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Still Waters

Swedish Stonehenge? Ancient Stone Structure

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Ancient Scandinavians dragged 59 boulders to a seaside cliff near what is now the Swedish fishing village of Kåseberga. They carefully arranged the massive stones — each weighing up to 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms) — in the outline of a 220-foot-long (67-meter) ship overlooking the Baltic Sea.

Archaeologists generally agree this megalithic structure, known as Ales Stenar ("Ale's Stones"), was assembled about 1,000 years ago, near the end of the Iron Age, as a burial monument. But a team of researchers now argues it's really 2,500 years old, dating from the Scandinavian Bronze Age, and was built as an astronomical calendar with the same underlying geometry as England's Stonehenge.

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Archaeologists using radiocarbon dating have calculated that Ales Stenar was built about 1,400 years ago
comments like this always amuse me... since you can't date stone that way (and even if you could do so, using one of the other dating methods that works on stone it would only tell you the age of the rock, not when it was placed there by men)... I assume that they used organic material found at the site to do their testing, but it would be nice if the article mentioned what they actually radiocarbon dated.

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I was left wondering what exactly they radiocarbon-dated. Even if they took debris from old structures or pits around the site, it can still be unreliable. Perhaps the geologist has a point about it being older for some (shocking) academic reason. Sometimes archaeologists annoy me with their god complexes.

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comments like this always amuse me... since you can't date stone that way (and even if you could do so, using one of the other dating methods that works on stone it would only tell you the age of the rock, not when it was placed there by men)... I assume that they used organic material found at the site to do their testing, but it would be nice if the article mentioned what they actually radiocarbon dated.

It's worth pointing out the sentence containing this claim was written by a journalist, not an archaeologist. It's quite possible the archaeologists did not use carbon-dating to date the age of the monument, but the journalist simply made an error of assumption - and ignorance.

Without access to the original reports/papers of any of the archaeologists who have worked on this site, we are left to use the words of the journalist in their stead. But that does not mean we should judge these archaeologists by what the journalist states - unless that statement takes the form of a quotation or otherwise sourced (and referenced) from an archaeological report.

I am going to assume, based on the newest report being published in the Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the archaeologists claiming the earlier date for the construction of the monument used 'archaeo-astronomical methods' to arrive at this date. The 'science' of archaeo-astronomy is much disputed, and results garnered from it are not generally viewed as reliable.

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