beginning to its zenith in the mid third millennium B.C. The cremation burial dating to Stonehenge's sarsen stones phase is likely just one of many from this later period of the monument's use and demonstrates that it was still very much a domain of the dead."
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    Seeing as we know only scientifically 10% of our ancient history, it would be illogical to dismiss any new ideas and thoughts at first sight and seeing as there is no evidence present for scripture and literacy, writing etc and so if there is no evidence yet we only have 10% of that as our belief because we only know 10%, it would therefore be of logically greater statisically probable outcome that there is evidence of literacy and writing somewhere.

    To dismiss that there is no it is highly illogical, I therefore sumise that this matter should be approached 90% grey.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    That's all well and good, but it doesn't give you much room to say anything with any degree of certainty.

    Maybe the built Stonehenge with magnetic levitation. We haven't seen any evidence of magnetic levitation technology, but then we only know 10% about the time period.

    History is a "soft" science, which means a great deal of it has to rely on educated guesses. There's no evidence of literacy or writing, so we assume they didn't have literacy or writing.

    On the actual matter of Stonehenge: I think we just tend to disregard technologically primitive people as unsophisticated. Things like the Rapa Nui statues and Stonehenge are probably just the "fossilized bones" of a much more common tradition of monument building which is nearly universal in all people. It's just that most (sane) cultures choose to work in more malleable materials like clay and wood, which don't whether the millenia as easily as stone. Like the totem polls of indigenous people of the pacific north west. They would most certainly not last thousands of years of weathering.

    Stonehenge itself was probably built in wood first, and might even have had a wooden "skin", with the stones themselves being the "bones" for a larger and very imposing structure. But over time the wood was salvaged or it decayed, and all that was left were the stones which were just too difficult to move and very resistant to weathering processes.
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    Stonehenge is a very interesting sight. While certainly not the largest megalithic sight in England, it does have many interesting properties in both its construction and the surrounding area. First of all, the blue stones used to construct Stonehenge originated in central England, quite a bit away from Stonehenge itself. These blocks would have had to have been transported I believe a hundred miles or so to the construction site. Also, burial tombs of people have been found around Stonehenge. These people were buried in what appears to be ceremonial ways with many items that speak of social structure and stratification, leading some archeologists to believe that the society to construct Stonehenge was in the chiefdom level of social development, which is the third tier, after bands and tribes and before states, that is used by anthropologists to categorize societies and their complexity. So while their tools may not have been as advanced as we believe them to be, Stonehenge, and many other megalithic sites, seemed to be the work of large cheifdoms that were able to organize labor across Britain for the construction of such great monuments.
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    Stonehenge was a place of burial from its beginning to its zenith in the mid third millennium B.C. The cremation burial dating to Stonehenge's sarsen stones phase is likely just one of many from this later period of the monument's use and demonstrates that it was still very much a domain of the dead."
    i live in a different culture than the west an because of this i get to have a better perspective. people may have buried their dead there or used it for burial but that doesn't neccessarily mean that was the purpose it was built .

    But early dynasty Sumer isn't really known for massive stone monuments (that I know of anyway. Feel free to correct me).
    as far as i know sumer was not a builder nation but that doesn't mean they did not know their math and sciences etc.

    History is a "soft" science, which means a great deal of it has to rely on educated guesses. There's no evidence of literacy or writing, so we assume they didn't have literacy or writing.
    that is one of the problems...people 'assume'. someone once said that if america was destroyed the ONLY author to be discovered in the future would be isaac asimov. mainly because of the large amount of books he wrote.

    they would then conclude that america was illiterate. it is best not to assume.

    most people sell the ancient world short when if they took a long honest look they would see people who were basically exactly the same as their modern counterparts. they were intelligent, mothers wanted their children to be educated and succeed, they built, ate, played and so on.

    there lives were not made up of working, sleeping, praying as some would have the public believe.
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    sleeping, working, not so much playing, because times were different. War was constant, so you joined the army. education was expensive and not universal as it is today. You can't say that education was important, nor was literacy in it's current form. they drew pictures, and communicated that way.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    I'm really not trying to sell the ancient world short. Really they had smart people just like we do, and there are some really fascinating inventions and ideas that are mostly moot with modern technology, so we tend to overlook them. When I did a bit of studying into medieval warfare, I was amazed at the complexity involved.

    Stonehenge was (probably) built without literacy. Probably with no tools more sophisticated than a compass and straight edge. That they were able to build what they did is a testament to their ingenuity. Some really smart people, forever lost to time, were able to work out not just the logistical nightmare of moving stones, but figuring out a meaningful way of aligning the stones, without writing or literacy or pretty much any technology at all. We're literally talking stone age people.
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    you're right in some respects arch, but these assumptions are all we can make, and I need to point out, you are making assumptions to, just different ones. And the attacks you give are baseless. to compare a people who, as far as we can tell, had less technological advancements than a tribe in sub-Saharan Africa, we can make the educated guess that the literacy rate was less than the literacy rate in sub-Saharan Africa. Survival is more important than reading, and you can't argue that point. Survival was difficult in the era of these people, so it is likely that a lot more energy and time was devoted to growing food, hunting animals, and taking care of the rituals that they felt gave them a better chance of survival. The mentality of these people is different than our own, so you really can't apply today's high priority objectives to a people who lived several thousand years ago.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    Stonehenge was (probably) built without literacy. Probably with no tools more sophisticated than a compass and straight edge
    Nasa sent men to the moon on a slide ruler. are you going to call them illiterate?
    Wow, you have massively missed the point of basically my entire post.

    There is writing all over the Apollo missions. It's lousy with words and symbols. Therefore I would conclude that NASA was literate. Meaning that they knew how to read and write.

    It seems to me that you read "illiterate" as meaning "stupid". This is the modern usage of the term, so I guess it's a forgivable mistake. When I use "illiterate", I mean "not possessing the knowledge of writing". People of Stonehenge had to communicate mouth to ear. Or maybe using pictures.

    Usually literacy precedes monument building. But there are exceptions. Like Rapa Nui. When a stone age people (by which I mean a level of technology predating the manipulation of soft metals like copper) are able to erect impressive monuments which somehow manage to survive into modern times, those people are to be celebrated for their ingenuity.

    It'd be like if we had managed to begin space travel in the steam age.

    again you rely on the assumption and you cannot state that they were stone aged people. we have stone age people alive today, are you going to claim that america is a stone age nation?
    They had no metal tools. There are no tool marks consistent with anything but stone. In archeology, the science has to be: absence of evidence is evidence of absence. This allows us to make meaningful extrapolations.

    If they had metal tools, they did not use it to construct Stonehenge. We can determine this by examining the tool marks on the stones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numsgil
    That's all well and good, but it doesn't give you much room to say anything with any degree of certainty.

    Maybe the built Stonehenge with magnetic levitation. We haven't seen any evidence of magnetic levitation technology, but then we only know 10% about the time period.

    History is a "soft" science, which means a great deal of it has to rely on educated guesses. There's no evidence of literacy or writing, so we assume they didn't have literacy or writing.

    On the actual matter of Stonehenge: I think we just tend to disregard technologically primitive people as unsophisticated. Things like the Rapa Nui statues and Stonehenge are probably just the "fossilized bones" of a much more common tradition of monument building which is nearly universal in all people. It's just that most (sane) cultures choose to work in more malleable materials like clay and wood, which don't whether the millenia as easily as stone. Like the totem polls of indigenous people of the pacific north west. They would most certainly not last thousands of years of weathering.

    Stonehenge itself was probably built in wood first, and might even have had a wooden "skin", with the stones themselves being the "bones" for a larger and very imposing structure. But over time the wood was salvaged or it decayed, and all that was left were the stones which were just too difficult to move and very resistant to weathering processes.
    Just look at Isreal's archaeology. The finding of the dead sea scrolls was one of the biggest celebrations ever in that area of archaeology, because it gave use-able original copies of bible books that could be dated to 600 BC or so.

    A book as widely used in that country as the Torah...... and we've only ever found how many useable copies? That should tell you that, at least with writing, there's very little correlation between what people had and what we find.

    On top of that, we know that common people necessarily lived differently than nobles. Education was a scarce commodity before the printing press made it possible to mass produce it. It would have been so even in areas that had fully developed writing. Only a country with a very large nobility or merchant class would find it practical to write more than just basic things.

    The grunts who built the structure could be totally illiterate, using very unsophisticated tools, and that tells us nothing at all about the overseers who coordinated their efforts.

    It's foolish to assume that techologies had to either:

    A) - Be so universal that we'd find mountains of examples

    or

    B) - Not exist

    In our modern era, new inventions spread like wild fire, so we like to assume that's a fundamental trait of reality. Yet.... we know for certain our assumption is false. It's not just in the sense of having no reason *to* believe so. We have a great deal of reason *not* to believe so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    It seems to me that you read "illiterate" as meaning "stupid". This is the modern usage of the term, so I guess it's a forgivable mistake. When I use "illiterate", I mean "not possessing the knowledge of writing". People of Stonehenge had to communicate mouth to ear. Or maybe using pictures.
    i know what you meant, just because someone disagrees with you does it mean they do not know anything.
    Well you likened it to NASA using slide rulers and so would I call them illiterate. If you know what I meant then that example is silly.

    They had no metal tools. There are no tool marks consistent with anything but stone. In archeology, the science has to be: absence of evidence is evidence of absence. This allows us to make meaningful extrapolations.
    sorry but we do not know this and you would be wrong in your perversion of Kitchen's adage.
    What do you mean we do not know this? You mean the interpretation of tool marks on the stones is incorrect? That's a pretty bold statement. It would put you at odds with the majority of modern archeological scholarship.

    Is that a position you want to be in? I tend to side with the smart people who dedicate their lives to studying something.
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    Now I'm confused. Are you saying archaeologists believe they cut the stones without tools? Maybe they found them that way and didn't need to cut them?

    It seems like a lot of what shades our view of history is the presence or absence of a desire to believe that human beings can do stuff without technology. Maybe it's how much we value technology. For me, the possibility is that the ancients were constantly discovering and then forgetting things.

    For you, maybe it's the possibility that they were able to work around their technological limitations, or that sheer determination and strength in numbers was sufficient to overcome all obstacles?
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    Stonehenge was (probably) built without literacy. Probably with no tools more sophisticated than a compass and straight edge
    Nasa sent men to the moon on a slide ruler. are you going to call them illiterate?
    The site of Stonehenge was first under construction in the third millennium BCE. From about 3000 to 1500 BCE Britain was an illiterate land until the Romans arrived. It looks like you're equivocating literacy with intelligence.

    without writing or literacy or pretty much any technology at all. We're literally talking stone age people.
    again you rely on the assumption and you cannot state that they were stone aged people. we have stone age people alive today, are you going to claim that america is a stone age nation?
    Again, there seems to be some disconnect in what you're thinking and what's actually being said or what truly is. "Stone age" is a general term that refers to a period in human history in which lithic technology was dominant and metal was yet to be introduced. There are no cultures currently on the planet where metal has not been introduced. Lithics are still used in several cultures, but they are hardly referred to as "stone age." When he said "literally stone age," what he meant was one of the periods in human history, in the case of Stonehenge, it was the Mesolithic which just pre-dates it (a "stone age"). Right around the time of Stonehenge is the Bronze Age in Norther Europe, including Britain and the Salisbury Plain where the henge is.

    really?? the greeks had an ancient 'computer' and if it weren't for a shipwreck we would not have known about it. how much ancient technology do we not know about?
    Hopefully there's a lot, but realistically there's little left to surprise archaeologists. There's no reason to expect iron devices in Mesolithic periods, for instance. And, while the Antikythera mechanism is unique and fascinating, it's hardly the type of "technology" that is inconsistent with the rest of Greek technology. We already knew they had a good grasp of astronomy at the time it was in use (200-100 BCE), and we knew they understood how to work metal in very precise ways by this time.

    the first excavator of Thera, Martinos sp...(forget how to spell his name) was walking along the ancient road he had uncovered and his foot kicked something in the dirt. it was a piece of glass that would have fit into a telescope yet NO telescope was ever used during the excavations and had to come from the buried town. he concluded that if santorini had not exploded, we may have been in the star wars age by now.
    Yeah... I call bullshit on that. The archaeologist you're speaking of is Spyridon Marinatos and I doubt the "glass that would have fit into a telescope" claim. I challenge you to cite the source of this.

    we have countless records of hot and cold running water, sewer systems, flush toilets and so on,we do not know all that they had back then.
    What, precisely, is this statement supposed to suggest? Of course we "do not know all that they had back then" or there wouldn't still be archaeologists (real ones like me, by the way).
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    Well you likened it to NASA using slide rulers and so would I call them illiterate. If you know what I meant then that example is silly.
    no, it is the right example as you are not thinking things through. the majority of work for the oon launch was done on material that is easily destroyed and if all you found was a slide ruler in the building then you would assume that the people were illiterate or just communicated in signs.
    Slide rulers have writing on them.
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    So cave men wrote out novels, instruction manuals for how to get the roundest wheel and the hottest fire, and, I'm sure, the occasional "hunting for dummies" was in there too, right Arch? They actually did this, though, but not in they way you would think by reading the words that I used. They used pictures instead of representational 'words' to tell a story, or instruct on the "proper" or traditional methods for doing something. They did not have paper, nor any other practical medium with which they could write on, nor did they have great tools to do this writing. Just wanted to toss that into the ring.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    it is best that you stop assuming and try to comprehend reality. societies do not advance at that same rate and there was no such thing as 'the stone age' but secularist just blindly adopted the norwegian museum's division and have never corrected their error.

    metalwork was done from the beginning of time and did not wait till 'the next stage'.
    It would seem that *my* comprehension and grasp of reality isn't in question if you think metalwork "was done from the beginning of time." If you continue with this sort of nonsense, I'm going to move your posts from this academic forum to the trash. Of course, if you'd like to cite some evidence to back this very, very wild and irrational claim, feel free to do so. But I will not tolerate nonsense in a science forum. I already barely tolerate your trolling in the Religion subforum.

    you would be surprised since they have very incomplete information from the past and you show a very closed mindset.
    The whole "your mind is closed" fallacy is an argument typically used by significance-junkies and mystery-mongers who lack any real education in science or history or, at least, fail to apply it over their fantastic conclusions. If you want to post this sort of thing, please do so in the Pseudoscience subforum.

    I call bullshit on that. The archaeologist you're speaking of is Spyridon Marinatos and I doubt the "glass that would have fit into a telescope" claim. I challenge you to cite the source of this.
    call what you want but i do not lie. i did the story from memory asi have read a lot on thera and may have confused a couple details but the reference is found here:

    Return To Sodom and Gomorrah by Charles Pellgrino, Avon Books, 1994 pgs. 204-6.
    That you're lying is a far more parsimonious and believable explanation than the claim that Marinatos found an ancient telescope lens where one ought not be. But I'll accept that the unknown author you cited was lying and you're just gullible enough to believe him.

    What, precisely, is this statement supposed to suggest? Of course we "do not know all that they had back then" or there wouldn't still be archaeologists (real ones like me, by the way).
    insults get you no where.
    Insult? I'm merely attempting to ascertain what, precisely, that statement of yours was supposed to suggest? You're clearly not an archaeologist nor do you have any education in archaeology so, as an actual archaeologist, I offer my expertise and knowledge to help you flesh it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    it is best that you stop assuming and try to comprehend reality. societies do not advance at that same rate and there was no such thing as 'the stone age' but secularist just blindly adopted the norwegian museum's division and have never corrected their error.

    metalwork was done from the beginning of time and did not wait till 'the next stage'.
    It would seem that *my* comprehension and grasp of reality isn't in question if you think metalwork "was done from the beginning of time." If you continue with this sort of nonsense, I'm going to move your posts from this academic forum to the trash. Of course, if you'd like to cite some evidence to back this very, very wild and irrational claim, feel free to do so. But I will not tolerate nonsense in a science forum. I already barely tolerate your trolling in the Religion subforum.
    (This time I'm just quoting so people know who I'm responding to)

    I don't know about the metal working from the "beginning of time", but my theory of history is that ancient societies had geniuses just like how we have geniuses. They probably even had Divinci's from time to time.

    If a Leonardo Davinci figure emerges in a society that doesn't have writing yet... it's possible that he'll single handedly re-invent it. Of course, it might not catch on, or only a few people will start using it, and it may never become refined if it doesn't catch on enough for lots of people to start contributing to the process.

    We don't need to assume that people of such caliber are always limited by the accomplishments of their peers. Nor should we assume that all technologies become widespread the moment they're invented (indeed we have strong evidence to suggest that they do not always do so).


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    Now I'm confused. Are you saying archaeologists believe they cut the stones without tools? Maybe they found them that way and didn't need to cut them?
    if you are talking to me, the answer would be 'no'. what i am saying is that the archaologist does not have enough knowledge of everyday life to be making the determinations or interpretations that they are making.

    one reason i can refute is. finkelstein is because he does NOT know the difference between new construction and renovation. his down dating is off just on that point alone.
    No. I was responding to Numsgil's post just before mine. This one:

    They had no metal tools. There are no tool marks consistent with anything but stone. In archeology, the science has to be: absence of evidence is evidence of absence. This allows us to make meaningful extrapolations.
    sorry but we do not know this and you would be wrong in your perversion of Kitchen's adage.
    What do you mean we do not know this? You mean the interpretation of tool marks on the stones is incorrect? That's a pretty bold statement. It would put you at odds with the majority of modern archeological scholarship.

    Is that a position you want to be in? I tend to side with the smart people who dedicate their lives to studying something.
    I didn't remember about any lack of tool marks on the stones. But now that I think about it: I'm pretty sure there aren't any tool marks. The theory I've heard is that they carved the stones by using other stones.

    However: That means any evidence of the use of tools during the quarrying stage would be removed by the "stone on stone" finishing process, as you seem to be suggesting.



    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    really?? the greeks had an ancient 'computer' and if it weren't for a shipwreck we would not have known about it. how much ancient technology do we not know about?
    Hopefully there's a lot, but realistically there's little left to surprise archaeologists. There's no reason to expect iron devices in Mesolithic periods, for instance. And, while the Antikythera mechanism is unique and fascinating, it's hardly the type of "technology" that is inconsistent with the rest of Greek technology. We already knew they had a good grasp of astronomy at the time it was in use (200-100 BCE), and we knew they understood how to work metal in very precise ways by this time.
    Part of my theory is that perhaps the elite members of some societies might have been in possession of technologies the commoners wouldn't get for another 500 years. Finding an "Antikythera" device should then be exponentially harder than finding pottery, because few examples would ever have been made.

    A lot of this view, for me, started with Carl Sagan, who did a show that focused a lot on ancient machines that were used just to increase people's superstitions, stuff like steam devices and light generators that Greeks used in some temples.
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    If the stones were cut from the quarry with metal tools, wouldn't they have a nicer finish than a rock "polish" could give them? and, if my understanding of metal is accurate, wouldn't it be much easier to finish the gigantic stones with metal tools as opposed to stone tools? I mean, the metal is harder, stronger, and can be made to be more versatile than a stone tool, right? Plus, assuming the stones were "finished" (an assumption that I disagree with based on the question, "why 'finish'(polish, I assume) the blocks when you can't make the polish look nice either way?") wouldn't it make sense to use the smoother metal tools as opposed to the coarse stones when finishing up the polish?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    it is best that you stop assuming and try to comprehend reality. societies do not advance at that same rate and there was no such thing as 'the stone age' but secularist just blindly adopted the norwegian museum's division and have never corrected their error.

    metalwork was done from the beginning of time and did not wait till 'the next stage'.
    It would seem that *my* comprehension and grasp of reality isn't in question if you think metalwork "was done from the beginning of time." If you continue with this sort of nonsense, I'm going to move your posts from this academic forum to the trash. Of course, if you'd like to cite some evidence to back this very, very wild and irrational claim, feel free to do so. But I will not tolerate nonsense in a science forum. I already barely tolerate your trolling in the Religion subforum.
    (This time I'm just quoting so people know who I'm responding to)

    I don't know about the metal working from the "beginning of time", but my theory of history is that ancient societies had geniuses just like how we have geniuses. They probably even had Divinci's from time to time.

    If a Leonardo Davinci figure emerges in a society that doesn't have writing yet... it's possible that he'll single handedly re-invent it. Of course, it might not catch on, or only a few people will start using it, and it may never become refined if it doesn't catch on enough for lots of people to start contributing to the process.

    We don't need to assume that people of such caliber are always limited by the accomplishments of their peers. Nor should we assume that all technologies become widespread the moment they're invented (indeed we have strong evidence to suggest that they do not always do so).
    I would say that, clearly, there was a Da Vinci, and he was the person who designed and engineered stone henge. The intellectual value of the people was much, MUCH less than Da Vinci, if the other periods in history are any measure. I'd wager that a genius designed, planned, and oversaw the construction of Stonehenge, or at least during each construction period there were plans laid out and followed by the original engineer, probably through pictures on a piece of wood or carved into a stone tablet, or, even more possible, passed by training and practical experience through generations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    It would seem that *my* comprehension and grasp of reality isn't in question if you think metalwork "was done from the beginning of time." If you continue with this sort of nonsense, I'm going to move your posts from this academic forum to the trash
    really... so it is okay for you to assume and theorize without any evidence but i am not allowed to make statements about the past using the same method-- no evidence?
    I'm sorry, but there is ample evidence on the emergence of metal working in the archaeological record. It is, after all metal and survives fairly well in the material record. Any basic text in archaeology will go into sufficient detail on this. A good text for a beginner or someone with a genuine interest in archaeology would be Archaeology, by Renfrew. You can find less recent editions which aren't inclusive of some of the more recent finds like the alleged Homo floresiensis skeleton for sale at prices as little as $5.00 in Half-Price Books.

    On the flip side of this, you made a very extraordinary claim to which you completely refuse to source. What, precisely do you mean by "beginning of time?" Certainly you aren't suggesting that metalworking by humans has been around since the universe began its present state 13+ billion years ago. I gather you also aren't suggesting that human metalurgy has been around since the Earth colesced 4.6 billion years ago. Even if on a human time scale you mean that humans began metal-working 100,000-150,000 years ago, the evidence says otherwise. We have some good evidence of tool use among hominids even prior to this, but metal work doesn't make its debute in the archaeological record until the Bronze Age. For Northern Europe, this was at around 3,000 BCE (give or take a few hundred years depending on the specific region).

    To make the extraordinary claim otherwise requires extraoridinary evidence. Metalworking might have emerged independently and at different periods and could very well have emerged then disappeared at, for instance, 4,000 BCE but we cannot simply assume it to be so without evidence. Until such time, we can only say that bronze and copper tools at the time of Stonehenge would be consistent with the technology of the day.

    i am so tired of that false accusation. i am not trolling but participating in a discussion from my perspective. you seem to be the type of person who thinks freedom of speechonly applies to you and what you agree with.
    There is no guarantee of freedom of speech in this forum. This is a serious forum and non-scientific claims will be moved to the appropriate forum. To willfully post superstitious and pseudoscientific claims is to troll. Period.

    feel free to join my website's discussion forum and discuss from your point of view.
    I'm not in the least interested. Feel free, however, to continue participating in non-scientific discussions at your own pseudoscience site.

    you forget, you called me on one item and backed it up, so i would be careful about calling someone a troll.
    This sentence is too ambiguous to make sense. Besides, I'm always very careful to whom I refer as a troll.

    The whole "your mind is closed" fallacy is an argument typically used by significance-junkies and mystery-mongers who lack any real education in science or history or, at least, fail to apply it over their fantastic conclusions. If you want to post this sort of thing, please do so in the Pseudoscience subforum
    yet i am not doing psuedo science, i am presenting what i know in a discussion.
    You seem only to be presenting what you choose to believe. As I said, its pseudoscience and if it continues, I'll strip those posts out and move them to the relevant forum. Period.

    i have yet to see you refute anything and threats are not rebuttal. so if you know differenlty, why don't YOU cite sources so i can read for myself?
    Sure. What claim have I made that you'd like additional information and citation to? I'm happy to do so.

    you say these things because i do not practice archaeology YOUR WAY or YOUR ACCEPTANCE of the secular way and you would be wrong.
    I'm not sure what a "secular way" is... archaeology is science and of course it is secular. Indeed, if archaeology isn't done scientifically, it isn't archaeology. Therefore, there isn't a "my way" to do archaeology, there is only a scientific way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    feel free to join my website's discussion forum and discuss from your point of view.
    Wonderful website. The discussions are essentially refusing to accept or believe that which has been clearly demonstrated and accept and believe that which has not.

    Severe delusion at it's finest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    ...For Northern Europe, this was at around 3,000 BCE (give or take a few hundred years depending on the specific region).

    ...we can only say that bronze and copper tools at the time of Stonehenge would be consistent with the technology of the day.
    This is actually a point I'd like clarified. I had to read between the lines to figure out what sort of tech level Stonehenge was constructed with. Either it was just at the tale end of the neolithic, or just at the beginning of the chalcolithic, or stradling the transition.

    From what I've read, metalworking was brought to Britain from Europe during a wave of colonization somewhere in the 2100 BC+ range. And that Stonehenge was built (mostly) before that. And that the stones at Stonehenge had flint tool markings (I really have no idea how they can tell that). Which would all indicate only stone tools were used to build Stonehenge because that's all that was available.

    But like I said that's my extrapolating from what I've read.
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    I'm going off of memory, but I believe the initial stones of SH show no signs of tool marks and even later additions show minimal signs of metal tools. There is, however, metal present at most levels of the site since some very intricate bronze and copper pieces are found in burials in the Avery holes or under stones.

    This is probably due to the cost of making metal tools. The technology might exist, but it simply wasn't cost effective given the lack of ore and ability to work it in the region of the Salisbury Plains. But I'll need to check my old notes to verify this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    I'm going off of memory, but I believe the initial stones of SH show no signs of tool marks and even later additions show minimal signs of metal tools. There is, however, metal present at most levels of the site since some very intricate bronze and copper pieces are found in burials in the Avery holes or under stones.

    This is probably due to the cost of making metal tools. The technology might exist, but it simply wasn't cost effective given the lack of ore and ability to work it in the region of the Salisbury Plains. But I'll need to check my old notes to verify this.
    Yeah. That's why I wouldn't rule out their use in the quarrying process. From what I understand, metal tools wear out when you try to use them on stone, so a "stone on stone" finishing process makes a lot more sense, because the stones you use to to bash against the larger stone don't cost very much to get.

    However, at the quarrying stage, you might want to be able to cut through the rock more quickly. I understand the Egyptian cutting process was to use copper wire together with some kind of an abrasive material like sand.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I don't know about the metal working from the "beginning of time", but my theory of history is that ancient societies had geniuses just like how we have geniuses. They probably even had Divinci's from time to time.

    If a Leonardo Davinci figure emerges in a society that doesn't have writing yet... it's possible that he'll single handedly re-invent it. Of course, it might not catch on, or only a few people will start using it, and it may never become refined if it doesn't catch on enough for lots of people to start contributing to the process.

    We don't need to assume that people of such caliber are always limited by the accomplishments of their peers. Nor should we assume that all technologies become widespread the moment they're invented (indeed we have strong evidence to suggest that they do not always do so).
    I would say that, clearly, there was a Da Vinci, and he was the person who designed and engineered stone henge. The intellectual value of the people was much, MUCH less than Da Vinci, if the other periods in history are any measure. I'd wager that a genius designed, planned, and oversaw the construction of Stonehenge, or at least during each construction period there were plans laid out and followed by the original engineer, probably through pictures on a piece of wood or carved into a stone tablet, or, even more possible, passed by training and practical experience through generations.
    Now that is a version of the story which I could believe. Maybe rather than a "wizard" or group of "wizards" educated in a far away land, it was just a genius born locally, and creative enough to come up with ways of communicating with pictures, and a basic intuitive understanding of geometry.

    I'm not sure how he convinced the chieftan or other leaders to dedicate so much man power to this objective, but maybe he was simply known as a person who could do amazing things. And.....If so, then I'm sure in the people's popular lore he'd be elevated to the status of "wizard" or "god" after his death.
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    Well look at the pyramids. Basically it was the work of a single brilliant engineer, Imhotep, which started the whole thing.

    And it isn't too hard to convince a pharoah/king to build something magnificent if you know what button to push. For pharoahs, with their divinity, it was an appeal to their ego. I don't think we know enough about Stonehenge to understand the motivation, but I would wager it was during a period of strong absolutist rule. And one chieftain wanted to build something magnificent to thank the gods/celebrate his awesomeness/ensure bountiful harvest/etc.
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    Hi all. I've been away for some time; glad to be back

    I've read over the posts from this thread, and wish to address a few points:

    - The monument was built roughly from 2800 BCE to 1600 BCE, with the megaliths appearing around 2500.
    - These dates span the Neolothic and the Bronze Age (Britain had no copper age per se).

    - There are no flint markings on any stones; the evidence for stone hammers is clear as many were found onsite. Sarsen is one of the hardest stones on the planet (which always astounded me - why did they choose these when they could have used exclusively bluestones ?) Flint would not scratch it, much less leave cut marks.

    - There is no evidence that the Q and R holes ever held stones. Even the Aubrey holes have been given credit for the same, as well as being used to support wood; depends who you read (check out M.Pitts). Among the many theories relating to the Q/R holes are supports for scaffolding, but no post pipes have been found, but the most accepted theory is that they were late-dug holes to hold yet more stones (probably bluestones) that were never filled, then abandonned.

    - There have been NO metal pieces found in the Aubrey holes ! Bones, both cremated and inhumation, bluestone chips (but no sarsen, which is why they predate the sarsens). Actually, I am not aware of any metal found off or onsite; if anyone has a reference, I would love to be wrong on this one !

    - Every Sarsen and lintel was worked: the inside of eath sarsen is smooth - the amount of work involved in hand-polishing such a hard stone with nothing but smaller sarsen stones just boggels the mind! The lintels are imho more impressive, but that is for another thread.


    This forum is one of free speach and ideas. Please do not flame. If you disagree with anything I wrote, please respond in an intelligent manner. I can produce references for all the above, so I expect the same if you disagree.

    Cheers
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    I suspect that Stonehenge served a rather mundane but central function in the economy. The economy, we know, revolved around pre-domestic cattle (aurochs) which were hunted in the field but not necessarily killed and slaughtered there. I speculate that cattle were normally singled out, and ...cowed... then lead/goaded back to a settlement where the stock could be slaughtered for meat as wanted. The problem then is how to pen a herd of powerful 1,000 kg bulls which stand 2 meters at the shoulder - much larger than our modern livestock. You would want to anchor your enclosure with massive stones.

    The lords of centres like Stonehenge would naturally accept stone and lumber hauled by hungry labourers, in exchange for meat. Thus they expand the business. Work for food. Hunger's a great motivator. I wonder what cruelty those lords were capable of.

    The trenches around Stonehenge were filled with cattle bones. Mystical Druidic sacrifice or unsentimental slaughterhouse waste?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The problem then is how to pen a herd of powerful 1,000 kg bulls which stand 2 meters at the shoulder - much larger than our modern livestock. You would want to anchor your enclosure with massive stones.
    Livestock my have been sacrificed here, but I don't see this acting as a pen. It doesn't seem to have a suitable entrance/exit and is not large enough to house many aurochs's. A lot of human bones with traumatic injury are buried nearby as well. Some think it may have been a place where the sick and injured sought healing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    The problem then is how to pen a herd of powerful 1,000 kg bulls which stand 2 meters at the shoulder - much larger than our modern livestock. You would want to anchor your enclosure with massive stones.
    Livestock my have been sacrificed here, but I don't see this acting as a pen. It doesn't seem to have a suitable entrance/exit and is not large enough to house many aurochs's. A lot of human bones with traumatic injury are buried nearby as well. Some think it may have been a place where the sick and injured sought healing.
    I agree with Kukhri: Stonehenge was not a pen for aurochs. Why go to the incredible trouble of hauling, working, lifting and accurately positioning Sarsens, carving the curved lentils...not to mention the bluestones ? Just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

    Asaik, there were relatively few cattle bones found in the henge's trenchs. One particular shoulder bone and skull (if I remember correctly) were more than 500 yrs old when they were placed in the trench, near the southern entrance. This was likely done to 'sanctify' the place with something already 'ancient'.

    A vast pile of pig and cattle bones (90% young pigs) were dug up at Durrington Walls, which is why it is thought D.W. was a place of celebration, and SH a place of death, for the ancestors...but that in itself is a long story.

    Does anyone know much about the SH Cursus ? I was built some 5 centuries before the henge was dug: was it a 'barrier' to the 'holy land', or was it something else ? Personally, I have to ask why dig TWO deep trenches (which form the bulk of the loop) when one would do the same job ? Nope, it was for something else. Few burials (2?) have been found. The inside is archeologically empty. Any ideas ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CShark
    Stonehenge was not a pen for aurochs. Why go to the incredible trouble of hauling, working, lifting and accurately positioning Sarsens, carving the curved lentils...not to mention the bluestones ? Just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
    Yes, it must have been extremely hard labour and we rightly wonder what compelled us wretches to it. The popular explanation is "they must have been crazy" i.e. religiously motivated. That's an infinitely flexible explanation for any behaviours we don't understand. Bonus: it gets a dig at religion.

    Why do Brits especially pepper gratuituos "sacred"s and "holy"s into history that seems banal to an outsider? Every chicken bone a mystic sacrifice and spiritual banquet. Then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade. Oh well. I'll continue to presume most human endeavours were basically reasonable and practical at the time thanks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Why do Brits especially pepper gratuituos "sacred"s and "holy"s into history that seems banal to an outsider?
    Do Brits in particular more often attribute to religion what are actually rational enterprises? I really don't think so. And stonehenge is anything but banal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Every chicken bone a mystic sacrifice and spiritual banquet. Then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade.
    Oh come on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Oh well. I'll continue to presume most human endeavours were basically reasonable and practical at the time thanks.
    Stonehenge is just a preposterous thing to build. If this was built for function, then what? The people who built this were clearly smart enough to design something much less labor intensive for any practical purpose I can think of.
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    The religious aspect of Sh cannot be overlooked. One thing we tend to do is look at history through modern eyes, something which while it is natural, is completely slanted and incorrect.

    Ritual and every day life were totally intertwined. inseperable. I imagine that every action of nature, every kill during a hunt, every harvest, and especially the night sky (something we-of-today cannot appreciate at all...) were mystified into some sort of 'faith'. The words 'religion' or 'Faith' are innacurate, as we do not have any equivalent label for such an existence.

    I used the words "Holy" etc. in my earlier post to describe the SH area: my bad. but you get my drift...and I won't lob and Holy Handgrenades


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    Another henge found in Wiltshire.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-10718522
    In reality there are probably many more waiting to be discovered. If you include the man made Silbury Hill and the amazing site at nearby Avebury which is far more impressive than Stonehenge, then Wiltshire is the most mysterious area.
    Some myths include Stonehenge and Avebury being the centre of many ley lines (unproven) and the nearby Marlborough Downs being the global centre for crop circles. I've seen a few of these and they are at least damn good forgeries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukhri
    stonehenge is anything but banal.
    But it was to people at the time. As banal as the Golden Gate Bridge, or those monumental transmission towers dominating the San Francisco skyline. You live under it, it grows old real quick.

    Can you get your head around my suggestion that people living in view of these structures didn't regard them much?

    @CShark. I try to avoid romanticising or mystifying history. We know we want to, so we ought to check ourselves. IMHO.
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    Religion is probably how they "sold" the idea to the masses who would have to do the actual work. From the leaders' standpoint it would have less to do with a genuine blind faith in the supernatural and more to do with wanting a meeting place that would draw large crowds (probably via religious ceremonies.)

    I think leaders in ancient history saw religion more or less as they see it today: as a tool.
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    I once saw a good documentary where they re-enacted the construction of stone henge. The main problem was getting the bluestones all the way from Wales to Salisbury plain. The trick was to cut across the sea on log boats. Personally I reckon there was no sea to cross at the time the stones came over.
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  47. #46  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I suspect that Stonehenge served a rather mundane but central function in the economy. The economy, we know, revolved around pre-domestic cattle (aurochs) which were hunted in the field but not necessarily killed and slaughtered there. I speculate that cattle were normally singled out, and ...cowed... then lead/goaded back to a settlement where the stock could be slaughtered for meat as wanted. The problem then is how to pen a herd of powerful 1,000 kg bulls which stand 2 meters at the shoulder - much larger than our modern livestock. You would want to anchor your enclosure with massive stones.

    The lords of centres like Stonehenge would naturally accept stone and lumber hauled by hungry labourers, in exchange for meat. Thus they expand the business. Work for food. Hunger's a great motivator. I wonder what cruelty those lords were capable of.

    The trenches around Stonehenge were filled with cattle bones. Mystical Druidic sacrifice or unsentimental slaughterhouse waste?
    I think this question depends on who's eyes you are looking through. For a commoner, it was probably religious. For a leader, it was probably quite banal, and/or political. As a natural meeting place, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of commerce/trade happened there over the years.

    If we go with wizard/"wizard" theory, Stonehenge would have been an opportunity to propose building something that would seem absurd, and then apply their superior knowledge to make what seemed impossible turn out to be quite possible on application. After the project is over, the naysayers seem pretty foolish, and from that moment on, their leadership is rarely (if ever) doubted again.

    Just think how competent the leaders must have looked after overseeing something like that successfully.
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  48. #47  
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    History is NOT a science, it is a humanities or a"scholarly art" like literature, predating the Western Notion of science by 1,000 years.
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