Sunday, 17 July 2011

Further evidence of the Mesolithic /Neolithic transformation myth

By Robert John Langdon

On my last post I showed that the University of Oxford has found an isotope to identify 'flooded' terraces that were used by the Neolithic settlers rather than creating farmland by 'clearing forests' as archaeologists current suggest.



This week we look at some more evidence from the University of Manchester in their paper 'Mesolithic Mammal fauna of Great Britain' 2000.

The big question we previously asked was 'why would you cut down forests if there was sufficient flat grazing land to plant seeds and turn into farms'.  To see the flaws in the current Mesolithic-Neolithic transition theory (which suggest a rising population caused the use of agriculture), we need to find out the population of Britain at the end of the Mesolithic - Fortunately, the University of Manchester estimates this at just 2,500 people - that is equalling to each person in the Mesolithic able to have 88 sq km each or roughly the Isle of Jersey each.

So you not exactly running out of land to hunt or gather, especially when you are reminded that 90,000 people live there now! In fact the population would need to be around the 423,710 figure to give them just 1 acre each - this figure was not estimated until the iron age some 3,000 years later.

So what is the truth?

Let's look at how much flat grassy plains were available from the drop of water levels in the Mesolithic period - University of Manchester estimates about 42,371 or about 19% of the total landmass.  That gives every person 17 sq km of flat grassland!  So why on earth would you chop down a forest to make a farm when there is so much land available you can just find a spot and grow some seeds?

And so, that is exactly what they did, when the water levels fell in the Neolithic - the rest of the forest was felled later in the Bronze and Iron age when the weather conditions allowed then to do so easily with metal tools.  The problem for anthropologists is to explain this 'culture change' as farming was available but ignored, until the water levels made it impossible for 1,500 boats to survive on the twiddling British waterways.

Moreover, another set of statistic show how pathetic this 'hunter-gather' myth really is when looking at the numbers of dangerous animals living in the forest.  There is a whole collection of animals waiting for Mesolithic settlers to wander into the wilderness to become - their prey:

Lynx - outnumber man by 3 to 1
Wolfs - outnumber man by 3 to 1
Brown Bears - outnumber man by 6 to 1
Wild Cats - outnumber man by 30 to 1
Wild Boar - outnumber man by 400 to 1

Clearly this evidence shows us that over population at the end of the Mesolithic did not create the 'farming' revolution as current theories suggest, for there was more than sufficient land available for such a small population.  This was moreover, a fundamental change in 'culture' and attitude that had gone unchanged for the prior 5,000 years of the Mesolithic period. This change from 'peaceful' existence within nature was replaced by metal, war and possessions, a totally different ideology - which will be fully examined in my next book and subsequent blogs.

48 comments:

  1. Robert,

    You raise some interesting and important points in this post.

    You write,

    “... why would you cut down forests if there was sufficient flat grazing land to plant seeds and turn into farms?”

    And also,

    “... gives every person 17 sq km of flat grassland! So why on earth would you chop down a forest to make a farm when there is so much land available you can just find a spot and grow some seeds?”

    I totally agree with you. It just does not make sense.

    But then you write,

    “... the forest was felled later in the Bronze and Iron age when the weather conditions allowed then to do so easily with metal tools”

    But that just goes against your very own logic that there was plenty of flat, cleared, available and fertilized land to farm. So why clear the forest?

    Is it because we are told there was a vast forest at one time and there is none now? Is your twisted logic seeks to clear the land to make way for what is 'known', or to clear the land to grow crops?

    But most interesting to me are the population figures for Mesolithic UK you quote from the University of Manchester study.

    You write,

    “...the population of Britain at the end of the Mesolithic … the University of Manchester estimates this at just 2,500 people ...”

    That is truly amazing! If we consider that this figure figures in the very young and the very old and all the women and the sick too. The number of able bodied Mesolithic men would be say around 500 men. Are these the men that sailed to Egypt to show the Egyptians how to build pyramids? Or transported sarsens in boats and dragged these erect to built Stonehenge?

    Just today I was reading in a Wikipedia article that it is estimated that it took 500 men some 15 years to build Silbury Hill! Did these people have to make a living? And that is just one 'project'. What about Stonehenge and Avery Circle and all the stone circles and round Barrows and long Barrows and Woodhenge and Bluehenge … Are you kidding me? Come on! The man-hours just don't add up!

    Before I have argued that Mesolithic people did not have the knowledge, skill, social organization and economic resources to build Stonehenge and all the other prehistoric monuments. But now you give me yet another strong argument against such 'human preoccupation'.

    The Mesolithic population was just too meager to support such undertakings.

    Men did not built these! Nature it!

    Kostas

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  2. Kostas

    Yes these are interesting figures - if correct!!

    I (like you) understand that 2,500 is a very small number - I would love to understand the mathematical model they use to estimate such a figure (reverse engineering of existing data with the child mortality rate would be good!) but I guess its the normal finger in the air scenario as i've seen with the dating Stonehenge.

    What we do know from Roman accounts is that the population was about a million at the time of invasion - so with the population increasing at about 5% per generation I can estimate that within 18 generations (about 500 years) the flat fertile flood plan would be completely used up and 'other' land needed to be changed to farmland.

    The Iron Age Started in just 800BC - so my analysis is that the forest clearance was end of Bronze and Iron Age as not all the flood plain would be usable or accessible.

    But this estimation is far more accurate than the Neolithic date which is based on finding the first 'modified' seeds sown and the consequential conclusion that all the forests were cut down at that time.

    As for numbers to build Stonehenge - you are absolutely right, if you had to drag stones miles across land, you would need an infrastructure larger than the population - unless they had boats!!

    A 15 tonne Sarsen stone would need just 20 or so men to move the stones using levers (remembering a boat oar is a lever - so principle would be well known) floating on a boat.

    As for Silbury Hill - the most recent report shows that it was made (like the mayan temples)in flat steps. This indicates that it was constructed over a large period of time.

    We can do the maths here very simply - unlike most archaeologists it seems!!

    Volume of Silbury hill is 4,768,875 sq feet - an average man can cut about 9 sq foot per day with an antler pick that's 529,875 days of work for one man - 20 men would take 26,494 days non-stop - if built in three layers is 8,831 days as the monument started at the beginning of the Neolithic and ended at the Bronze Age - that is just 3 days work per year as an average.

    I'm sure that they probably put a years work into kicking it off - but as it was a lighthouse for a bonfire, the urgency to build it high quickly was non-existent.

    RJL

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  3. Robert,

    If you spread the work over thousands of years, I suppose the math could be made to work out.

    But I have serious problems with all of these (and there are thousands such prehistoric monuments) beyond just the math. Certainly, population size is a big factor in the feasibility of such constructions. But there are many other issues that you and I debate over now and then. I wont go into these here now.

    But I do want to raise concerns I have about the carbon dating used. Maybe you can elaborate on this too. From what I understand, carbon dating makes these assumptions:

    1)The atmospheric level of C14 is constant and uniform over geological time and location.

    2)The level of C14 in a living organism is also uniform throughout the body and the same as the atmospheric level (the living organism being in C14-equilibrium with its environment)

    3)C14 is uniformly depleted from a dead organism, the same in all of its body parts and organs.

    4)The decay of C14 has a half life of some 5730 years. It will take some 5730 years for an amount of C14 to be half in size.

    These assumptions should raise serious doubts about all the dates associated with Stonehenge, etc. But I wish to highlight just one such concern about the deer antlers used to date the Ditch, Stonehenge, and even Silbury Hill.

    It seems to me that C14 (as well as all Carbon) will have much greater concentrations in the antlers than in the rest of the body.Its what makes them antlers, afterall!

    If lets say there is naturally twice as much C14 levels in the antlers of a living deer than in the rest of the body (and so of the atmosphere) than the results obtained with C14 dating will be at least 5730 years off the mark!!!

    Thus, if the antler dates to say 2700 BC, the actual date may in fact be 8430 BC.

    This is in total agreement with the global temperature data and with my 'local ice cover' theory which claims that the deer antlers found buried at Stonehenge were deposited there from higher elevations by ice meltwater accumulating in an ice retaining basin (where we now have stone circles or round mounts).

    Why should C14 levels in the antlers be at higher concentrations than in the surrounding atmosphere? That is like saying that the water retained by our bodies is at the same atmospheric humidity levels of any particular day!

    But all these questions and issues fortunately can be verified by careful scientific research.

    These are “falsifiable”! Unlike “alien visitations” and “lost civilizations” that left no records behind!

    Kostas

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  4. Kostas

    There is a question mark about carbon-14 and how it dates, unquestionably. In recent years all dates were corrected as more information was obtained and now some original dates there are as much as a 1000 years difference.

    The reason for the change is that the amount of carbon in the atmosphere is not static and has varied over the last 10,000 years.

    Carbon decays at a steady rate after the death of the organic material - so coverage is not a issue and is measured as a 'per minute per gram' basis.

    I am not a chemist so no expert on the subject, but what I have seen in recent years is that the carbon dates have moved the sites such as Stonehenge back in time from 1500BC some 20 years ago to 3000BC today.

    RJL

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  5. Robert,

    Certainly varying concentrations of atmospheric C14 over geological time will make a difference in the dating of fossils. But so would varying concentrations of C14 in different locations and especially altitudes (it seems to me).

    But what I think will make the greatest difference in the results of C14 dating are the varying concentrations of C14 in different parts of the body. My sense is that (and this is only intuition) there is a greater deposition of C14 in the antlers of a deer than in any other 'breathing part' of its body.

    What I tried to suggest in my previous comment is that if there is just twice as much C14 stored in the deer's antlers than the rest of its body, the resulting date will be off by a 'half life' of C14, which is 5730 years! This is just the age differential that would place the antlers found at Stonehenge and the Ditch to 8,430 BC. Well into the Mesolithic!

    But all this can be easily verified! And perhaps it has been examined and accounted for by scientists that do C14 dating. It's just that I am not aware of any such scientific findings. And I don't take ANYTHING for granted! I think we can agree on that!

    Kostas

    PS Can you post references to the University of Manchester study that you have quoted? I think such practice will make your posts more credible and useful.

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  6. Kostas

    All my posts are creditable and fully quoted - The Mesolithic mammal funa of Great Britain,S Maroo and DW Yalden, 2000 Mammal Society, Mammal Review 30,243-248.

    Good luck in finding a chemist that is open minded and willing to question C14 dating!!

    RJL

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  7. Robert,

    After more reading and further consideration on C14 dating, I admit that I was wrong in my initial understanding. I am now convinced that for purposes of dating organic matter, the part used for C14 dating does not matter – since the ratio of C to C14 will always be the same as that in the environment (assuming there is no biochemical process that produces C14 from C in the body).

    But we still have the very open question of what were the C14 levels during the Mesolithic and earlier. And I have seen references to studies that show such levels do change over time and cannot be assumed to be constant over geological time and place.

    We know that we had a cataclysmic melting of the glaciers some 10,000BP with sharply rising global temperatures. We also know that C14 is produced from C by gamma rays from space (Wikipedia article). If the rising global temperatures 10,000BP was the result of an increase of solar radiation on earth, it makes some plausible sense that perhaps there was also an increase in C14 levels.

    If the C14 levels increased by just a factor of two during this period of global warming 10,000BP, that would put the date of the antlers found at Stonehenge off by a some 5730 years (the half life of C14). And as I have argued in my previous posts, that would place these dates well into the Mesolithic, say around 8,500 BC.

    It seems to me Robert that all this can be scientifically verified. There may even be studies that show the relationship between atmospheric temperature and intensity of solar radiation. There may also be studies that determine gamma rays levels with increases in solar radiation. And finally studies that show how the production of C14 is affected by the levels of gamma ray radiation. Putting all these together should give us some idea of the levels of C14 during the Great Melt.

    What are your thoughts on that?

    Kostas

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  8. Kostas

    As I have stated before - the current estimation of carbon in the atmosphere during Mesolithic times is questionable.

    Your estimations could be correct?

    Its only when we have a full dendrochronology (tree) map that takes us all the way back to 10,000BC, we just will not know for sure.

    RJL

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  9. A correction …

    “C14 is produced from N by gamma rays from space (Wikipedia article). “

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  10. A correction …

    “C14 is produced from N by cosmic rays from space (Wikipedia article). “

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  11. Robert,

    … been thinking about the production of C14 lately. I have a question that perhaps you or some of your readers may know the answer.

    Can C14 be produced in the lab? Or C14 can only be produced in nature? Has the reaction that creates C14 been duplicated in a lab?

    Since the levels of C14 in the atmosphere are of crucial important in C14 dating of organic matter, this is an important question, in my humble opinion.

    Kostas

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  12. Kosta

    Chack out http://www.creation-science-prophecy.com/C14a.htm

    I think you both have something in common!!

    No.6

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  13. Anonymous No. 6

    I argue my reasoning as readily as I admit my mistakes. Try it!

    The only think I have in common with your “Creationist” link is my questioning of a constant C14/C12 ratio over geological time and place. Robert also raises the same question. And recent scientific research shows that our questioning of this is well founded.

    But whereas “Creationists” claim this ratio to have been smaller in prehistoric times, Robert and I argue that it was likely higher. After all, the Earth was more 'radioactive' in the distant geological past than it is today.

    In a previous comment I argued that if the C14/C12 ratio was just twice as high when Stonehenge was made than it is today, that would put the carbon dating for Stonehenge off by some 5730 years (the half life of C14). This would place the making of Stonehenge well into the Mesolithic, around 8,500BC. A date that Robert and I agree is plausibly true. That's about all we agree on, however!

    Kostas

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  14. There is a question mark about C14 dating? well then I 'spose we'll just have to close the labs and recant everything. So many of us geologists and other lab coated Poindexters haven't fooled some people though. Especially those self appointed Grandees with all the answers. Anybody else see the BS meter going off the scale?

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  15. Dr Evil,

    As a scientist you certainly believe in scientific research. Quoting from a Wikipedia article,

    “... Hessel de Vries showed that the concentration of carbon-14 in the atmosphere varies with time and locality”

    Is it a stretch to question, therefore, the concentration levels of C14 in the atmosphere some 10,000 years ago?

    But if you have some positive contributions to make that shed light on this, please do participate. I am only interested in the Truth. Not Dogma.

    Why should the ratio C14/C12 be constant over geological time and place? Isn't this just an assumption made in C14 dating? Don't tell us that it is true! Show us why it is true!

    I don't have all the answers. But I sure have all the questions. Any attempts to stifle honest inquiry only shows how fragile established 'truths' are!

    Kostas

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  16. Robert,

    Been doing some more reading on cosmic ray flux and C14 production. Here is a direct quote, with references, from a Wikipedia article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_ray

    “In the past, it was believed that the cosmic ray flux has remained fairly constant over time. Recent research has, however, produced evidence for 1.5 to 2-fold millennium-timescale changes in the cosmic ray flux in the past forty thousand years.”

    The reference to the 2005 study sited for this research is: D. Lal, A.J.T. Jull, D. Pollard, L. Vacher (2005). "Evidence for large century time-scale changes in solar activity in the past 32 Kyr, based on in-situ cosmogenic 14C in ice at Summit, Greenland". Earth and Planetary Science Letters 234 (3–4): 335–249. Bibcode 2005E&PSL.234..335L. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2005.02.011.

    We know that C14 is produced in the atmosphere by cosmic rays from space. Is it unreasonable to speculate that if the flux of cosmic rays striking the atmosphere doubles, the production of C14 in the atmosphere will also double? Such cosmic ray flux fluctuations happen over thousand year spans. But the half life of C14 is 5730 years. So it will take some time (thousands of years) before the level spikes of C14 production in the atmosphere can come down to current levels.

    I think you will agree that this recent scientific research (2005) agrees with (if not confirms) my claim that the C14 levels in the atmosphere when Stonehenge was made may have been twice what the levels of C14 are today.

    And that would put the dates for Stonehenge off by 5730 years (the half life of C14). Placing the making of Stonehenge well into the Mesolithic around 8,500BC.

    I wonder what Dr Evil has to say about that!

    Kostas

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  17. Let me just check my Wikipedia sources and I'll get back to you.

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  18. Incidentally, 8,500 years you say? How does that fit in with the geomorphology during the Holocene? Perhaps it was easier to slide the bluestones over the ice do you think? Once the ancient druids were able to mine them out of the glacial cover and boulder head of Siluria naturally. But what of these practical inconsistencies, they ought not to get in the way of romantic tales regarding heroic bearskin clad h.sapiens heaving boulders about the arctic scenery, and anyway, maybe it was a handy periglacial. Or was there only a transgressive embayment far out in the Irish Sea instead of the flooded estuary making the transport across the marshy tundra easy? Given that the Devensian wasn't as extensive as the Anglian, the premise of a conveniently ice free Myndd Preseli in the early holocene is neverthelss hard to accept, given too, the extent of the till, moraines and erratics that are from the Devensian in the locality. I agree theories need to be tested and even long cherished precepts can be overturned by professionals and dedicated amateurs alike. But I tire of hearing about ancient mystical bollocks with psuedo scientific concepts tailored to compound the fallacy. Worse still, when actual science is used to promote Arthurian/Druidian/Hobgoblin nonsense simply because it makes for a good yarn. I'll stick to my rocks - terriginous, carbonates, greenstone and yes - bluestone, for there is more truth in them than legends of Cardigan Bay sea gate keepers or Celtic seers and their tales of Upper Quaternary civilizations putting one stone on top of another in Wiltshire.

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    Replies
    1. http://archaeology.org/news/3471-150709-scotland-mar-lodge

      in reference to your "8,500 years you say? How does that fit in with the geomorphology during the Holocene? Perhaps it was easier to slide the bluestones over the ice do you think? "

      Delete
  19. Dear Dr Evil,

    Thank you for your reply. I can now understand the tone of your previous comments. But you are misdirecting your rant to the wrong person! I am not Robert! I do not believe in his Mesolithic boat people with great advanced technical knowledge to navigate the known world in reed boats sawing the seeds of civilization in places like Egypt and Greece; or transporting bluestones to Stonehenge and engaging in maritime commerce 24/7 using lighthouses to guide boats to ports at night and man-made round hills with white chalk tops to mark the way during the day.

    I do not subscribe to the 'human transport theories' for Stonehenge in any form!

    Rather, I argue with facts-grounded reasoning that such prehistoric landmarks as Stonehenge and Silbury Hill and Avery Circle, etc. were made by Nature -- with prehistoric men playing a more minor role, commensurate with their known abilities.

    Please read my article. “The un-Henging of Stonehenge”, for more details. Just click at my name and you will be able to access it. Also, I have contributed my ideas and explanations on this topic in Brian John's blog, http://brian-mountainman.blogspot.com/, (he is a geomorphologist) and of course in this blog. By entering my name in the search box, you will be able to access my posted comments.

    As to the date, 8,500 BC. This is approximated from some global temperature charts I have seen posted in Brian John's blog. What was so clear in these charts was that there was a Great Melt of glacier ice soon followed by a Big Freeze that lasted some 2000 years; followed by another sharp rise in temperatures (continuing down to the present) with glacier melt down.

    In my 'local ice cover theory' I argue that the rapid melting of glaciers created vast melt water lakes and rising sea levels which then froze solid during the Big Freeze. Once the ice began melting, this 'local ice cover' (to be distinguished from glacier ice) formed a 'template' over a very active geothermal and volcanic landscape which eventually lead to the geomorphology of the earthworks and prehistoric sites we now see in Salisbury Plain.

    Discussing with Robert the assumption of constant C14/C12 ratio made in radiocarbon dating, it occurred to me that if this ratio was off by just a factor of 2, this would change all the C14 dates for Stonehenge by 5730 years and so place the making of Stonehenge into the Mesolithic 8,500 BC. A time my 'local ice cover theory' claims Stonehenge was probably made.

    This assumption, that the atmospheric levels 10,000 years ago of C14 were 2-fold what they are today agrees well with the 2005 scientific study that was referenced in the Wikipedia article in my comment above.

    Kostas

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  20. Ok, Lets wind this tread up with some rational thoughts - sorry been on tour last week!!

    Kosta - very interesting ideas about C14 - but its not x2 out!

    The post holes in The Car park of Stonehenge are dated between 7500 - 8500 BC and that would make them constructed during the ice age - which is not possible as trees don't grow in ice ages.

    But you could be right to the levels of C14 in the atmosphere (as chemists have adjusted the decay rate once already since 1950). That being the case the present BC dates maybe 500 to 1000 older than currently estimated.

    As for Dr Evil's question: "Incidentally, 8,500 years you say? How does that fit in with the geomorphology during the Holocene?"

    'The landforms and deposits at Glen Feshie include outwash and river terraces, alluvial fans,
    palaeochannels and debris cones. This assemblage of features provides an outstanding record
    of valley-floor and valley-slope development during the Lateglacial and Holocene.' - Extracted from the Geological Conservation Review
    You can view an introduction to this volume
    at http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-2731

    Eventually, geologists will recognise that the same effects as shown in Scotland effected not only the Stonehenge, but the chalk hills of southern England area. This causing local flooding and hence allows the common sense view that the Sarsen stones were not only loaded in Preseli but landed just 50 metres from the Stonehenge peninsula. That being the case, this effect can be dated at 8500BC as carbon dating has been found on the shoreline/river terraces of this peninsula.

    As for the use of mythology in history I would point you to a famous philosopher Levi-Strauss myth and meaning: http://books.google.com/books?id=s-knuZrYlw8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22Claude+L%C3%A9vi-Strauss%22&hl=en&ei=Z2LUTIqaEY70vQOlpKnQBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    As all myth MUST start with a truth which maybe lost over time - but still remains a truth.

    RJL

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  21. Robert,

    Please clarify the following: You write,

    “The post holes in The Car park of Stonehenge are dated between 7500 - 8500 BC and that would make them constructed during the ice age - which is not possible as trees don't grow in ice ages.”

    Are these dates adjusted according to my claims about C14 or are these current dates in the literature. If so, could you provide me with such reference?

    I completely agree with your Scotland assessment. But I wont comment about your myth comment. Perhaps some other time we can continue that debate.

    Kostas

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  22. Been on tour... what, like The Rolling Stones have been on tour? And Stonehenge is a peninsular now, yes absolutely, just as you say - a peninsular. Where did you get that "all myths are truths" piffle, The Daily Mail Book of Completely Meaningless Proverbs? that's just about the most banal thing I've read other than an opening sentence from a Jeffrey Archer novel. As for rational thoughts, you really need to get over yourself. People who actually work for a living trying to understand earth processes are really up against it when they have to waste time refuting beardy weirdy bullshit masquerading as actual interested inquiry or research. Genuine thinkers - professional or not, who contribute to that greater understanding are invaluable. But amateurs who pronounce from the safety of the sidelines without any form of peer review are quite frankly, a pain in the arse. And before anybody starts waffling about due respect, forget it. This is how we do things in the real world, if it looks like horse shit, smells like horse shit and makes the roses grow, then its a steaming pile of manure. Putting a little flag on top with the words Science is just going to make scientists laugh and laugh.
    Oh, and before I leave this nuthouse, one more thing, just because they let you put it up on the internet - doesn't make it so.

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  23. Dr Evil

    Thank you for those profound thoughts.

    Sorry to say that I feel from your comments that Levi-Strauss' philosophy may have the intellectual advantage over your frustrated rant. One would amuse that Dr Poindexter is probably not a fair representation on your current psyche.

    As for Kosta's enquiry - The 1966 Pit Holes in the Car Park of Stonehenge (including a new one found in 1989) these are 'currently excepted dates' and are the basis of my scientific claim that not only was Stonehenge constructed on a peninsula, but moreover, it can be dated to 8000BC - 5,000 years older that the currently believed.

    No myths - no pseudo science - just plain simple scientific proven facts with a tinge of 'common sense' which seems to be missing from current archaeological and geological theories.

    Of course if you wish to believe the current theory that in 8500BC a Mesolithic group planted a 'totem pole' at Stonehenge (then left leaving no trace) for their Great, Great, Great, Great (x20 etc) Grand children to return some 500 years later to put second 'totem pole' next to the first one (I would guess it would have rotted by now? - but what do I know?) and then again return just 250 later to put a third in a line (do we really think the original poles are still visible? and why not use the old holes?)again to disappear, this time for 5,000 years to come back to build phase one of Stonehenge....

    Then I must be talking 'bullshit' for clearly my hypothesis is far to obvious and simple and I don't understand the complexities that you 'working' intellectuals have constructed as truth and reality!

    lol!

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  24. Robert,

    No rant from me! But plenty of honest questions and a commitment to Truth and Reason!

    What is your reference to the 'currently accepted dates' of 8,000 BC for the 'totem posts' at the Car Park area? These dates may very well fit-in with my views on Stonehenge!

    I agree with you that the questionable radiocarbon dates we are given and the archeological narrative that seeks to fit these dates in just does not make sense! But neither does your narrative of a Mesolithic Lost Civilization!

    I believe there is a 'third way' to these two irreconcilable extremes of current archeology and mythological romance. And that is my 'local ice cover theory', which provides rational common sense explanations based on scientific evidence and facts on the ground.

    Kostas

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  25. "lol" as much as you like. And you should call my comments a rant if it makes you feel better, although it invariably fails as an argumentative riposte, more as a last resort when running out of rationale and talent. And your attempt at airy nonchalance is fooling no one. As a smokescreen, perhaps you think it effective - it isn't. Contrary to your assertion I believe you to the 'frustrated' party. For example; You belittle the work of actual archaeologists and geologists on the one hand while resorting to their papers and publications on the other when it suits your purpose. Thus while my 'psyche' as you are happy call it in that quaint if somewhat tiresome New Earth patois - may be imperfect, yours seems to possess much in the way of envy and resentment. I cannot help your staggeringly willful ignorance regarding Glaciology and Geomorphology, but niether can you blame those who have made it their objective study as opposed to your subjective cherry picking. But let us put aside your determined lack of understanding in these areas of academic rigour for the moment and look at your supposition shall we? - oh, and let us be clear, as much as you insist on quoting snippets of your book as Scientific fact, it really is only supposition, calling it a 'hypothesis' does not lend it an air of "thoughtful rationale" Besides - if its a personal theory that you have belief in and feel it is compelling enough, then rejoice in that and study it properly. Four years should do the trick, an MSc perhaps? many of our universities will accommodate you. Hoping that because its in print - its done, isn't really enough. Now where were we? oh yes; You say that there was a marine transgression that lapped at the periphery of Stonehenge and other tumuli, let us suppose for the moment that this had come to pass. And let us also suppose that it is a eustatic sea movement and not an epicontinental lacustrine event. Among your folio of evidence, I think you ought to have landform remnants of marine presence. For example, stage palaeoshores and channels. Littoral and beach facies including cross bedded muds and sands with submarine and subariel dunes. You would be able to point out plausible deltas, and meanders as the heightened sea dissipated the energy of approaching rivers. There would also be inshore fluvial evidence of this. And what about the marine fauna? I assume you have shoe boxes full of bivalves, corals gastropods, fish and reptilia etc that you have collected? These would be in the early stages of diagenesis and of Arctic species naturally, but then - you knew that already.

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  26. Also there would be the flora associated with a marine environment, bladderworts, seagrasses and foreshore bogwoods in the as yet unlithified strata. I'm assuming you have a lot of evidence of an advanced maritime culture like the odd semiprecious stone that could only be chemically located to an area in Anatolia, the Levant or north Africa. Or early smelting involved with workaday boat repairs in the harbours. Axe heads and Dolostones - the standard stuff left in archaeological sites across Europe. Of course you would have all this or access to it for your research. Yes the common sense you speak of implies that you have all this - otherwise yours is just another yarn, interesting and diverting in a fairytale kind of way as it may be. But more than any of this, I would like you to tell me where has all the water has gone? Your supposed shoreline would have been at some 250 to 300 feet above present sea level. In addition you tell us that the land surface during the Devensian - "lay half a mile below the current sea level". Is this a missprint? a Typo? Even with the mechanics of isostacy we would all be treading water a thousand feet about the continental shelf today. During the Cretaceous this would have been the case but 10,000bp is barely five minutes ago comparitively. If you are going to debate science in order to back up your theory then lets go. But you must decide if you believe the scientific community to be credible or you are on your own. They are people who put on 50 kilo backpacks and spend months in arid deserts, volcanic plateaus or drilling sea floors and ice shelves. They spend years putting together reports and models from field and lab observations - testing (often breaking) theories by experiment and peer revue. They do not surf the internet in Indiana Jones hats, and shout eureka after a few hours on Atlantis sites. Incidentally, all this is basic high school stuff, so it would be a mistake to claim intellectual complexity is muddying your obviously simple waters - again.

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  27. Dear Doctor

    Did I hit a raw nerve?

    I have given you the current archaeological theory which even you (as you did not comment about it) must find totally absurd.

    The endless list of marine animals and rocks you wish for me to collect just proves to me that you did not understand the hypothesis (as you are no doubt blinded by your prejudiced mind).

    Therefore, I will try to simplify it for your benefit:

    "at the end of the Ice Age (due to the melting of the ice cap) the ground water level increased to such an extent that the rivers flooded leaving a land of islands and peninsulas for the next 5,000 years"

    The hypothesis then explains a couple reasons on why the ground water level was so high - water volume and isostatic movement.

    The only time sea levels come into the equation is the evidence that at the end of the ice age sea levels did not rise as expected (ie all the polar water that covered Northern Europe emptying into the sea) this can be seen with Doggerland which is 30m - 60m below the current North Sea. This area did not flood fully for another 5 - 7,000 after the ice caps had melted.

    SO WHERE WAS ALL THE WATER?

    ANSWER: On the land within the ground water table - this now fits the archaeological evidence of the Mesolithic Period.

    Nice and simple - even for any Geologist with a MSc or PHd.

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  28. Dr Evil-Robert,

    I should just keep my distance from this verbal assault. You are doing great without my help!

    But just a simple point of clarification I just can't resist asking.

    Robert, are you saying that the Mesolithic inundation of southern UK was the result of swelling, rising groundwater that flooded the plains? Thus, we have a reverse effect! Instead of dipping a bucket into a well for water, the water rises to fill our 'bucket' instead?

    If we fill a small bottle with water using a large funnel full of water and the bottle fills, is it the rising water in the bottle that is now in the funnel? Or the water in the funnel that filled the bottle and some remained in the funnel.

    Can groundwater level ever fill beyond the level it is filling from? Are you suggesting that the source for the groundwater in southern UK is actually from a higher elevation? That may be!

    But even so, wont such bodies of water (lakes, rivers and the like) over the 5,000 years you claim these existed still develop the fauna and fish and geomorphology Dr Evil speaks?

    Kostas

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  29. Kostas

    If you look at the recent flooding in Australia and Pakistan, although only about 10" of rain fell it caused vast oceans of water - this is due to the ground water level exceeding the soil level.

    Ground water level mimics the contours of the landscape and increases and decreases depending on rain and weather conditions. Without this strange reservoir under our feet we would not have any rivers or springs and lakes (as most are above sea level).

    As a stark illustration - when I was on my book signing tour last week, I stayed at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, on the very small island which has steep 30M cliffs above the sea there is a well, this well is has water just 6 foot from the surface - this indicates the ground water level at this point.

    As for fish and fauna - well i'm sure at micro-levl they may still exist. But as the Good Doctor has pointed out, Geology (like archaeology) is not an exact science like Biology and Chemistry, they walk around with 50kg bags on their back expecting to find evidence of a river or stream that lasted just a few thousand years. These items are found in Rivers that have been around millions of years only - if you go to Australia of Pakistan in a 100 years time you will find no evidence of the floods that have occurred this year.

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  30. Robert,

    There is more to groundwater than meets the eye. I am sure! Certainly, groundwater levels are different from sea levels. And groundwater levels will and do change. Since the 'source' of these vast groundwater reservoirs is not generally known (at least by me!) it is conceivable that rain falling in one geographic area collects in groundwater reservoirs in a far distant area. I will grand you that. But then again I know little about this! I am leaving my mind open to counterarguments.

    One curiosity, however. Why is it important to your theory that the Mesolithic inundation was caused by swelling groundwater? Why couldn't it have been caused by land surface melt water collecting to form lakes, rivers, etc? Or even coastal sea level rise? Or isostatic depression of southern UK which is known to have happened? Is it the geomorphology and other evidence that does not fit in? What evidence exactly does not fit in? From your point of view!

    You claim these waterways (however they were created) were formed around 8,500 BC. But according to the global temperature charts I've seen this would be around the Big Freeze that lasted 2000 years. Wont these waterways freeze therefore?

    But another curious curiosity! In your post, you referenced a University of Manchester study that shows the Mesolithic population of the UK was a meager 2,500 people. How could such small population size living in some of the harshest conditions in Europe have developed the advanced civilization you need to make the public-work undertakings you claim they undertook possible?

    Robert, your theory reminds me of an Escher drawing. If you look at just one isolated part of the picture, it makes sense. But try to see the picture as a whole and you are confounded with 'logical illusion'.

    Kostas

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  31. Despite your blitherings within which you dodge the questions and write a lot but say absolutely sod all, it is clear that you know very little.
    I could tell you about wadi floods that lasted for a few hours only but are recorded within the rock record 300 million years later, or that epicontinental seas lasting less than your 100 years leaving all the features I described - including fossils. The Amazon basin Robert - floods annually, there are fish and aquatic reptiles found stuck in trees as the water recedes. But as you stubbornly refuse to entertain or contemplate "the obvious" it would be a pointless waste. I mean to say, groundwater! Where do you get this twaddle? Apart from the "obvious" such as what happened to the original ground water? - its seems you know nothing of hydrology either. Are you really suggesting that 300ft of water disappeared into the crust??! Lets look at that Robert; there would have to be enough pore space and they would have to be permeable - interconnecting. Forget granites and metamorphic rocks, they hold nothing other than joints and fissures already filled with mineral fluids. Of the sedimentary rocks only porous sandstones and some limestones have reservoir ability, chalk reaches saturation quickly as the pore spaces are small < 10/15% and transport ceases abruptly, I remember the experiments from my first year. And as the impermeable mudstones make up by far the highest proportion of the sedimentary lithosphere, there isn't much left. Let us imagine that despite millions of years of fluids and hydrocarbons occupying these spaces, they are completely empty, full only of CO2 and other inert gases (there has to be something) - there would still not be enough room for your global (eustatic) additional 300ft - above current sea level- the same volume would need to be displaced. Is that fundamental Archimedean principle to complicated for you to grasp Robert? Not simple enough? Then "I will try to simplify it for your benefit:" here goes then; Two into one won't go. That wasn't so hard was it.
    It may suit you to mock Geologists and real Archeologists, but the work is more exact, more comprehensible and more transparent than you sniffily declare. Whats more it can be challenged by experiment and interpretation. Simply because it may be either above your head/you are too lazy to research properly - denigrating the combined work of thousands of others is laughable. You are not qualified enough, you are not inquisitive enough, you are not passionate enough, to pass judgment. Are you going to bring out more old chestnuts about rants/raw nerves/common sense? Is that really all you've got? Oh wait what am I saying?
    Of course that's all you've got. You really are the amateur in all things it would seem.
    "Book signing tour" for godsake, What planet are you on?

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  32. Kostas

    The evidence dictates the theory as all scientific evidence should.

    Your friend Brian will show you lots of sea level data showing that from the end of the ice age the sea level rose in a constant fashion. If all the ice water ran into the sea from the melt you would have a huge leap in sea level at about 9000BC when the ice cap had finished melting leaving sea levels similar to what we see today - but this is not the case, hence the paradox of Doggerland for the Geologists.

    Secondly and more importantly, the archaeology of Britain is based on water levels - all civilisations need to drink clean water to survive and therefore you can trace the ground water levels from the hills in Mesolithic times to the existing water levels in Victorian times - this is something fundamentally missed by both archaeologists and historians - even in Roman times the water levels were some 2 - 3 m higher than today, that can be seen in the location of the roads they built and the river crossings they choose to cross.

    When bad weather spells returned to Britain the population would migrate south as they had boats, they survived, if they were hunter-gatherers they would have died.

    The size of the population would have been small as they migrated from Doggerland after the northern Islands flooded at the end of the Ice Age in 9500BC moving from Scotland to Ireland and finally to Stonehenge.

    This civilisation lived until they were over 50, which means the population would have increased faster than current theories predict as they are based on Iron Age death rate of 30.

    As I stated before using boats you do not need such hoards of men current fur covered dragging theories suggest.

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  33. Doctor

    You need to draw breath between sentences!!

    Before I lost interest in your ramblings you stated something that seems to sums up your unscientific attitude towards this subject

    "I could tell you about wadi floods that lasted for a few hours only but are recorded within the rock record 300 million years later"

    How does anyone know that the 300 million trace in the rock lasted a few hours?

    Clearly, you are guessing that what happens today happened 300 million years ago and therefore we can see the evidence, which is quite absurd as weather patterns would be vastly different.

    It's such ridiculous statements that discredit your comments. If you wish to look at a single aspect of ground water geology, I will be happy to educate you in how it works.

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  34. "Draw breath", still trying that ruse then?
    As I said, you know nothing of geology. As a wadi floods in an arid region, it deposits angular, unsorted detritus, breccia and rounded clasts from sand grains to cobbles and boulders, it does so in great fans or as braided structures and planar advances. You can see these very often on a desert floor, in fact they are all over the Death Valley floor. This can also be seen today in Algeria, Oman, The US and Australia. The floods are energetic and often last only a few hours, hundreds of thousands of tons can be dispersed in this short time. The strata and debris field is identical to those found in Devonian, Permo/Triassic rocks of the Old and New Red Sandstones of Cumbria, Alderley Edge, Devon and continental Europe. You really need to be careful Indie, this premise is well founded and taught in every University in Britain and globally, from the Ivy League establishments of the US to Zurich, Japan and Cape Town. (Dr Marrten DeWitt) I can refer you to the literature (not Wikipedia)of other eminent sedimentologists and structural geologists who have shaped the theoretic concepts and models over the past hundred years including, Plummer, Jones, Adams and McKenzie. If you like - I can also direct you to the pages within the Open University's own degree course (S260 and SXR260 Geology and A Geological History of Britain) where they go into these concepts in some detail. Or will they be wrong too? Who was your personal Tutor at the OU by the way? you see, I know this venerable institution quite well, as do some of my colleagues. Do you know, I can, with some accuracy, tell you by looking at a cross section of sandstone whether it was aeolian, beach or river deposit. I can tell you if it was on the shore and what the current direction was. I can tell you if was a barchan dune, a breach of an ancient meander levee and what the provenance of the sand grains where. The iron content and other chemical indicators will even give me a decent approximation of the climate. Go on, tell me thats impossible too. And I can tell you something else, as hydrology, fluid mechanics, and oceanic chemistry are part of every geologists grounding, that you know very little about the mechanics of isostacy, glaciology and oceanography. Interested you may be and I congratulate you on that, but educated? I think not. You are about as distanced from the science as it is possible to be. Where did you do your MBa incidentaly, did you go to Milton Keynes? I must look you up in the Alumni. By the way, I did most of my work at Manchester University. Oh, but you know them too of course. Such a small world.

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  35. Dr. Evil,

    You are impressive with your knowledge of Geology. Any chance that you can positively apply this to help us sort out Stonehenge? We are only interested in knowing the Truth of Stonehenge. If you rather, you can email me at KostaDean@gmail.com . I have many questions that perhaps you can help me answer. Including some suggestions for experiments that I am not in position to conduct but you may be.

    Robert,

    I do not mean to imply you need a large population size in order to have able 'fur clad bodies' to haul sarsens from 240 km away! Rather, civilization development requires certain preconditions to exist. Among these are population size, food production to sustain that population in comfort and leisure, social organization and a strong 'believe system' with associated sacred symbols to keep believers believing over many generations.

    I do not have the scholarship to make this argument against your theory more convincing. But my intuition tells me that these necessary conditions for the Mesolithic Lost Civilization you theorize just did not exist in Mesolithic UK.

    Have you heard of the Armenian Stonehenge at Karahunj, Turkey? Similar stone circles are found all over the world. Including in the bottom of Michigan Lake, in Australia and in Russia. And stone alignments are even more prevalent! Please don't tell me that it was your Mesolithic boat people that are responsible for all these!

    Kostas

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  36. Kostas

    When we talk about an advanced civilisation, its one that doesn't hold possessions as sacred!!

    If you understand that concept the rest is easy even for 2500 citizens - if you find that difficult you need to read the next in the trilogy out next spring or wait for the web site once released.

    The third book in 2013 will let you know how far their influence travelled - it will even tell you what they look like and what language they spoke and the belief system which is found in religions throughout the world as myths ie the secret of the holy grail if you are a Christian.

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  37. Robert,

    You write,

    “When we talk about an advanced civilisation, its one that doesn't hold possessions as sacred!!”

    What about holding some ideas sacred? Like sacred writings and carved images and marked tombs to bury their dead. Instead of leaving the bodies out in open air and bury these years latter in mass graves and in a jumble! Where is the reverence and sanctity of death in that?

    Great Civilizations don't hold material sacred. But do need material to evolve and become great!

    You write,

    “The third book in 2013 will let you know how far their influence travelled - it will even tell you what they look like and what language they spoke and the belief system...”

    Sounds to me you are writing fiction! Where do you find this crap anyway! From rejected Hollywood screenplays?

    I can't take you seriously Robert! Sorry! You are not engaged in an earnest and honest seeking of the Truth of Stonehenge. This is just a clever marketing approach for you to sell fiction. And that's because the fiction in itself wont sell!

    At least Brian John is able to separate his novels from his research. He has kept his intellectual integrity. You have lost yours!

    Kostas

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  38. Kostas

    To understand and analyse other civilisations you need to understand your own. You live in a capitalist society that values possessions above all else - even ideas. This can be easily tested by observing that men with ideas (intellectuals) are not supported by society unless their ideas can make money.

    If you study the philosophy of language and antopology (as they are linked) you can find the basis of all languages - unless you are dismissing philosophy now?

    "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."

    Mark Twain

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  39. Robert,

    The audience you are targeting with your comments reveal your true intent Such 'phalaceous' arguments may appeal to them, but do nothing to further the search for Truth.

    When 'Truth' is fabricated through the writings of misguided men, it becomes Fiction dressed up as Truth. It may fool some of your targeted audience, but cannot fool true seekers of Truth.

    So sad …

    Kostas

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  40. I would very much appreciate it if you you took the words Archaeology and Archaeologist off your website. I have no objection to you broadcasting your theories, they enthusiastic to say the least. However, I object to the assumption that you undertake Archeaology as an Archeaologist. You can not profess to do so in all good conscience. What you do a hobbyist is fine and what you are doing is perfectly reasonable other than any claim that it has been undertaken as a member of the IfA or other Archealogical institution. Should you wish for a form of accreditation or seek professional guidance, I suggest you contact;
    Institute for Archaeologists
    SHES
    Whiteknights
    University of Reading
    PO Box 227
    Reading
    RG6 6AB

    Tel: 0118 378 6446
    Fax: 0118 378 6448

    Also you may wish to consult the following pages for your own peace of mind. http://www.archaeologists.net/codes/ifa

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  41. Ah, I see, so in order for the "truth" to be revealed we must buy more of your tawdry books? For only you can reveal this truth presumably. Honestly, its like watching Dr Gillian McKieth at work on one of her scams. You know she has bogus credentials and a fake Doctorate, you know that she treats people like shit, talks a lot of shit and works with actual shit - yet she is of the firm conviction that the entire medical profession is wrong and she is right. But then there are enough gullible people around and just as long as you can keep up a front of authority and credibility - there is money to be made. This is how charlatans operate. It catches up with them inevitably, its another failing. The Snake Oil salesman thinks that no one in his audience can see through his pitch. Which reminds me Indie, no sign of you at any of the faculties at The Open University, or on the Alumni boards, or at Walton Hall, I can't find you at the O.U.S.A, or the Association of Open University Graduates. The message boards are usually good - but nobody seems to remember you. Perhaps it was a different University you were thinking of?, like that one in California that sells them for $29.99? If you are at Birbeck, that would make you a 3rd year right? Hows the Philosophy of Language going? you onto that module yet? You know, I did discover that there does seem to be a lot of Archaeologists who are really quite cross that you are trying to pass yourself off as one of their number, also quite a few Anthropologists - not so much with your theories, they have a good giggle at those, no - more that you are dragging thier profession through the shit - like Gillian McKeith in fact. And somebody at Oxford isn't terribly happy with you you using their picture and their work. You might want to tweak your website a bit. Apparently you've been rumbled even before I stumbled into the ordure. You should brush up on citation protocols too, I gather you may be hearing from some unhappy people soon. Careful Indie, you can't keep pinching peoples work while slagging them off and expect to get away with it. I'd have a word with your editor if I were you. Oh wait, thats you isn't it? Maybe your publisher then, they would know when you have stepped over certain boundaries too. But wait - that's you again... isn't it?
    You keep referring to we - when there is only you. Just like all this 'evidence' you keep banging on about... when there is only you. Still, I expect that way you get to keep all the profit from your "Trilogy"

    Here's some more half arsed Philosphy for you;
    "There's a sucker born every minute."
    W.C. Feilds
    1880 - 1946.

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  42. Kosta et al.

    Poor Kosta always seeking the truth - the problem as philosophy will tell you it doesn't really exist as its subjective:

    Language and words are essentially "tools" by which humans convey information to one another. As such, "truth" must have a beneficial use in order to be retained within language. Defining this potency and applicability can be looked upon as "criteria", and the method used to recognize a "truth" is termed a criterion of truth. Since there is no single accepted criterion, they can all be considered "theories".

    verum ipsum factum –
    "truth itself is constructed"

    I will conclude this blog and its negative comments with a quotation from Buddha

    "In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves"

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  43. Hah! I've just noticed the post from Anon.
    You should check that out Indie.
    You might be able to get some real archaeologists to help you out.

    Kostas, I could only help in the area of Geology and related fields. Glaciology, geomorphology that sort of thing. I regret, unlike Professor DaVinci Code, I do not pretend to be renaissance man, all knowing and versed in scripts and cyphers. I have an interest in archaeology but that's about as far as it goes. That interest reached its peak round about 1998, when The Stonehenge Enigma was on BBC Television as part of the Meet The Ancestors series by Julian Richards. Reminds me of something.... can't think what. And The Enigma of Stonehenge by Fowles and Brukoff (1980). Theres that dejavu again!

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  44. Nice cut 'n' paste from Wikipedia Indie!
    Still, a bit of plagiarism is nought compared to previous misdeeds eh?

    How about this then, just of the top of my head,
    "For at my Shoulder I Hear
    Time's Winged Chariot Draw Near"
    Andrew Marvel.

    Roughly translated for you dull philosophy types - Take care, the past is catching up with you.

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  45. By the way, it was an Open University MBa wasn't it?
    Robert?
    Hello?

    I thought perhaps not.
    Naughty Robert.

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  46. So Robert, “truth is subjective”?

    You are unwittingly revealing too much of yourself! It's embarrassing!

    Kostas

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  47. Dr. Evil,

    My main argument with Robert is that Nature had a far greater role in making Stonehenge than Neolithic/Mesolithic men. It's precisely your knowledge of geology, glaciology, geomorphology and that sort of thing that I need! Please read my article and email me at KostaDean@gmail.com to discuss ways that we can strengthen these arguments with geological science.

    Kostas

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