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New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/10/2018 10:04 AM

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/stonehenge-rocks-in-place-millions-of-years-before-humans/ar-AAvG5Mh

It still needs some imagination to work out how rocks of that size were positioned using the construction technologies available when the structure was built.

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#1

Re: New theory on Stonehenge sarsen stone origins

04/10/2018 11:04 AM
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#7
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Re: New theory on Stonehenge sarsen stone origins

04/11/2018 12:14 AM

Between 40 and 50 years ago, I personally and alone moved quite a few stones into desired positions. Several of the largest of those that moved a significant distance were between 1.5 and 2 tons. I nudged a couple around 3 tons for a few inches. This was all done using planks, pipe rollers, and levers/fulcrums. I did use ropes to restrain the movement and prevent them from accidentally rolling down my steep hillside. I also made very good use of a large amount of patience! They are all still where I put them. FWIW, I was 5'4" and 150 lbs.

Of course I did have the advantage of steel pipes and levers, but I'm sure I could have done it with good oak or other strong wood.

I see nothing preventing a group of people from moving 30 or 40 tons on relatively flat terrain. See some of the many articles & videos regarding the moving of the Moais on Easter Island...

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#2

Re: New theory on Stonehenge sarsen stone origins

04/10/2018 12:32 PM

Yes, it does take imagination but ancient people were just as imaginative as present day people. They were also just as lucky as modern day designers. Nobody planned to make Manhattan-henge.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: New theory on Stonehenge sarsen stone origins

04/10/2018 12:46 PM

Great picture.

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#12
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Re: New theory on Stonehenge sarsen stone origins

04/12/2018 11:21 PM

Who was it said "It must be beautiful - if you can't read?"

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#16
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Re: New theory on Stonehenge sarsen stone origins

04/13/2018 3:59 PM

In Chicago, we also have "Loop-henge" in the winter, when the Sun stays low enough that downtown is shadowed except for the noontime streams up the N-S streets.

Also during the winter in the Loop, if you're in a high-rise, 45+ stories up, with stonework outside the windows, you'll notice that the shadows are on the wrong ends, the overhangs are lit, while the foundation setbacks are shaded. The stonework is higher than the Sun!

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: New theory on Stonehenge sarsen stone origins

04/13/2018 11:35 PM

"the overhangs are lit"

Hard to imagine, but will take your word for it. Would love to see a pic!

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#21
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Re: New theory on Stonehenge sarsen stone origins

04/16/2018 8:08 AM

I don't work downtown anymore, however here's a quick example of how it kind of looks:

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#3

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/10/2018 12:44 PM

Am I missing something? The article starts mentioning that two of the sarsens had been in the general vicinity of Stonehenge for millions of years. But after that it only discusses the Heel Stone. What about the other one? Is there a link to more of the article I'm not seeing?

As for moving the stones: The other stones could have been moved using a half-dozen rounded logs as rollers. As a stone rolled off of a log, it could be carried to the front of the line. The same half dozen or so logs could be used continually.

In the winter time - although snow and ice weren't constantly on the ground back then, there would have been enough occasional snowfalls to move the stones on skids.

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#20
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/14/2018 2:09 PM

The sarsens are millions of years old, but from another place of rock. I am not current with the glacial history of England, but the last Global Ice Age ended +/- 12,000 years ago. More likely the last continental glacier brought them in.

Simple equation: age of transported rock rarely = age of rock formation.

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#5

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/10/2018 4:47 PM

Just don't let Chevy Chase get anywhere near the place.

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#6

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/10/2018 6:09 PM

Henge of convenience... I like it.

Huge inspiration to get the other stones to join though.

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#8

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/11/2018 11:57 AM

The heelstone could have been a glacially moved erratic. There are several instances of very large stones placed far from their source that have been transported by glaciation. Where I live, there are large boulders in that size range that have been moved either by glacial action or inundation flooding over a distance of 700 miles.

Moving the rest of them could have been triggered by anything, such as Urrg in a drug induced hallucination imagined the heelstone saying, "I'm tired of sleeping, I want to stand up", and later, "I'm lonely, bring me some friends to play with." From there it's turtles all the way down.

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#22
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 9:10 AM

Well, the whole thing is basically a clock for seasons. Pretty sure the urge to celebrate the change of seasons was as strong then as it is now. I mean, virtually all the religions had a component of "thank God, the days are getting longer!" The magnificence of Stonehenge is over the top, but it's not the only monument that clearly stated " we know the calendar, and how to build stuff too"

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#9

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/11/2018 1:56 PM

Ancient mantras of early tyrants:

''Having idle manpower beckens them to be directed to be kept busy building (another?) religious icon, before they realize they are being exploited by (enlightened?...) others...''

And, ''If they finish it too soon, then start a new, even bigger one, even more difficult to buld... (as quick as possible...)''

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#10

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/12/2018 2:06 AM

R2-D2 and C-3PO are standing on Salisbury Plain, looking at Stonehenge.

C-3PO: Just think of our noble heritage, R2. They say this was built by the ancient Droids.

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#11
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/12/2018 2:58 AM

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#13

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/12/2018 11:28 PM

delete

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#14

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/12/2018 11:49 PM

Accept for size and color we are exactly the same creatures of 40,000 years ago. I remember nearly 50 years ago nobody could figure out how the pyramids were built. The problem was and remains today is while we are masters of 20-21 C technology we don't live and work with the historical technologies. Yeah we know what those technologies are and can use them at the most basic levels, but we have no real clue how to fully exploit them. Turns out the Egyptians were masters of design, engineering and application. We are so driven by a 'short' clock we can not comprehend lifetime project build plans. Example: only recently have we discovered that the Egyptians regularly built-utilized Nile River annual flood driven canals and artificial lake docking ports like we do with haul roads and lay-down yards. The continual 'magical' solutions for ancient peoples doing complex engineering and construction projects is first order BS to cover for our own inadequacies in understanding past masters.

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#15
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/13/2018 12:03 PM

It is apparent that (ancient engineers) were quite crafty with the relatively crude technologies that they did have available in their eras...

Thus, their design process could easily have included a ''table-top'' stone model to aid in working out what would stand-up, and what would fall down, without even so much as a simple sliderule...

Also, that construction surveying controls were sufficient to keep construction variation to less than one in 500...

That is a quality ''spec'' that the ancient structures, like the egyptian pyramids, consistantly met...

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/13/2018 6:36 PM

Replying to myself. Upon further review I was remiss in the subject at hand the sarsens. In all probability, whether they were transported in or near place, glacial leftovers, they were what we call in the Art World "found objects". The thing about found objects is until they are worked-reworked, transported, placed and then installed they are just cool looking trash. A general protocol is if you can move something 50 feet, you can move it 50 miles. Positioned, oriented and placed on end as they are means someone could seriously move massive objects with a highly developed sense and understanding of the available technology. It doesn't take a degree from a reputable tech school or university engineering program to know ice, mud and rendered animal fat is slippery. Nor does it take the invention of the wheel to know bark and limbed tree trunks roll. What ancient public works required more than anything was time and patience. Remember the Egyptians raised their obelisks not with cranes and motors, but with sand pits, gravity and balance.

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#19

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/14/2018 7:53 AM

I guess they had enough knowledge and materials to make ropes strong enough, and manpower to pull something along (on rollers etc), but not strong enough to lift a dead weight.

I think they chose a small hill, easy enough to drag the stones up. Then dug holes deep enough to drop the stones in so the tops were at ground level. Then slid the lintels in place.

Then with a lot of peasants and buckets and spades and time they took the hill away to leave the stones as we see them today.

The earth dug up was then carried away to be put in a big pile at Silbury Hill - to create another ancient monument.

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#24
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 1:00 PM

There would be no reason to dig such deep holes. If the stones were transported on log rollers, or placed on logs after transportation by other methods, then the balance point would be roughly a log's diameter above the surface. A hole dug roughly (half the length of the stone minus the diameter of the log) deep would allow the stone to be tipped into the hole with well over half of its length above ground.

"...been there, done that." One 'secret' is to make some kind of provision to slow down the tipping process, so the stone stops at vertical.

Some chipping away of the top could then adjust the height and make knobs or dimples for correct positioning of the lintels, which are considerably smaller.

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#26
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 3:08 PM

In my example, the reason for digging full length holes for the upright stones was so that the tops would be flush at ground level (as it was then) l so that the lintels could easily be dragged or 'rolled' into place. Thus not needing to lift a dead-weight, or the knowledge, tools and materials to do so.

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#27
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 3:37 PM

"that the tops would be flush at ground level (as it was then)" Is this a known fact?

I have personally visited Stonehenge, and found it to be much more interesting than I expected, but I've never heard the above. It would indeed be a logical possibility, but especially in view of the fact that the site was developed over many generations, I think it more logical to build earthen ramps to the tops of the stones, and/or use log stacks.

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#28
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 5:31 PM

Building something that takes 50, or so, generations to construct is especially plausible if the (enlightened ones) need something to keep the (greater unwashed...) ''busy'' for 50 generations...

(Hmm, 50 generations x 25 years/generation, say = 1,250 years, oughta do it...)

Putting large (pillars) in deep holes is a very plausable alternative construction method in order to (facilitate) the placement of the lintels, but (Stonehenge) is built on a generally flat surface, and not located in a large, flat, bowl-shaped depression...

So, the question then arises as to just what happened to all the removed earth needed to flatten the surrounding ground level?...

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 5:45 PM

Would you please disable the parentheses keys?

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#31
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 7:09 PM

As I said #19, tongue in cheek, they took it to build Silbury Hill, another monument, 20 miles away

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#34
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/17/2018 11:14 AM

I don't have any specific source to rely on, but I'm betting that in those days, a generation was under 20 years. One millennium should still be plenty of time!

The earth removed from the holes would logically be used to build ramps for the lintels, and once they are all in place, just spread out.

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#36
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/17/2018 6:35 PM

Excavating the holes alone might provide enough dirt to build one ramp, but only if it had to reach about halfway up one standing stone...

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#37
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/17/2018 7:14 PM

They had to place at least two vertical stones before placing a lintel, but if they only buried the verticals as I suggested, I doubt if that would have been enough dirt. They would presumably have needed a fairly shallow slope on the ramp. On the other hand, there is a lot of dirt available there, and assuming they were also skilled in basket-making, dirt is pretty easy to move around.

I doug a hole shaped pretty much like the bottom and back side of each large rock I moved, before placing the rock, and let gravity do the final placing, before packing dirt in all visible spaces under and behind the rocks. After 35-40 years, they are still VERY close to their original positions. In a few cases, that digging involved chipping away at soft shale-type bedrock, and in all cases, there is very little dirt between the rocks and that bedrock, so not much compaction can occur/has occurred.

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#30
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 7:02 PM

You could be right. Why not!

Building earth ramps for raising heavy stone blocks to high levels was a technique used by masons to construct huge buildings in the old days - cathedrals for instance.

They must have got the idea from somewhere - from as far back as Stonehenge maybe - as you say - passed down through generations but probably by word-of-mouth which could explain why there is so little in the way of drawings or written records surviving from those days.

It is all interesting on my part, and guesswork, but as well as technical, I imagine the social environment was a major factor.

As an engineer today, thinking of building a replica Stonehenge, and being able to travel back in time to chat to them, asking " ....How are you getting getting on with building Stonehenge - when do you expect to finish...?"

"... a dozen stones to put in place - and that's it -finished!"... "How about you?"

"...another dozen forms to fill in for planning permission, then I can start!"

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#32
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 10:57 PM

In the case of cathedrals, it would seem to be more practical to first, cut the stones for arches to be fit snugly together horizontally on the ground, while building the temporary arch supports out of wood that is strong enough to hold up the bare arch stones at least until the placing of the capstone enables the arch to become self-supporting...

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#33
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/17/2018 5:44 AM

Yes, they probably did. Why not, except something had to support the wooden arches, and they had to get the stones to the top somehow.

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#35
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/17/2018 11:19 AM

The walls on both sides of the arch have to be fairly well completed before placing the capstone. Otherwise, the capstone would simply push the two columns apart.

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#23

Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 12:26 PM

I have hinted at how it might have been built in #19.

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#25
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Re: New Theory on Stonehenge Sarsen Stone Origins

04/16/2018 1:02 PM

Let's not forget that this undocumented, pre-roman construction was not built by even one generation of people. Radiocarbon dating implies that at least 50 generations of people built this mystery. Each of the pyramids in Egypt were built within one generation.

In ancient times...

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