We are as intrigued as anyone else about how some ancient stone monuments (e.g. megaliths) were built. Some of the technology, such as the fitting of the stones at Cuzco, is truly amazing.
Some sixty years ago Gavin spent time on Salisbury Plain at Her Majesty’s weapons-testing ranges, where experts were testing infra-red weaponry such as the Sidewinder. Most of the testing was done at night. This gave the scientists time to explore the landscape, and to bat theories back and forth on how and when and why Stonehenge was built. Gavin offered the theory that the quarrying and transporting and building of the stones, and putting the lintels on the tops of the megaliths to form trilithons, was no problem–if you simply thought winter. Why bother with rollers and ropes and all that, when a couple of buckets of water thrown on the ground would freeze and you could slide the blocks across the frozen surface?
We had fun. We demonstrated to our own satisfaction that a single lightweight man could move a one-ton stone with ease, provided that it had even one flat side. To get the stones upright, build a ramp of ice and snow. To put the capstone on, another similar ramp would be needed … and would be built just as easily and serve as well. Then in spring it would return itself to the earth. So the construction resolved itself into a simple application of manpower–people who were doing little else in the middle of winter.
Next we looked at the thermocline: that is, the temperatures thought to have been prevalent at the time when Stonehenge was constructed. Lo and behold: It was a cold period. That still didn’t solve the problem of how they aligned the stones nor how, for instance, they figured out where to put the Aubrey holes and why there should be 56 of them to predict lunar eclipses. Recall that they ultimately had to calculate astronomical patterns happening over approximately 200 years.
So we solved half the problem, at least to our own satisfaction; and we will leave the rest to you.
Think about it. Was life expectancy so brief? Or did people live to greater ages than we’ve always assumed? Were the knotted-string methodologies (quipu) known, or did those people have writing and calculation methods that we wot not of? We’ve puzzled over our uncertainty for years. Every time we see a piece on Stonehenge, it reinvigorates our thoughts. Will you share your thoughts? Give us feedback.
Blessed be those who question easy assumptions. GY