For those of you who regularly read Eternal Idol, you’ll be familiar with the subject of the Stonehenge bluestones and the controversy over precisely how they arrived at Stonehenge.
Otherwise, for those of you not familiar with this subject, it’s been an article of faith for decades that our Neolithic ancestors transported something in the region of 90 bluestones from the Preseli Mountains in southwest Wales to Salisbury Plain, where they were erected in a variety of arrangements within the larger circle of sarsens.
There is an increasingly involved controversy over whether or not these stones were indeed dragged all this distance, as there has long been a suspicion in certain quarters that these bluestones were glacial erratics, or stones that arrived on Salisbury Plain after having been transported there by glaciers. There’s no question that the stones were dragged to Stonehenge by our ancestors, but as a previous commentator noted – how far?
I’ll readily admit that I’ve always gone along with the notion that the bluestones were brought to Salisbury Plain from south-west Wales by human beings, which I’ll put into context by saying that 1: I’m inclined to believe Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account of the construction of Stonehenge and 2: that the study of glaciers and stones is far from being my chosen subject. However, over the last few months, Brian John has presented a series of increasingly persuasive arguments, so if we’re genuinely interested in learning any of the many truths about Stonehenge, it seems to me to be madness to ignore what he has to say. The weight of conventional archaeological opinion goes against Brian’s theories, which is all the more reason to admire the way he’s collated his evidence and presented it in the form of a book entitled The Bluestone Enigma, while there are many honourable precedents for ‘mistrusting dogmas and common assumptions.’
As Brian’s pointed out several times, there’s a romantic and sentimental attachment to the idea of our ancestors laboriously hauling so many huge stones from Wales to Salisbury Plain and again, I’ll readily admit that I’m enthralled by this notion. However dearly held it might be, however, it seems to me to be folly to ignore the writings and findings of someone like Brian who’s gone to such great lengths himself to shed some light on the darkness, so I’ve already ordered my copy of this book and it’s something I’m looking forward to reading. If you wish to do so as well, it’s 160 pages in colour, including 53 photos and 8 line drawings, from Greencroft Books, ISBN 9780905559896 and you can contact Brian here.
The back cover reads:
This is the first book ever to focus on the mysterious bluestones of Stonehenge, which originated in Wales and which have — for exactly one hundred years — been the cause of heated debate. Where did they come from, and how did they get to Stonehenge?
In the course of a meticulous and provocative examination of the evidence from many fields, author Brian John weighs up the conflicting theories about the stones, and provides surprising answers to the key questions which have puzzled generations of archaeologists and geologists alike. This is a detective story with a difference, told in an easy and accessible manner. The author takes nothing on trust. He argues that most of the fondly-held beliefs about the bluestones are sentimental, unscientific and unnecessary, and he supports his case with spectacular and previously unpublished research discoveries.
I should point out that Hugo Jenks and Dean Talboys have also been labouring on works of their own, and I’ll provide fuller details later, but if anyone has a positive contribution to make concerning Stonehenge, whether it’s in the form of thoughts, comments, questions, doubts, observations, photos, original ideas, drawings or books, then they will always find a voice here.