Before we begin this blog let us apologize for not being very up to date. The garden is taking a lot of attention and time with the snap peas in full production, as well as strawberries, lettuces, beet greens, and radishes. This year even the tomatoes look as if the crop will be abundant. Some of the plants are already showing four trusses.* The tomatoes’ sideshoots are going into the mix of salad greens, because they offer an extremely high content of calcium.
* the British term for sideshoots that bear fruit.
But enough of that. Now for the real intent of today’s utterance.
We very much enjoyed the National Geographic revelation this week of findings in the Stonehenge area, and cannot sufficiently praise the work of Professor Mike Parker-Pearson.
We would like to suggest an alternate explanation for the moving of the sarsens. Any farmer knows that the time to move heavy objects, such as sledding farrowing houses on a pig farm, is midwinter when the ground is frozen. If we look at temperature observations during the Holocene, we can see quite clearly that a cold spell occurs at the time of the major construction of Stonehenge. The evidence for this is proxy, of course; but ice cores and other evidence suggest that there was a short-lived climatic shift–and there is some evidence that there was also a worldwide reduction in precipitation. It is a stretch, but some people believe this to be a primary cause of the collapse of the Old Kingdom of Egypt.
What if they just sledded the sarsens on iced pathways? What if, instead of building simple earth ramps to tilt for erection of the stones, they iced the surface?
Another factor here might be that during summer these gatherer-hunter people would most likely be working to enhance their food stores. Why not then start construction perhaps at winter solstice or indeed even earlier at Samhain, when the man- and woman-power were not busy with their gathering-hunting tasks?
We were most intrigued at the parallels postulated to the Hindu sacred-river cultures of today. It is a real joy for us to share this planet with one (Parker-Pearson) who is not so confined by dogma and who has the cojones to reach beyond conventional wisdom and its accepted assumptions, thus perhaps giving a further reason to believe that these ancient peoples migrated right across the continent and were the forebears of our Celtic ancestors.
Blessed be those who dare to think beyond conventional ideas. Gavin and Yvonne