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Mega-Talk (Megalithic)
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
All right then.
Wiley wrote:
I don't think they did a lot of stone mortice and tenon joints in the Neolithic

They're always going on about them. If you can discover that Stonehenge's are in fact unique among Megalithic monuments, your case will be strengthened no end.


The mortise and tenon joint is an ancient joint dating back 7,000 years. The first examples, tusked joints, were found in a well near Leipzig – the world's oldest intact wooden architecture.[3] These were created by early Neolithic Linear Pottery culture, where it was used in the construction of the wooden lining of the wells.[4] Mortise and tenon joints have also been found joining the wooden planks of the "Khufu ship",[5] a 43.6 m (143 ft) long vessel sealed into a pit in the Giza pyramid complex of the Fourth Dynasty around 2500 BC.

Drawing of a wooden ship with annotations of hull elements.
Ship hull demonstrating the Phoenician joint technique of locked (pegged) mortise and tenon
Mortise and tenon joints have also been found in ancient furniture from archaeological sites in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Many instances are found, for example, in ruins of houses in the Silk Road kingdom of Cadota, dating from the first to the 4th century BC.[6] In traditional Chinese architecture, wood components such as beams, brackets, roof frames, and struts were made to interlock with perfect fit, without using fasteners or glues, enabling the wood to expand and contract according to humidity.[7] Archaeological evidence from Chinese sites shows that, by the end of the Neolithic, mortise and tenon joinery was employed in Chinese construction.[8]

The thirty sarsen stones of Stonehenge were dressed and fashioned with mortise and tenon joints before they were erected between 2600 and 2400 BC.[9]

A variation of the mortise and tenon technique, called Phoenician joints (from the Latin coagmenta punicana)[10][11] was extensively used in ancient shipbuilding to assemble hull planks and other watercraft components together. It is a locked (pegged) mortise and tenon technique that consists of cutting two mortises into the edges of two planks; a separate rectangular tenon is then inserted in the two mortises. The assembly is then locked in place by driving a dowel through one or more holes drilled through mortise side wall and tenon.[12][13]


The only stone mortise and tenon joints in the Neolithic are the Stone-heng ones. Unless Wiki is missing examples. I will do a wider search.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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There is a helpful group of images of Stone-heng images here, it includes an image of how the stones were fixed using mortise and tenon. It also includes an image from an illuminated manuscript of Merlin building the monument, and an early Tudor watercolour. It's worth flicking through.

https://britishheritage.org/stonehenge
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Mick Harper
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It would seem that Stonehenge is unique but you're not out of the woods since (it could be argued) that the trilithons are the only structure that would need them. Even though it is clear that dolmens etc could have done with them if the technique was available. Although, having said that, what are the relatively modern examples of this woodworking technique being applied to stone? From memory, I think they were copiously used in gothic cathedrals by stonemasons. What is the modern way of stone jointure?
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
It would seem that Stonehenge is unique but you're not out of the woods since (it could be argued) that the trilithons are the only structure that would need them. Even though it is clear that dolmens etc could have done with them if the technique was available. Although, having said that, what are the relatively modern examples of this woodworking technique being applied to stone? From memory, I think they were copiously used in gothic cathedrals by stonemasons. What is the modern way of stone jointure?


I disagree, why would dolmens benefit from a joggle joint? They stay up by the weight of stone, and by the skill of the builders who carefully selected and fitted the stones together. I can't see any advantage at all in having stones tightly fitting by joggle joints. Are you suggesting that keeping out the elements would have been an ancient priority?
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Mick Harper
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I am only suggesting that if the Megalithics were cognisant of mortice-and-tenon stone working, there would probably be evidence of it. I'm trying to help here!
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Thank you. Just trying to be clear about any refutations, it's all very useful as it forces me to be clearer. Clarity of exposition not being a Wiley strong point.......
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Mick Harper
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Just When You Thought It Was Safe...

Video: Prehistory for Antifascists - Dr Ben Pitcher at Stone Club December 2022
Ben Pitcher gave a fascinating talk at Stone Club's First Birthday Event on Monday. Ben is a reader in Sociology and the Megalithic Portal was there to record it (and drink some Stone Club beer). Ben's forthcoming book is Back to the Stone Age: Race and Prehistory in Contemporary Culture. Who are we? Where did we come from? What are we like? These questions are alive in contemporary culture. http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=2146415020
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Mick Harper
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Here's a nice little problem to start you off in the New Year. It concerns this routine piece in medium.com

Procumbent Pearlwort
Many myths and superstitions are associated with this very ordinary looking plant
https://medium.com/@johnwelford15/procumbent-pearlwort-83cbae7aad21

I'll just put up the original piece in full because the mystery is why such a very dull plant got noticed at all. There must be a reason, it presumably is a Megalithic reason, and somebody ought to be able to work out what it was.

--------------------------

Procumbent pearlwort (Sagina procumbens) is common throughout Britain on lawns, banks and grass verges. It is also found alongside footpaths. The connection to pearls is not immediately apparent when viewing the plant, although it might have been thought that the seed pod or unopened flower was similar in shape to a pearl. “Procumbent” simply means that the plant grows along the ground.

Procumbent pearlwort has been associated in legend and tradition with Jesus Christ, as being the first plant he trod on when rising from the dead. In the Highlands of Scotland it used to be believed that the plant had been blessed by St Bride and St Columba, as well as Christ.

Traditions involving pearlwort include hanging it from the door lintel to ward off fairies. Another is that if pearlwort is inserted between the “toes” of a bull’s hooves it will confer protection against all ills on the cows with which it mates and the calves that are subsequently born. If it is eaten by a cow, anyone who drinks the cow’s milk will not be troubled by fairies.

Pearlwort also acted as a love charm, in that a maiden who drank an infusion of pearlwort would attract the man she wanted, and he would be bound to her forever if she had a piece of pearlwort in her mouth when she kissed him. You might almost imagine that there was a “Pearlwort Marketing Board” at work here!

With all these advantages, one might expect procumbent pearlwort to be a somewhat spectacular plant. Far from it! It is a mass of slender stems that branch out from a central rosette, with pairs of small leaves growing along the length of each stem. The plant can reach a height of 8 inches (20m centimetres) above the ground.

The flowers, which appear from May to October, are tiny and are borne on long stalks. The flowers consist of far more sepal than petal and therefore have little colour other than green. The sepals form a cross-shape in fours. The flower stalks droop after flowering but become upright again as the fruit ripens.
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