The stone enigma

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  • #1
wolram
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Around 2000BC a group of welsh people transported 98 blue stones, weighing
6 tons each, from the highest point of Carn Meini aprox 1000ft, in the Preseli hills Penbrokshire, to Salisbury Plain Wiltshire, a trip of more than 200 miles.

AFAIK these people did not have the wheel or any known method of moving
these stones, so how did they move over 500 tones of stone 200 miles ?
 

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  • #2
arildno
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I thought Merlin sent them flying all the way..

Somewhat less facetious:
There are at least two options:
1) felling of trees, and effectively moving the stones into place by placing the stone on top of the boles (trunks?) and roll the tree-trunks (this is the technique Vikings used when they moved their ships over stretches of land)
2) Wait until winter, and use some sort of sledge.
 
  • #3
Did they not have the wheel? God, it takes FOREVER for things to catch on in Britain!

Regardless of trees or sledges, I imagine it would have taken longer than one season to transport the rocks 200 miles.
 
  • #4
arildno
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El Hombre Invisible said:
Did they not have the wheel? God, it takes FOREVER for things to catch on in Britain!
:rofl:

Regardless of trees or sledges, I imagine it would have taken more than a season to transport the rocks 200 miles.
Well, I don't think it was likely that the stones would be stolen during the summertime..
 
  • #5
arildno said:
Well, I don't think it was likely that the stones would be stolen during the summertime..
Then you underestimate the competitiveness of the celestial time-keeping industry.
 
  • #6
honestrosewater
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Did they have any contact with the civilizations around Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc.? Maybe they used similar technologies? Egyptians were moving big stones by 2000 BC, weren't they?

Just another possibility: It's been suggested that the people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) effectively 'walked' their moai statues across the island with some system of ropes, rocking them back and forth.
 
  • #7
arildno
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El Hombre Invisible said:
Then you underestimate the competitiveness of the celestial time-keeping industry.
Hmm...you don't get it, do you?
Guard companies were of course placed beside each stone.
Those stones the druids forgot to collect became the nuclei of new towns (after all, the guards were conscientious persons).

Thus, the urbanization process in England was speeded up relative to other countries (and laid the foundation for the British world dominance in the 19th century)
 
  • #8
wolram
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Well any one have a ball park estimate of time to convey one six ton stone
block 200 miles, i do not know the rout taken, but for sure it wasn't all flat.
 
  • #9
arildno said:
Hmm...you don't get it, do you?
Guard companies were of course placed beside each stone.
Those stones the druids forgot to collect became the nuclei of new towns (after all, the guards were conscientious persons).

Thus, the urbanization process in England was speeded up relative to other countries (and laid the foundation for the British world dominance in the 19th century)
Very true. In fact, the word 'town' is derived from the word 'stone', or s'tonne as it was then, a shortening of 'six tonne' which, as Wolram pointed out, is how much they weighed.
 
  • #10
wolram said:
Well any one have a ball park estimate of time to convey one six ton stone
block 200 miles, i do not know the rout taken, but for sure it wasn't all flat.
Eddie Stobart quoted me three days. Maybe I was wrong then.
 
  • #11
Let's work it out. Does anybody know the friction constant of proportionality for stone on ground? And the area of the rocks?
 
  • #12
Ah:

"Conventional archaeological opinion accepts that the Stonehenge monument was built over a period of, perhaps, 1400 years beginning in 3000BC."

http://www.celticnz.co.nz/US9.html

Dunno how reliable that is though.
 
  • #13
wolram
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El Hombre Invisible said:
Let's work it out. Does anybody know the friction constant of proportionality for stone on ground? And the area of the rocks?
I will go find the rocks area, by the way it seems that moving these rocks was
a family thing, an excavation uncovered a welsh family almost certainly involved in transporting the rocks.
 
  • #14
wolram
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The "band of brothers" found last year, were a family unit of three adults, one teenager and three children buried in the same grave 4,300 years ago, at the start of the metal age.

The family were found on Boscombe Down and were soon christened the "Boscombe bowmen."

The burials were found near to the site where the famously wealthy "Amesbury archer" was uncovered three years ago.
 
  • #15
honestrosewater
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wolram said:
I will go find the rocks area, by the way it seems that moving these rocks was
a family thing, an excavation uncovered a welsh family almost certainly involved in transporting the rocks.
:rofl: Were they found underneath one of the rocks?



(Sorry, I'm going to hell for that, I know.)
 
  • #16
arildno
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wolram said:
The burials were found near to the site where the famously wealthy "Amesbury archer" was uncovered three years ago.
Perhaps that's a misnomer:
I think he should be called the "Amesbury harpoonist".
People weren't dumb before; they had different technologies in order to get stones were they wanted them.
 
  • #17
selfAdjoint
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arildno said:
:rofl:


Well, I don't think it was likely that the stones would be stolen during the summertime..

In this thread you use terms like "Welsh" and "druid". The Stonehenge builders were not celtic, they lived a thousand years before the celts came to Britain. Therfore they were not not Welsh, and they did not have the celtic druids either. Furthermore there is no evidence the stones were moved by people from what is now Wales, rather than from the area where Stonehenge was erected. Much else of your posting is pure speculation too.

We don't know how the bluestones were transported, but if they were willing to take a very long time in the process, like 50 miles a year, it doesn't seem impossible with rollers and ropes. There could have been a leg of sea transport too.
 
  • #18
wolram
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arildno said:
Perhaps that's a misnomer:
I think he should be called the "Amesbury harpoonist".
People weren't dumb before; they had different technologies in order to get stones were they wanted them.
It seems so i just found this.

Engineers had decreed the supposed megalithic moving technique. The replicated dining room table-sized bluestone, about three metric tonnes in weight or 6600 pounds, would be hauled from the Preseli quarries on a wooden sledge by the neo-slaves down to the Welsh shore of the Bristol Channel. From there, the stone would then be floated across the forty-to-seventy miles of water on a log raft made by megalithic methods, and then would again be land-hauled the remaining distance to Stonehenge, about sixty miles.

No bluestone has ever been moved very quickly or very far by such methods, and Britain's Y2K "Millennium Project" fared no better. After a week, the stone had been dragged slightly less than a mile. There were about two hundred miles left to go, and not enough weeks remaining at that rate to complete the project within Year 2000. On April 15, 2000 a spokesman, Peter Bowen, called for more volunteers to augment the 250 no longer very enthusiastic neo-slaves. The stone was finally moved to the Bristol Channel, but it then slid off the raft and was lost.
 
  • #19
arildno
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selfAdjoint said:
In this thread you use terms like "Welsh" and "druid". The Stonehenge builders were not celtic, they lived a thousand years before the celts came to Britain. Therfore they were not not Welsh, and they did not have the celtic druids either. Furthermore there is no evidence the stones were moved by people from what is now Wales, rather than from the area where Stonehenge was erected.
Direct your criticism at OP.
If you can't see the difference between a serious post (post 1), in which I merely tossed forth a couple of possible transportation methods, and posts that even an idiot would recognize to be jocular (however bad), well, then that's your problem.

Or, alternatively, if your motive is merely to throw up as much bile you want on me, then you are unfit as mentor on PF.
 
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  • #20
Evo
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honestrosewater said:
:rofl: Were they found underneath one of the rocks?



(Sorry, I'm going to hell for that, I know.)
I was thinking the same thing. :biggrin:

Wolram, do you have a link to that, I'd like to read it.
 
  • #21
selfAdjoint said:
In this thread you use terms like "Welsh" and "druid". The Stonehenge builders were not celtic, they lived a thousand years before the celts came to Britain. Therfore they were not not Welsh, and they did not have the celtic druids either. Furthermore there is no evidence the stones were moved by people from what is now Wales, rather than from the area where Stonehenge was erected. Much else of your posting is pure speculation too.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/3823387.stm

This seems to be what Wolram was referring to. Unless you have an argument against this that is not "pure speculation", your post is ill-advised, and regardless of whether you have such an argument or not, it was still rather unjustifiably hostile.
 
  • #22
arildno
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From what I've read, the major head-ache with any land transportation scheme is that the soil is much too soft to bear the load.

One possible procedure might have been to create some sort of road, with sufficient amount of gravel and hard-packed earth.
But then, shouldn't we have been able to spot the remains of such tracks today??
 
  • #23
arildno said:
From what I've read, the major head-ache with any land transportation scheme is that the soil is much too soft to bear the load.

One possible procedure might have been to create some sort of road, with sufficient amount of gravel and hard-packed earth.
But then, shouldn't we have been able to spot the remains of such tracks today??
If they were just made of gravel, it seems reasonable that we wouldn't discover their remains - if they had never been used again. However, it would be odd for a road to be created and not re-used. Once they're down, the route tends to survive longer than the actual materials. The A1, for instance...

More likely, I would think, would be that they layed out platforms of some kind, picking up the one at the back and moving it to the front as they went along. [note: pure speculation]
 
  • #24
arildno
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However pure or impure speculation some might think your idea is, I think it is great!
To fly into even higher realms of fancy:
If the stones were merely dragged along the wooden platforms, I would expect them to wear out the platforms rather quickly.
However, if you insert a layer of free-rolling trees between the platform and the stone, the wear at the platforms at least might be reduced.
 

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