Lithological description and provenancing of a collection of bluestones from excavations at Stonehenge by William Hawley in 1924 with implications for the human versus ice transport debate of the monument’s bluestone megaliths

Richard Bevins, Rob A. Ixer, Nick Pearce, James Scourse, Tim Daw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

A rhyolite boulder collected by R. S. Newall in 1924 from an excavation at Stonehenge has been pivotal to arguments concerning glacial versus human transport of the bluestones to Stonehenge. Initial studies suggested that the boulder came from north Wales, and hence was a probable glacial erratic. New petrographic and geochemical analyses however support it being from Craig Rhos-y-Felin in west Wales, the source of much debitage recovered from Stonehenge. Examination of the form and surface features of the boulder provides no evidence for it being erratic. Instead, it is considered to be one more piece of debitage probably derived from a broken-up monolith.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-785
Number of pages15
JournalGeoarchaeology: An International Journal
Volume38
Issue number6
Early online date22 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 09 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Neolithic
  • Stonehenge
  • bluestones
  • possible erratic
  • provenance
  • rhyolite boulder
  • transport mode

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