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Earth Science

Miniature Stonehenge Discovered In Wiltshire, UK 152

CmdrGravy weighs in with exciting archaeological news, "one of the most important prehistoric finds in decades" according to the article: a miniature Stonehenge a mile from the famous site. "Bluehenge," as the find is being called because of the assumed color of its (now-missing) stones, is believed to have been put up around the time of Stonehenge, 5,000 years ago. "All that remains of the 60-ft.-wide Bluehenge are the holes of 27 giant stones set on a ramped mount. Chips of blue stone found in the holes appear to be identical to the blue stones used in Stonehenge. The four-ton monsters, made of Preseli Spotted Dolerite — a chemically altered igneous rock harder than granite — were mined in the Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire and then rolled, dragged, and floated the 200 miles to the site on the banks of the Avon in Wiltshire."
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Miniature Stonehenge Discovered In Wiltshire, UK

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  • by unlametheweak ( 1102159 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @01:28AM (#29632791)

    Miniature Stonehenge Discovered In Wiltshire, UK

    Built by dwarfs, I would presume.

  • it was the Nelwyns just making a play pen for a Daikini baby?

  • ...3...2...1...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ari_j ( 90255 )
      I was going to make a Spinal Tap reference, but I prefer not to tread water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.
      • "I prefer not to tread water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry."

        And yet, you still post to Slashdot?

        There once was a girl from Nantucket...

    • by skine ( 1524819 )

      This is even sadder than the person who posts "F1RST!!" assuming that they actually are but end up being fourth, since this actually would be a worthwhile first post given two of the three afore you.

  • by darkhitman ( 939662 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @01:30AM (#29632805)
    I'll bet it went something like this...

    Artist: Look, look. Look, this is what I was asked to build. Eighteen inches. Right here, it specifies eighteen inches. I was given this napkin, I mean...
    Ian: Forget this! F**k the napkin!!
  • by RotateLeftByte ( 797477 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @01:32AM (#29632813)
    I live 50miles from Stonehenge but pass it regularly on my way to customers.

    Over the past two years ther have been a huge amount of archaeology excavation work in the Stonehenge area. Last year it was mostly close to the henge itself.

    This year the excavations have been off to the North West up the A344 closer to Airmans Corner

    http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=412500&Y=142500&A=Y&Z=120 [streetmap.co.uk]

    Even this article is published in the "Daily Wail" I suspect there is a lot more details to emerge over the coming months.

    • by SEWilco ( 27983 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @02:05AM (#29632957) Journal
      You have to pass Stonehenge to reach customers?
      What do you sell to the ancient dead?
    • by Don_dumb ( 927108 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:02AM (#29633393)
      Of course the other local secret we don't tell people is that Stonehenge isn't half as good as Avebury, about 30 miles North of Stonehenge. If anyone is going to have a look at stone circles and old mysterious things. I would say that the better place is the one with the pub in the middle - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury [wikipedia.org].
    • I asked about the Airman's Corner excavations at in the visitors' centre when I visited Stonehenge this summer. Apparently they're hoping *not* to find anything interesting there; they are looking for somewhere to put a new visitors' centre, and want to make sure that there won't be any archaeological remains under the car park.

  • Well, they intended it to be big, but the designers got the signs for feet and inches mixed up.
    • Did these designers go on to work for NASA?
      • Did these designers go on to work for NASA?

        No, but I think they did some work once for Spinal Tap.

        off-topic: One of many reasons IRIX was cool -- run audiopanel with the -spinaltap option. All volume controls go to 11! There. I have given away my big secret.

        btw if my sig doesn't make sense try it on HP-UX 10.20 or so.

  • by cjfs ( 1253208 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @01:43AM (#29632861) Homepage Journal

    No one knows what gods they worshipped, but the alignment of Stonehenge to the solstice shows that the Sun - and maybe the Moon - was important.

    Looking at the monument and knowing what it would take to build it, I think it's obvious.They may have worshiped the Sun, but they prayed to Joe Pesci.

  • I find it absolutely amazing that people 5000 years ago were able to move 4000 kilo rocks over hundreds of kilometres of landscape.

    • by cjfs ( 1253208 )

      I find it absolutely amazing that people 5000 years ago were able to move 4000 kilo rocks over hundreds of kilometres of landscape.

      It was definitely an achievement [thinkgeek.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      It's only a model.

      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        My guess is that it was an ancient tourist trap.

        Soon they'll dig up a dunk tank and other related stuff. "Come to Stonehengeland! See, um, rocks! They're not quite as big as the real thing, but they're still pretty bitchin'!"

    • Re:Logistics (Score:5, Insightful)

      by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @07:10AM (#29633871)
      Yes, it's amazing what you can achieve with a limitless amount of slave labour and no planning regulations to hold you back.
      • I am not convinced the labour supply was limitless. A lot of manpower was needed for hunting, agriculture, building shelter, raising children, etc. I imagine that the people transporting these rocks may have spend their entire short lifespans on that one job.

        So what economic structure ensured that they had food to eat?

        • by Trogre ( 513942 )

          Isn't it obvious?

          More slaves, to work the farms.

          Just like XML and violence, if it doesn't solve your problem, just add some more!

      • Yes, it's amazing what you can achieve with a limitless amount of slave labour and no planning regulations to hold you back.

        Yes, because (a) the population of the world 5,000 years ago was infinite and (b) planning regulations have always been the single greatest impediment to human progress.

    • Another amazing thing is that there used to be a giant ditch surrounding Stonehenge that was dug out by hand to a depth of twenty-five feet or so.

      But the really amazing thing is that the giant stones were placed there several hundred years after the ditch was dug. So, they not only had to move these huge, heavy stones across the UK, but then had to go down and up a big friggin' ditch.

      The theory is that it's the location that's important, not the stones. The stones are just markers.

  • So the site was only 1 mile away from Stonehenge, along a path directly from it, with 27 holes each made by a 4 ton rock? The holes must have been preserved seeing as the blue remains of the rocks still remained in them. What's next, additional pyramid discoveries?
  • by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @02:06AM (#29632959) Homepage
    At last! The fabled gift shop of the druids has been found!
  • by sixwings ( 1648941 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @02:16AM (#29633015)

    The four-ton monsters, made of Preseli Spotted Dolerite â" a chemically altered igneous rock harder than granite â" were mined in the Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire and then rolled, dragged, and floated the 200 miles to the site on the banks of the Avon in Wiltshire."

    Four-ton stones are miniscule compared to the 50-ton trilithons at big Stonehenge or the over 1100-ton Stone of the South [vejprty.com] at Baalbek in Lebanon.

    It boggles the mind that primitive people would want to erect such monumental structures when smaller stones would have been orders of magnitude easier to cut and transport. As the Romans, the Aztecs and the Maya have shown, it's possible to create impressive monuments with smaller stones. In my opinion, some among the ancient priesthoods had secret knowledge of a technology that allowed them to levitate and transport huge stones over great distances. Too bad they died without leaving a record of it. I have excellent cause to believe that the secret of levitation will be uncovered soon.

    There is clear evidence that we are swimming in an ocean of clean energy, lots and lots of it. A new form of transportation and energy production technology will arrive soon, one based on the realization that we are immersed in an immense lattice of energetic particles. This is a consequence of a reevaluation of our understanding of the causality of motion. Soon, we'll have vehicles that can move at tremendous speeds and negotiate right angle turns without slowing down and without incurring damages due to inertial effects. Floating cities, unlimited clean energy, earth to Mars in hours, New York to Beijing in minutes... That's the future of energy and travel.

    The Problem With Motion [blogspot.com]

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      anyone follow that link? his response to comments on his blog is illuminating

      I had no idea the timecube guy had a separate blog and posted on slashdot

      • LOL. The Timecube guy, eh? I ressemble that. At least my comment was not modded -1 Troll. Not yet anyway. A Funny rating is better than nothing.

    • So what you're saying is that the old technology was huge monolithic building blocks (Windows) and the huge improvement was using tiny building blocks (Unix mindset)?

      • Perhaps you didn't mean it this way, but implying that Unix rests on a older, massive foundation that Windows laid down is wrongity wrong.
    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

      This guy got modded funny, but there's a nugget of truth in the greater turd.

      In science as a whole, and particularly fields like archeology, there seems to be a very unhealthy "not invented here" mentality. It's particularly evident in Egyptology, from what I've read: despite any evidence to the contrary, they insist upon primitive, labor-intensive, and often easily-explained-away methods of construction.

      Two examples are the Giza pyramid (ignoring the astounding geometric and architectural complexity which

      • by lwsimon ( 724555 ) <lyndsy@lyndsysimon.com> on Sunday October 04, 2009 @07:53PM (#29639225) Homepage Journal

        The fact is, we lose a large percentage of our knowledge - it doesn't take levitating rocks for this to be true.

        For instance - I'm into firearms, and a good friend of mine is quite fond of old English sporting arms. He has an English flintlock that is the absolute most amazing piece of engineering i have ever seen. The barrels are side-by-side and regulated - as in, you can put 2 rounds within 1" of each other at 100 yards with this thing. There are no companies that we know of making contemporary muzzle-loading weapons. Today's newly manufactured flintlocks are generally very touchy and unreliable, but the old ones are incredibly reliable; they had to be.

        As a society, we have forgotten how to make quality flintlock rifles, just as we have forgotten how to move gigantic stones by hand.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by porl ( 932021 )

      that was the least scientific 'scientific blog' i have ever read... with the obvious exception of timecube...

      you need to learn the physics you are debating, saying 'from my perspective' doesn't a theory make...

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @02:19AM (#29633027)

    "Bluehenge," ... is believed to have been put up around the time of Stonehenge, 5,000 years ago.

    Before Stonehenge, there was Woodhenge [wikipedia.org] and Strawhenge. (But a big bad wolf came along...)
    - Eddie Izzard

  • the discovery of 13-inch Beatles nearby. Their best tune is "No. 3"

  • Blueprint (Score:5, Funny)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @02:22AM (#29633035) Homepage

    It's blue and it's a small scale of the real thing.
    That's what we call a "blueprint".

  • by mindbrane ( 1548037 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @02:32AM (#29633087) Journal
    Isn't that just the way it goes, you put up a great circle of stones, your house smartly in the middle; the missus, the kids and the in laws are all finally giving you the praise you deserve, and what does your neighbour go and do?
  • IBM? (Score:2, Funny)

    Bluehenge? sounds like IBM made

  • Rolled? Floated???

    Occam's Razor.

    They were simply transported there by the Ancients' extraterrestrial guides using their interstellar spacecraft.

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @03:00AM (#29633173) Homepage Journal

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe [wikipedia.org]

    Its lowest layer is dated 9130-8800 BC. That's fucking 11,130 years ago. its the oldest place of worship. Also :


    Göbekli Tepe is the oldest human-made place of worship yet discovered.[2] Until excavations began, a complex on this scale was not thought possible for a community so ancient. The massive sequence of stratification layers suggests several millennia of activity, perhaps reaching back to the Mesolithic. The oldest occupation layer (stratum III) contains monolithic pillars linked by coarsely built walls to form circular or oval structures. So far, four such buildings, with diameters between 10 and 30m have been uncovered. Geophysical surveys indicate the existence of 16 additional structures.
    Stratum II, dated to Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) (7500 - 6000 BC), has revealed several adjacent rectangular rooms with floors of polished lime, reminiscent of Roman terrazzo floors. The most recent layer consists of sediment deposited as the result of agricultural activity.

    Moreover, this is more important - it seems to be the place where mankind first domesticated wheat :

    While the site formally belongs to the earliest Neolithic (PPN A), up to now no traces of domesticated plants or animals have been found. The inhabitants were hunters and gatherers who nevertheless lived in villages for at least part of the year.[7] Schmidt speculates that the site played a key function in the transition to agriculture; he assumes that the necessary social organization needed for the creation of these structures went hand-in-hand with the organized exploitation of wild crops. For sustenance, wild cereals may have been used more intensively than before; perhaps they were even deliberately cultivated. Recent DNA analysis of modern domesticated wheat compared with wild wheat has shown that its DNA is closest in structure to wild wheat found on Mount Karaca Da 20 miles away from the site, leading one to believe that this is where modern wheat was first domesticated.[8]


    • It's almost twice as old as the earth!
    • 9130 - 8800 BC? That is an important find! I remember when I was digging through information about older cultures out of boredom (I know...seriously) I was impressed that most of the oldest cultures documented extensively existed in Egypt and Asia (China, India, and even Japan). I had hard time finding any information about ancient European and Semitic cultures. That is pretty impressive that there is a temple predating the Egyptian civilization in Turkey. I wonder if any influence or link can be traced bet
      • I wonder if any influence or link can be traced between it and the Phoenician culture...

        There's no link. A LOT happened in the 5-6000 years between this and the time Phoenician culture arose (2000-1500 BC). I'm sure there was influence, but nothing you could trace directly. Nearly every culture in the region could claim the same influence, and there were a lot of them.

  • Its not uncommon when taking on a project, to first create a scaled down model first, so to help discover and work out project problems. To bad they can't find teh blue prints huh?

  • by rarel ( 697734 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @04:19AM (#29633433) Homepage
    even back then they had problem with dupes. Dang.
  • Smaller and nearby? It's the GPU!

    (Also, insert obligatory IBM/BlueHenge joke.)

  • I disagree with the notion that the stones were dragged from Wales. Surely if the stone was so impressive, the henge would have been built near the actual source. The whole area would have been sacred, and mined into temples. Alternatively, there were ice sheets extending down pretty much as far as Wiltshire, certainly covering the Bristol Channel. The whole area was probably littered with drop stones brought from Wales, which have been spotted and collected by the ancient builders. And I'm pretty sure ther
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Vulch ( 221502 )

      Unfortunately for your ice sheet theory, the large bluestones are all there is in the area. Glaciation would also have brought huge quantities of identifiable smaller bits right down to gravel size.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gbjbaanb ( 229885 )

      There's no reason to suggest they were dragged, mostly they were floated down over the Bristol channel and then probably across the flooded plains of Somerset. Wiltshire's only a short drag from there.

  • So how the hell can you be sure what they looked like? They could have been totem poles or something.. just happened to be arranged in a similar round pattern, which is most likely common for that era of man ( think sun/moon god worship ).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Frogg ( 27033 )

      i think they concluded the holes were sockets for stones for a number of reasons - one of which is because of the amount of chippings of Bluestone they found in the area, and another being that holes which have had stones in them have a variety of archaeological evidence to support such a conclusion, including the way the earth is packed, the way the hole is cut, and whether there's evidence for packing stones, etc, having been used to hold the stones in place.

      the combination of this kind of evidence plus t

  • by Frogg ( 27033 ) on Sunday October 04, 2009 @09:40AM (#29634421)

    here in the UK Channel 4's "Time Team" covered some of the recent excavations in the Stonehenge area in a couple of episodes earlier this year - this includes the initial discovery of this 'Bluehenge' site, although when the programmes were made they had not got as far as finding the evidence for a complete henge at this site.

    check out the two 'specials' here [channel4.com] and here [channel4.com]. fwiw, the second programme is the more detailed of the two and covers more of the later discoveries.

    these recent digs are particularly interesting because they're the most up-to-date excavations to have taken place in the Stonehenge area so far, and they also include the re-excavations of older digs which took place before we had some of our modern techniques, technologies and understanding.

    truly fascinating stuff! :)

  • Consider:

    - Negative ions are good for health (a reference would be good here ready for challenging that; one I remember involved using a negative charge to prevent or treat gum disease in dentistry)
    - Negative ions are more common in flowing water; is Bluehenge & Stonehenge built over a lay line (Druid name) -aquifer (hydrogeological term)
    - Charge can be measured with a multimeter so try this: measure voltage with a node in each hand before and after:
    1) a brisk swim in the sea
    2) 10mins of Tai Chi
    3) A mo

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers