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Peter Morris
02-13-2006, 04:54 PM
When did the stones of Stonehenge fall down? What caused it? Did anyone ever try to set them up again?

Tapioca Dextrin
02-13-2006, 06:45 PM
They've been falling down for senturies. The last stone to fall was in 1900 and various attempts have been nade since then to tidy things up (http://www.britarch.ac.uk/stonehenge/stone23.html).

Scylla
02-13-2006, 06:55 PM
Stonehenge!

Where the demons dwell.

Where the banshees wail, and they do it well.

bonzer
02-13-2006, 07:14 PM
This is a surprisingly difficult question to decide. One starting point is to realise that British prehistoric monuments generally probably started to decay almost from the moment they were built. Thus it's well established that the ditches involved would pretty much cave in completely in a couple of decades after people stopped maintaining them. Since there are cases where it seems that stones in henge monuments also fell over quickly, then it seems plausible that Stonehenge similarly rapidly fell into disrepair.
A contrary argument was put forward by R.J.C. Atkinson, the main 20th century excavator of the site. He argued that the stones were much more firmly set in the ground than was common elsewhere and so more resistent to simply falling over. There were also patterns he thought he could see in the damage. The conclusion he drew was that most of the destruction was deliberate, either in Roman or medieval times.
The Romans-half-knocking-it-down hypothesis notably hasn't found much support. If they were trying to wipe it out as part of some attempt to suppress a (rightly or wrongly) perceived symbol of native religion, they made a half-assed job of it.

What can be said with certainty is that some stones were already down by the 16th century when historical records of the site begin and that stuff has regularly been recorded as falling over since. Furthermore, there are plausibly documented cases of stones being carted off in the early modern period for use in building projects elsewhere. The same sort of damage may plausibly have been occuring in medieval times.
Whatever the damage prior to, say, 1000 CE, quite a lot has thus happened since.

The last stone to fall was in 1900 and various attempts have been nade since then to tidy things up (http://www.britarch.ac.uk/stonehenge/stone23.html).

Actually, Stone 23 blew over in a gale in 1963. It's since been re-erected.

CynicalGabe
02-13-2006, 07:34 PM
What caused it? Did anyone ever try to set them up again?

The answers to both questions are 'Chuck Norris'.



::d&r::

handsomeharry
02-13-2006, 09:23 PM
The answers to both questions are 'Chuck Norris'.



::d&r::
I thought that they were trampled by a dwarf.
hh

Wendell Wagner
02-13-2006, 09:49 PM
Cynical Gabe writes:

> The answers to both questions are 'Chuck Norris'.

But only once. In 1960. For about 20 minutes.

Peter Morris
02-13-2006, 10:57 PM
Wow, thanks, people. I love this forum, there's always someone who knows the answer.

I don't understand the Chuck Norris reference, please explain.

deevee
02-13-2006, 11:08 PM
Stonehenge!

Where the demons dwell.

Where the banshees wail, and they do it well.

I was surprised by how small Stonehenge actually is.

Fear Itself
02-14-2006, 08:26 AM
I was surprised by how small Stonehenge actually is.That's because the designer wrote down 18" instead of 18' .

CynicalGabe
02-14-2006, 10:21 AM
Wow, thanks, people. I love this forum, there's always someone who knows the answer.

I don't understand the Chuck Norris reference, please explain.

http://www.4q.cc/index.php?pid=top100&person=chuck

Skipper Too
02-14-2006, 11:35 AM
The answers to both questions are 'Chuck Norris'.



::d&r::

I thought Clark Griswold knocked them all down

casdave
02-14-2006, 12:11 PM
Various ancient stone circles have been damaged and re-erected for centuries.

Avebury is the best documented, where a local farmer had something of a passion for carrying off some stone, heating them up in fires set up by the sides if streams and when the stones were very hot, tipping them in to shatter of at least break them into more manageable pieces which were then firther broken down into building material, 'stonekiller Robinson' was his name, google it and you'll find mention of it.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D05E5DD1E39F937A25754C0A960958260&sec=travel&pagewanted=2

Some were damaged in the Puritanical extremist aftermath during Cromwells time as they were of pagan origin and an insult to God.

Yet there have been others who set them upright over the ages too.

http://www.avebury-web.co.uk/avebury_now.html

http://www.britannia.com/wonder/aubry.html

Stonehenge is not just the small circle of large stones, its actually part of a much larger complex, much of which can now only be seen using aerial photography, mainly at dawn and dusk when cast shadow reveal ancient lines better, a thin layer of snow also helps in this tyope of aerial photography too.

There have been a few attempts to locate missing stones, from the conventional archeology and photography, to using diviners of the type used to locate underground water sources, amazingly this latter method has been succesful to an extent, and proven so when cross referanced to obscure drawings and paintings.

Something that is just as surprising is that even recently, new discoveries have been made, opposite each of the larger stones there is a pair of small holes.

In a very recent project a groups of engineers decided to try raise stones of a similar size using only the methods that might have been available to the original constructors.
Eventually they hit upon the idea of using mechanical advantage throught the use of A frames to pull them to the upright.
It turns out that to to it, the ends of the A frames had to be sunk into a socket hole in the ground.
It was only after this had been tried, and worked that archeologists took a closer look at some markings at Stnehenge itself, and its then that those pairs of holes were discovered.

photopat
02-14-2006, 01:07 PM
There have been a few attempts to locate missing stones, from the conventional archeology and photography, to using diviners of the type used to locate underground water sources, amazingly this latter method has been succesful to an extent, and proven so when cross referanced to obscure drawings and paintings.

[hijack]Well, archeology and photography maybe, but, even without a cite I can guarantee "divining" hasn't been successful in locating stones. At best the people doing it got lucky.

Dowsing doesn't work.[end of hijack]

Peter Morris
02-14-2006, 02:36 PM
So, some stones have fallen and been raised in modern times. Others have just been left where they fell. What determines the difference? Why not raise the fallen ones?

David Simmons
02-14-2006, 02:46 PM
People are no damned good. It's my understanding that you no longer can go up and wander around the monument because of past vandalism. If that's the case what a shame.

We were there in 1960 with another couple. We stopped in Salisbury and bought some bread, cold meat, cheese and wine and ate our picnic using one of the stones as a table. A great time was had by all. And now you can't do that.

bonzer
02-14-2006, 03:39 PM
So, some stones have fallen and been raised in modern times. Others have just been left where they fell. What determines the difference? Why not raise the fallen ones?

I believe that it was mainly a question of knowing where to put them. While it's fairly obvious roughly where all the fallen stones were originally, there's nothing archaeologically to be gained from guessing exactly where they were and putting them back there - though it would make it all a bit more tidy for the tourists. Offhand, I think that all the re-erected stones are ones that had fallen since the end of the 18th century at the earliest, and so where are good records of their position before they fell over. By contrast, I suspect that it's be physically easy to re-erect Stone 14, but that fell over in 1750 and accounts of the layout are sparser that far back so that remain toppled.
Most of the restoration work over the years has involved straightening leaning stones and securing foundations.

Archaeologists elsewhere - notably including the Irish at Newgrange - have made decisions that are comparable to re-erecting everything at Stonehenge and that could certainly could have been done by the Ministry of Works had they wanted to. Their reasons for not going down that route are however likely to have been rather different from the practical reasons for not doing so now. In the intervening decades, maintaining Stonehenge has become the ultimate curatorial headache, involving the collision of all sorts of political, cultural and archaeological agendas. Given the paralysis enveloping the solution of the obvious problems of access, facilities and the surrounding landscape, the sort of interventions that were possible to the circle itself in the mid-20th century are now unlikely even to be contemplated.