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The recent laser scan of Stonehenge is said to reveal that the monument was architecturally rigged to show off the solstices : (1.) the sides of the stones that flanked the solstice axis were most carefully worked to form very straight and narrow rectangular slots and (2.) many north west facing surfaces  were given special attention by being scrubbed free “of their brown and grey surface crust, leaving a bright, grey-white surface that would gleam in the midwinter sun

But how much would those surfaces “gleam”? The smoother the better but in only two places is there evidence of the surfaces actually being polished (and it is suggested that might have happened later). However, it is tempting to wonder if other surfaces were polished but weathering has removed the evidence. We’ll probably never know but we polished a bit of sarsen (with very little effort) and it certainly “gleams” in the sun…..

…. and we were amazed to see how much the effect increases if it “rains”…..

and as for the effect when the sunlight catches a rain-soaked polished edge of a stone….

Could this mean the solstice light show, especially following rain,  was even more spectacular back in the old days?

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