I saw a program on it last night. I was particularly interested in the massive efforts to transport these giant rocks from 20 miles away.** So what happened to a good number of missing uprights and lintels?** There just isn’t enough rock lying on the ground to account for the original structure. I can’t immagine that they would just erode to dust.
Actually, I remember hearing a month or so ago that the UK had, in fact, undertaken a major (and unpublicized) “restoration” of the site decades ago, in the course of which most of the stones were moved, the earth dug up, etc. Perhaps none of the debris remains b/c of that project.
I’ll look for a cite.
Semi-WAG: Over time, other people took the stones and used them for their own purposes (walls, forts, castles, etc…). Up until relatively recently (the last couple hundred of years or so), people weren’t too concerned about preserving antiquities, and would often scavenge ruins for cut stone.
Love your choice of on-line names.
I saw that movie too. Go-Go Godzilla! (The Original, not the wimpy Holywood version)
I’m not sure that many of the stones are missing, but I don’t think that there is any great mystery about those that are. As Jet Jaguar says, it was not unknown for antiquities to be plundered for stone. Note, however, that the stones of Stonehenge are not dressed and that it is some distance from any town. Had it been more convenient, more might have been taken. The other possibility is deliberate destruction. IIRC there are documented cases from recent centuries of some of the stones at Avebury being destroyed for religious reasons.
The claim that English Heritage, the government body which owns the site, covered up evidence of ‘restoration’ work earlier this century recently received much publicity. It quickly emerged that the fact that some of the stones had been straightened had never been hidden and that it had always been well known to archaeologists in the field.
Yeah, what APB said with a link to a site about Avebury
“Over the years the complex has been symptomatically destroyed. Often by Christians wanting to desecrate a “pagan” temple or by people removing the stones to build houses and to extend their farmland, until we are left now with only a fragment of the complex and a village that extends into the circle itself. Once there would have been about a hundred stones in the main circle, now there are only twenty-seven. Although Avebury’s St Michael’s Church lies outside the circle, on the evidence of the stone that was used to build it, it would be standing on the site of a much earlier monument. In the Church, on the Saxon or Norman font, is a depiction of St Michael, the dragon killer. He represents the crushing of pagan religions by Christianity.”