P A N E L F O U R
Getting a stone vertical
The manpower needed to rotate the replica stone was provided by the volunteers. However, even 130 people could not generate enough force to raise the 40 tonne block. So, a timber A-frame was constructed on the side of the hole opposite the block and used as a lever.
One set of ropes connects the block to one third of the way up the frame, another leads from the top of the frame back to the manpower. The team hauls on the second set to apply the lever, multiplying the force to a maximum of 12 tonnes. As the replica stone was raised, packing was placed between the block and the pivot point to ensure stability.
When the block is fully rotated, it slides into the hole the special shape of which ensures a tight fit. It is then pulled upright and the hole back-filled.
Moving large stones in the Neolithic Age
Illustrations © 2017 Paul Weston
The specially shaped hole has a narrow bottom section that will hold the stone snugly once rotation is complete and it slides in all the way.
Two methods of raising a 10 tonne replica lintel were tested. The first used railway sleepers laid in layers of alternating directions under the block. Levers and ropes were used to shift the block upward, allowing new layers to be added.
The second method used a 30 degree ramp and timber three-rail slipway. The lintel was lashed to a timber sled and hauled by 90 people using the A-frame lever.
At the top of the ramp, the projecting rails were designed to break, allowing the lintel to slide into position. Levers were used to adjust the lintel onto its tenons on the uprights.