The Megalith Movers Prehistoric Engineering
About This Site - world’s first permanent centre for experimental archaeology    The purpose of this site will be to create the world’s first permanent centre for experimental archaeology.    Why does the world need a permanent centre for experimental archaeology?    Why not ? Would be the shortest answer although perhaps a little unsatisfactory but before we go further maybe we should answer a more fundamental question. What is experimental archeology?    I’m tempted to go even further and ask what is archeology? But don’t worry I won't. It is enough to start with a brief explanation of “experimental archeology”, which in a nutshell is to form a theory in an attempt answer a question posed by archeological discoveries and then to test this theory by scientific experiment.    For example, it is accepted as fact that Stonehenge was constructed using natural stone megaliths that were transported from their place of origin on the Marlbourgh Downs about 26 miles to the north of the site on Salisbury Plain where the remains of Stonehenge now stand. The question posed by archeology is how? The accepted theory is that the Ancient Britons who are credited with building Stonehenge probably transported these megaliths to the chosen site using human muscle power and timber rollers.    Why is this the accepted theory? When it has never to date been successfully tested as practical by means of experimental archeology, is down to two things. One the sheer cost of mounting such experiments combined with lack of available space and two lack of a credible a second theory.    Actually there is no shortage of actual theories just a shortage of scientifically tested theories. And by scientifically tested I mean the transportation of a full­scale stone for a reasonable distance (say one mile) over comparable terrain using only materials and technology that was available to the original builders from the start of the experiment to the end. And if the question is, is it credible that these megaliths could have been transported by the use of timber rollers and human muscle power.    Then the stone must be placed on the rollers using muscle power (not a modern crane) and the distance of travel recorded per day must be the actual distance recorded during each day full working day. Not the distance recorded over one hour multiplied by say ten hours for a notional working day.    The reason being fairly obvious, really hard work of this kind quickly reduces human muscle power making the leg muscles feel like jelly, although each individual is different regarding his stamina it won’t long before a few of the weaker individuals not pulling their weight bring the whole team to a grinding halt.    If you find this hard to believe than look again at National Geographic film clip and the people of the island of Sumba. Using human muscle power and timber rollers to move a stone which I estimate to weigh perhaps 15 to 20 tons. Look at the number of people involved and listen to the narrator. You will hear him say that during one day these people moved this stone a total of around 100 yards. Now imagine the builders of Stonehenge moving perhaps 80 megaliths most weighing two or three times the weight of the Sumba stone for 26 miles.    Now a personal comment, many years ago when I was a young man I was working physically hard at some project when Dad happened by, after watching for some moments he said. “It kills horses Gordon”. “What does”. I replied, Work was all he said as he walked away but he was being factual he had worked with horses in his youth hauling timber and knew they could be literally worked to death.    For this reason alone I believe the ancients used human brain power more than muscle power to build the monuments that so puzzle modern man. The average intelligence of ancient man would have been no different to the average intelligence of modern man for in terms of human evolution 4,000 years ago is yesterday. return to top of this page

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