What are megaliths made of?

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Re: What are megaliths made of?

Postby Boreades » 11:05 am

re he also seems to display a similar tendency.

That may be true, it's difficult to be sure from a newspaper article that will have been edited/truncated to suit the available space. Plus, it is the job of an editor to make the article as sexy and succinct as possible. Chop out any caveats, hesitations, deviations, repetitions and long-winded explanations.

Can we remember seeing some of our articles for the first time, after an editor had been "at it"? Initial surprise, then grudging resignation, then explaining to people why the article seemed biased or sensationalised.

I fear we're all pots calling the kettle black.

If anyone wants the full article, buy the book/journal.
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Re: What are megaliths made of?

Postby TisILeclerc » 11:03 am

Whatever they're made of they've certainly got a bit of a temper. Here's one that's been attacking cars.


The council went into action very quickly to contain the monster.

In the end the only solution was to put it behind bars.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-be ... s-36024009

Which just goes to show that we do need town councillors after all. Some would say they should have painted a pentagram around it as well seeing as how it's the Devil's foot which was chopped off thousands of years ago by local villagers. It pops down to the pub on a night at the bottom of the hill. As it's called Chapel hill I assume it's midway between the pub and 't chapel. They could always leave it a bottle of ale to keep it from moving. It might help.
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Re: What are megaliths made of?

Postby Boreades » 12:36 pm

Perhaps it's a lonely erratic?

It used to have a lamp post to lean on.

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Re: What are megaliths made of?

Postby kevin » 4:25 pm

To better comprehend the megaliths, it is advisable to look into the crystalline structures involved.
Then try to think of the stones as reflectors or refractors of consciousness.

A good start is limestone and what it is composed of....cocolithosphores.

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Re: What are megaliths made of?

Postby Boreades » 9:55 pm

For those interested in pre-Roman concrete (and buildings made of it), may I recommend this?

As long ago as 50 BC Diodorus Siculus wrote in his book Bibliotheca Historica about the Nabataeans, "They are conspicuously lovers of freedom and flee into the desert, using this as a stronghold. They fill cisterns and caves with rainwater, making them flush with the rest of the land. They leave signals there which are known to themselves and not understood by anyone else. They water their herds every third day, so that they do not constantly need water in waterless regions, if they have to flee." The information that Diodorus gathered was already common knowledge in the Middle East. The Nabataeans had been building hidden water cisterns for years.

As with the Romans, the Nabataeans secret to waterproof cement was the material known as pozzolan. Where the Romans used volcanic ash to create their waterproof cement, the Nabataeans had a much easier source. In the Hisma desert near Wadi Rumm are major surface deposits of silica, which geologists today claim is nearly 100% silicone.

B. Mason, in his book Principles of Geochemistry provides a technical discussion of research into geology to explain rock composition. For instance, he explains how a pozzolan material can be created by ground water seeping through silica. While the Romans had to search for this key component of ancient waterproof concrete, the Nabataeans simply had to locate places where water had seeped through the silica and scoop it up and add it to their lime plaster. (B. Mason, Principles of Geochemistry. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1966, p. 160)

And so on.


Now, this pozzolan material is interesting in its own right.
Natural pozzolanas are abundant in certain locations and are extensively used as an addition to Portland cement in countries such as Italy, Germany, Greece and China. Volcanic ashes and pumices largely composed of volcanic glass are commonly used, as are deposits in which the volcanic glass has been altered to zeolites by interaction with alkaline waters. Deposits of sedimentary origin are less common. Diatomaceous earths, formed by the accumulation of siliceous diatom microskeletons, are a prominent source material here.

Are there any natural pozzolanas in Britain? Well yes, it turns out that wood ash is a good pozzolan material.

Ashes of organic origin. Coal cinders generally have an acceptable balance of silica and alumina, and have been used historically as a pozzolanic additive, but their physical structure tends to weaken the mortar and to absorb excessive water. Coal ash is widely used, in the form of PFA (pulverised fuel ash) as an additive to cementitious mortars and in lime-based grouts. The use of coal-based products carries a risk of sulphate contamination and the materials should always be selected from low sulphate coals. The residue of fuels from lime burning, whether from coal-, coke-, or wood-fired kilns, known as lime-ash, is well known historically as a pozzolan and is still available.(8) Other vegetable ashes, such as rice husk ash, are used as pozzolans in other parts of the world. Bone ash is also known to have been used.

http://www.buildingconservation.com/art ... /pozzo.htm

If you were burning wood to smelt metals (and so producing tons of wood ash), and you were also in a chalk or limestone area (so able to make lime), you would have all the ingredients to make your own polymer concrete. Or megaliths as some like to call them.
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Re: What are megaliths made of?

Postby Boreades » 6:26 pm

From the National Trail's leaflet about The Ridgeway.

Sarsen stones are also known as Grey Wethers, as from a distance, they can resemble flocks of sheep (a wether is a castrated ram).

I'd always thought the sheep are called wethers because (from a distance) you can't tell whether they're a boy or girl. But I digress.

They are blocks of hard sandstone and may be the remains of the Reading Beds.

I think "they" means the sarsens, not the sheep?

Although their formation is not well understood, it is thought they formed when evaporation from the surface drew groundwater up through the Reading Bed sands, depositing silica around the sand grains to form a strong cement.

Notice how they are just guessing how the concrete was made, with water going uphill. But what they seems to be implying is that the stones at Avebury are lumps of Reading concrete arranged in a circle. (Not to be confused with Blue Circle cement mixed with sand and wood ash to make Special Rustic Concrete at Chateau Boreades)

So, is it now official? The stones at Avebury are really made of concrete? Or will any more suggestions that megaliths are made of concrete just get us into trouble?
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Re: What are megaliths made of?

Postby Mick Harper » 6:33 pm

This is really important. One of our purposes is to drive a wedge between geologists and archaeologists so they can't lean on one another for their fell purposes (see what I did there?). That way we can drive through the middle. Surely geologists must have some idea what forms the subject of their subject. It seems even this was too much to ask.
Mick Harper
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Re: What are megaliths made of?

Postby TisILeclerc » 5:49 am

I'm sure they're capable of driving their own wedges.

The Ancient Architects channel on youtube goes into this idea of ancient concrete in some detail and quotes scientific studies that have been done to support their ideas.

Over the past 40 years, material scientists have conducted tests on the Egyptian pyramid stones and the scientific consensus is that the outer casing stones were in fact created from a man-made limestone-concrete mixture, known as a geopolymer. The claim, although underpinned by scientific research, is unsurprisingly not accepted by Egyptologists. Watch the video to learn more.


This is for the Egyptian pyramids rather than Avebury and others but ideas are easier to transport than huge blocks of stone.

The channel also applies the same idea to south America and explains the 'knobs' on the stones in the process.


One of the problems with academics is that they are academics. They read books and write books. They write books about other books.

Practical people however have to get on with ideas that can either succeed or fail. Failure means the sack not a revision of ideas and another book. So to look at ancient building through the eyes of a builder should be more accurate and meaningful than through the ideas of a learned doctor whose experience in practical things is limited to yellow pages and the nearest Polish plumber.
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