chapter  5
45 Pages

STONES FROM AFAR: THE BLUESTONE ENIGMA

The ignorant Rustic will with a vacant stare attribute it to the Giants, or the mighty Archfiend; and the Antiquary, equally uninformed as to its origins, will regret that its history is veiled in perpetual obscurity. The Artist, on viewing these enormous masses, will wonder that art could thus rival nature in magnificance and picturesque effect…and all with one accord will exclaim, How grand! How wonderful! How incomprehensible! Sir Richard Colt Hoare, The Ancient History of South Wiltshire, 1812

A NEW BEGINNING

It is the year 2150 BC. In Egypt the Old Kingdom has come to an end and central government has collapsed; on Crete the small Minoan town of Knossos grows apace, but the building of its spectacular red-pillared palacetemple still lies two hundred years into the future.1 In Britain the site of Stonehenge has lain neglected for four hundred years while its people have been preoccupied with building huge earthworks and rotundas at Durrington Walls, projects that must have taken getting on for a million man-hours to complete.