Everybody Must Get Stones

Timothy Darvill

Archaeology and Historic Environment Group, School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, BH12 5BB. Email: tdarvill@bournemouth.ac.uk

Cite this as: Darvill, T. 2009 Everybody Must Get Stones, Internet Archaeology 26. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.26.6


It is now widely recognised that monument building in the fourth and third millennia cal BC often involved transporting selected blocks of preferred stone many kilometres over difficult terrain. Some structures incorporated blocks from several different sources, brought together as an ensemble in much the same way perhaps that assemblages of flint and stone axes reflect both local and distant sources. This article explores alternative models accounting for the selection of stones, contrasting those that foreground symbolic attachments and imposed meanings with those that focus on the intrinsic qualities of particular types of stone and their source. The assemblage of different stone types that accumulated at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, over a period of more than a thousand years is used as a case study.

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Last updated: Tues Sept 22 2009