Stonehenge, Preseli and the Ice Age
The most controversial book ever published about Stonehenge, in which the author questions many of the supposed facts about the ruinous and iconic monument and finds them to be nothing more than fantasies and suppositions. The author shows that the monument was built on Salisbury Plain simply because that is where the stones were, and that the bluestones (of many different types) were glacial erratics. He suggests that the myth of the human transport of the stones has been kept alive down through the years simply for commercial reasons; Stonehenge brings in so much money to the British economy that nobody wants to allow the truth to get in the way of a good story.......
"In this book I have taken nothing for granted,
and after examining many of the "facts" taken
as read by archaeologists, I show that many
of them are suppositions, based upon the
flimsiest of evidence.
The theory of the human transport of the bluestones has no evidence at all in support of it.
Archaeologists have allowed their obsession with a ruling hypothesis to lead them into a world of
wild and grotesque fantasies -- for example, the recently proposed "healing stones" theory has no
more hard evidence to back it up than a children's fairy tale. Stonehenge was never finished, and it
may well have been a jerry-built disaster. The bluestones -- from at least 15 different locations --
were not carried by our Neolithic ancestors from Wales, but were glacial erratics, picked up in the
vicinity of Stonehenge. It follows that the builders of the monument had no idea where the stones
had come from" - Brian John
For the last hundred years the bluestones of Stonehenge have been the subject of heated debate. Where did they come from, and how did they get there? In this meticulously researched, but very readable, book Brian John looks at the various theories and argues that most are unscientific and sentimental. Indeed, he takes to task some archaeologists who refuse to let facts get in the way of a good story. The author asks the reader to consider, among other proposals, that the bluestones came from at least fifteen different localities in West and South Wales and elsewhere, and that there were no Neolithic stone collecting expeditions. The bluestones, he suggests, were already on or near Salisbury Plain at least a thousand years before the building of the first stone monument at Stonehenge and they were used simply because they were readily available. He points out that the term bluestone covers rock with widely differing characteristics, including rubbish stones made of volcanic ash which would hardly have been selected by the builders for their magical or healing properties. Nor were the spotted dolerite stones, considered sacred by many today, used preferentially in megalithic structures in either Wales or Wiltshire. The proposal that the stones were transported by the Irish Sea Glacier during the Ice Age is convincingly argued in this book which will certainly fuel debate, and may shatter some fondly held illusions!
One of the strongest modern myths about Stonehenge to have taken root is that the less monumental but no less impressive so-called bluestones were physically brought by prehistoric peoples from the Preseli Hills in south-west Wales to Wiltshire. The second strongest modern myth is that the whole saga was somehow remembered over a hundred or more generations to be documented by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century as a feat of Merlin. In this self-published title Dr John examines these and other myths and finds them wanting in terms of echoing reality. His key points include the fact that not only do the bluestones derive from at least fifteen different locales in West and South Wales (not just the Preselis), there is no evidence at all for any stone-collecting expeditions from as far afield as this, let alone cultural links between Wessex and West Wales. He deduces that bluestones were present on or near Salisbury Plain at least a millennium before Stonehenge was commenced, and were not especially selected for their quality, their supposed magical significance or healing properties. How did the stones get to Wessex? The author s expertise in geomorphology allows him to discourse authoritatively on how Welsh stones could have been brought by the great Irish Sea glacier as far east as Bath, the Mendips and Glastonbury (though uncertainty still exists whether it reached as far as Salisbury Plain).
This book is about the boulders that created the earliest stone circle on the Stonehenge site and shows that, contrary to received belief, these bluestones were actually gathered from several sources locally, rather than being laboriously transported from Wales. This commonsense approach is shunned by academic archaeologists as it undermines their heavy duty paradigm and their consequent projects' approval and funding. Dr John's book, The Bluestone Enigma, tells the story of the bluestones in a straightforward and easily read style, which is well illustrated by colour photographs and line drawings. His description of the pitfalls in an experiment to move a single three tonne stone from Preseli, in South Wales, to the vicinity of Stonehenge, should be required study material for every British prehistorian. It's not unlikely that the ancients also recognised the common geology in both the Salisbury Plain bluestones and the Welsh bedrock but provided a legend of them being moved by giants, or fairies, to explain the transport by glacial drift. It is simply the remnant of that myth that is repeated by many eminent professionals today. Brian John demonstrates quite persuasively in this book that the facts no longer support that crazy hypothesis. This book is for everyone that wants to be ahead of the game and in the know. It will be ignored by stuffy archaeologists but should initiate a process of reappraising British early history. I recommend that everyone with an interest in the British stone monuments obtain two copies of this book - one for themselves, and one for a colleague. Just leave the stuffy academics to their fairy stories for now!
Stone Gloves - Modern Antiquarian
It seems to me that there are many deaths along the way to the death of the flesh.
That our soul or spirit or sense of self, whatever you might wish to call it, is offered
the opportunity to die and be reborn many times. And that is what I think of when
considering this dolmen -- how I am called to release the old and move toward
the new over and over again.