Stonehenge Transport From Wales

The established idea of rolling ablock along using log rollers was never a convincing idea, but served to filltextbooks while we all waited for a sounder idea.  The log idea dies the moment anyone tries it andnarrowly avoids been killed as logs spit out all over the place.

Certainly wicker was the commonbuilding material in Stone Age Englanddown through the recent past.  Wickerwork was used to support mud walls in housing and other structures.  Specific trees were trained to the purpose ofproviding wicker and we ended up with field boundaries of hedges throughout thenorthern Celtic world.  Thus it servedmuch the same purpose as bamboo in the Orient.

One presumes that the stones of Stonehenge needed quite stout wicker boughs to have thenecessary strength to hold the weight, but it seems quite practical.  Winding on a hundred feet of stout rope ateither end would allow a controlled movement that would advance the roll arespectable hundred feet each pull.  Re-riggingfor a further pull would become routine and quick.

Down hill stretches may even bequite survivable because the wicker wheel would have a natural suspension.  It would also not be balanced perfectlycausing a natural damping and slowing of a downhill movement.

That it also floats nicely allowsit to be moved to a deep enough river and to be then transported by waterthereafter as is suggested here.

This is a practical solution wellwithin the local milieu.  It also solvesa lot of other difficult ancient stone movement situations, particularly thoseinvolving irregular shaped stones.   Itis both easy and obvious.

New theory on Stonehenge transport from Wales

BBC - Island-based designer and engineer Garry Lavinhas set out to revolutionize ideas on how the ancient monument of Stonehengewas built.

The current accepted theory is that each three-quarter tonne stone was rolledfor more than 200 miles on logs, but Mr Lavin disagrees.

He thinks the historic monument could have been built using wicker basketconstructions to roll the boulders all the way from Wales.

"I constructed a 0.5-metre diameter structure in hazel and willow intowhich I placed a sharply rectangular 40kg stone from a collapsed dry stonewall," he said.

"I packed the gaps inside with reeds and rolled it down a hillside. Thestone fell out at the bottom but my construction was still intact.

"The project was then taken to the edge of the local canal and pushed inand it floated with about an eighth of the mass protruding above the water, buteasily towable along the canal."

So could this really have been the way our ancient ancestors chose to achievesuch an incredible feat of engineering as Stonehenge?

Mr Lavin says woven structures were used widely at the time so it makes senseto assume they could also have been used in this way.

In past experiments Mr Lavin succeeded in moving a large one-ton stone in awicker cage that he had made himself.

This year he will try to move a five-ton stone during the Summer Solstice at atime when the eyes of the world are firmly fixed on the Stonehengemonument.

"I have no doubt a four-fifths of a tonne stone could be moved greatdistances by surprisingly few people. The method of pulling rope like a giantbobbin creates leverage that puts the process streets ahead of othertheories."

"I look forward to getting an opportunity to float our bluestone replicadown a river and maybe across the Severnestuary. We've done the maths to determine the ratio of wood to stone needed tosuspend it in water."

Mr Lavin hopes the project will expand people's understanding of those wholived in Britainover 5,000 years ago. He says he wants to "put some flesh on a societywhose achievements rival or maybe even surpass those of the very familiarRomans in Britain".

This intriguing story has now been reported on many websites around the worldand has been translated into numerous languages- so it is possible Mr Lavinwill have an international audience as he attempts to revolutionise establishedthought on the building of one of England's most famous heritagesites.

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