Controversy over how the bluestones arrived at Stonehenge – by human transport or glaciers – has been raging for decades but we noticed two recent stories that seem to boost the lead enjoyed by the proponents of human transport.
First, there’s English Heritage’s Stonehenge Cycle Challenge. Next year Members will be invited to “an exclusive sponsored cycle ride, which traces the route of the Stonehenge bluestones from Wales to Wiltshire.” The 3-day journey will comprise Preseli Hills to Llandovery (day one), Llandovery to Chepstow via Brecon Beacons (day two) and Chepstow to Stonehenge (day three). So not exactly the proposed original route (or is it?) as there’s no mention of sailing across the Bristol Channel, but still it’s a sort of acknowledgement that human legs, not ice, were originally involved. EH seem to have made one big mistake though: the ride will end “inside the stone circle with a celebratory glass of champagne”. Surely beer would have been more authentic? Or virgins’ blood?
Second, here’s an account of a recent piece of experimental archaeology as recounted by Robin Heath. He sums it up thus: “Today’s successful positing of a fat bluestone into the bowels of a believable neolithic boat scores an important point in supporting the theory that the moving of the bluestones occurred through human intent.”
The exercise benefitted from being free of archaeologists he says. We only half agree. Many of us were in the Stonehengineers and they gained greatly from the input of both practical men AND archaeologists.
As for his final flourish: “Watch the increasing thrumming emanating from various blogs and websites manned 24/7 by researchers, zealots, seekers, bigots and unemployed folk sporting archaeology degrees”…. Does that include us? We’ll try not to take it personally! (Is there ANYONE he thinks is fit to have a view?!) Anyway, it should be a fascinating programme when it comes out (look out for it on the Discovery Channel).