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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Boles Barrow Bluestone -- more photos







Many thanks for these photos of the Boles Barrow bluestone, kindly sent in by Phil Morgan.  Here we can see that most of the surface is heavily weathered and abraded -- and even polished -- suggesting surface exposure over a very long time period.  We can also see the "broken" part of the stone, with a relatively sharp edge to it -- and we can see the much "fresher" rock surface which has nothing like the same degree of weathering.

One question (which we have already discussed extensively) is whether this boulder was genuinely found inside Boles Barrow, or whether it actually came from Stonehenge.  The other question is this:  is this a broken-off part of a larger monolith, or is it simply an erratic boulder with facets of different ages on it?  Clearly the archaeologists would like it to be a piece of of monolith, the rest of which might still be at Stonehenge.........  and that question could possibly be resolved by cosmogenic dating on the "old" and "new" surfaces of the boulder.

9 comments:

Myris of Alexandria said...

The artefact has been broken from something larger and shows signs of flaking.
I think that the current thinking from those that examined it in detail whilst hoisted is that it is from a dressed orthostat.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

Myris -- you really must learn to use your words more carefully. "The artefact"may be something created by man, but maybe not. The broken or fresh face may indeed be the result of the breakage of a larger lump of rock, but we really do not know when that breakage might have occurred. Maybe during glacial transport? Maybe as a result of frost shattering at a time of periglacial climate while it was lying around somewhere on Salisbury Plain? Maybe because of human beings bashing it about a bit either near Boles Barrow or near Stonehenge? Somebody will come up with the answer one day.....

PeteG said...

looking at the photos of the bluestone at Heytsebury house this piece in the museum seems smaller.
PeteG

BRIAN JOHN said...

Pete, are you suggesting a dastardly act of sabotage between the time it was at Heytesbury House and the time it ended up in Salisbury Museum? Perhaps that fresh-looking fracture face is indeed remarkably fresh? A geologist, smashing off some samples, for example?

PeteG said...

just pointing out that the photos don't match. It could have been broken when it was moved. Do we know when it was moved to the museum and by who?
PeteG

TonyH said...

I really do think, Brian, you should make a visit to Salisbury Museum to take a close look at the bluestone yourself, bearing in mind your keen interest in all matters Preseli bluestone and geomorphology. The Museum is located in the delightful Green, adjacent to Salisbury Museum, an easy journey down from Nunney if you are visiting there at all this year. Adrian Green, the Museum Director, would be pleased I'm sure to chat to you - email address on the website. Several of us based down here in Wessex I'm sure would be pleased to accompany you on a Museum visit.

TonyH said...

I think it was back when the August 2016 Post appeared that I commented that Salisbury Museum has offered the opportunity to "adopt" certain Museum "artefacts" for 12 months. I encourage all Seekers After Truth to consider this after taking a look at the Museum Website, AND if we all club together with a percentage of the Adoption Fee, we could promote and market, in Wessex and beyond, the seemingly Minority Report that said Bluestone MAY have been shifted a longish way by glaciation before its arrival at, or nearish to, Salisbury Plain. The Museum needs the money from Adoption.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, I must try and call in next time I pass that way. Last time, I did actually get tothe museum, but 2 hours late for an appointment, having been messed about at Stonehenge by the TV people from the One Show. A truly shambolic bunch, and an interview with that funny Irishman with a very large moustache. Why is it that TV people expect everybody to drop everything else and to jump to their tune, just for one minute of fame? Hmmm -- I suppose we all do it. Says a lot about human nature.

What does it cost to adopt a bluestone? Maybe we could do a reciprocal deal -- the Museum could adopt one of mine, in exchange...

TonyH said...

Foster Fortnight is currently underway, from May 8th to Sunday, May 21st, 2017. Not sure whether that includes the opportunity to foster any abandoned bluestones......or errant archaeologists, come to that. Some of the latter are renowned for their lack of (scientific) discipline. Attention deficit disorder? Hiraeth?

By the way, that "funny [??] Irishman with a very large moustache" was tonight presenting Eurovision to a comotose British audience (minus me, thank heavens).