One of the biggest issues in British archaeology has been the ethnicity of the Britons. For many years we were blighted by the belief that incoming populations massacre or drive out the populations before them. Cultural change was seen as a sign of ethnic change, a belief that has been compared with thinking that the presence of an IKEA furniture store indicates a Swedish invasion! We were aware that there were incoming populations arriving in Britain in prehistoric times and it was customary to think that any cultural novelty indicates newcomers.
In the past we were beset by classical snobbery, the belief that until the Romans arrived the Britons were primitives just awaiting the civilising power of Rome. Other civilising features were believed to come from the Fertile Crescent running from Egypt to Mesopotamia, a belief that led some scholars to the belief that Stonehenge was produced under the leadership of an incoming elite from the Mediterranean, an idea now comprehensively debunked.Ancient Britons in this view were mere savages running round in skins.
This incoming culture view overlooked the vast trading networks which existed in Stone Age Europe and the cultural contacts and exchange that they brought.Archaeological sites routinely reveal items from far away,a fact that indicates trade and movement of people. Bones reveal that people died in places where they were not born and raised, again indicating a mobile population. Stone Age people were as intelligent as we are, so they could learn new ideas.
What has this to do with Blick Mead? Simple. Archaeology reveals that the site was a place of ritual worship right through from the Mesolithic period, when Britain was first re-inhabited after the Ice Age right through into the Neolithic period and into the Bronze Age, when a copper alloy dagger was ritually deposited in the spring. Even an Anglo-Saxon brooch was found. Continuity of use through thousands of years indicates that there was cultural and probably ethic continuity between the Neolithic Britons and their Mesolithic forebears. There is evidence of cultural influences from other parts of Britain. A stone mesolith, known as a Horsham point, from a hundred or so miles away was found, but it was made of slate, of a kind that is unknown in the Salisbury Plain region, either as bedrock or glacial erratic, but comes from Cumbria over two hundred miles away. So not only is there evidence of cultural continuity between Mesolithic and Neolithic Britain, but of a widespread shared culture throughout the land,a culture that spread through trade into Europe. There were newcomers, who brought farming, but they seem to have integrated peacefully.
I think that Queensbury cared about preserving his possessions, but that's all.
I suppose that the colour fades as the algae dry out when taken from water.
frankbeswick, Thank you for the practical information and the product lines. (It's interesting how face masks can serve as advertising and public relations for Stonehenge!)
Did the Marquis of Queensbury (one of the Douglas family members, no?) not care or know about Blick Mead? The Wikipedia article on Blick Mead mentions the Hildenbrandia algae as pinkening or reddening stones. Would that color change be permanent or ultimately fade?
You have identified the problem with Carbon 14 dating. The only way round the problem is to corroborate the results of different dating techniques and draw an inference. That would give you a more reliable, but still inexact dating.
One thing I always question is the accuracy of dating antiquity. It is based on carbon-14, and an assumption about the ratio of carbon-12 and carbon-14 that has to be made. But, was that ratio always the same, for incoming cosmic rays are attributed to maintaining it in the air? Perhaps that ratio was altered in the past, which would give false date estimates.