> And after, please see my answer to Jon to clarify
> my views and state of mind:
> 20291,1124920#msg-1124920]Answer to Jon
Thanks. I was worried, after I posted my reply above, that it might seem I was attacking you or your views. I want to stress that was not my intention. I wanted to criticize the paper a bit, mostly for what I saw as methodological problems.
> To me, even if I am not opposed to the theory of
> very, very old imprints on soft clay that turn out
> solid afterwards, I don't think it can apply to
> the case of Malta, although they must also be old,
> before catastrophes in the Mediterranean, may be
> contemporary of Atlantis, not impossible to me.
Ok. I appreciate the fact that you have been there and seen these features in person, which is vastly different from any amount of photo browsing. I haven't seen the ruts in person(yet. my plan is to win the lottery) so I can only theorize from my armchair, hah.
Mostly, this argument for me has centered on the problem of precision in rut creation. Clapham Junction, from the photos, sort of looks like the starting line of a huge off-road race: lots of basically parallel ruts in messy mud that appear to head straight off a cliff edge or some sort of precipitous drop. The ruts are heavily eroded but appear to be roughly uniform in cross section, and are generally much wider than the width of a cart wheel. These ruts, therefore, are not really precise, like some of the Maltese ruts seem to be....deep and narrow, the width of a single cart wheel(or perhaps a tiny bit wider).
To me it is these narrow ruts that seem unlikely to be anything other than ruts made in soft material that later hardened, because the precision seems to be too great to be a result of multiple cart crossings.
Again, I haven't been there so this is based on a limited perspective.
> Considering that more wet paleo climate may have
> helped the wear of tracks, I am thinking here to
> Robert Soch claims about the water erosion of
> Gizah Sphinx.
Understood. Remember tho that Schoch estimated a thousand years of torrential rains were necessary to cause the water erosion features seen in the Sphinx enclosure. Again, it is hard for me to reconcile this with the concept of the passage of carts as an erosional force.
However, in the interim since posting my reply and now, I have thought of a few possibilities I want to run by you(and anyone else who is reading this).
One possibility is that the precise ruts could maybe have been made by carts moving across stone [i]if the drivers of the carts intended for them to be made[/i] for whatever reason. If they intended ruts to form, they could maybe have paid close attention to each passage and tried to keep the wheels on the exact same path so as to cut the ruts. I'm not sure why this would be a desired outcome but I think it is much more plausible if ruts were intended than for them to have formed accidentally.
Another possibility is that, at the time of the passage of these carts, there existed atop the bare rock we now see, some amount of clay or thick mud. A single passage of a cart through this material would cut ruts into it down to the bedrock. If the material then dried and hardened, the ruts made by the first cart could constrain the passages of any other carts so that they always crossed in the same place on the limestone, eventually wearing it down. Maybe. More rain would probably mess this up however.
> Now, to answer your question: [quote="Tsurugi
> That said, your observations of quarry features
> around rut "hubs" is very interesting. Question:
> is there anything you noticed that definitely
> makes the quarry features and the ruts
> I cannot say definitely, not being a geologist,
> nor a quarry expert. But being an engineer
> familiar with technical and production questions,
> Clapham Junction looked to me a very old (stones
> wear, ground erosion) and well organised quarry.
> In the beginning it seems just to be a mess with
> random "cart ruts". And little by little you begin
> to understand the overall pattern, but it comes
> On the sides of the ruts areas are clear patches
> of rock extraction patterns, but they don't lie
> beside ruts and maybe are younger than ruts. Maybe
> Punic, Greek, Roman.
> But in the end I realized that in several ruts
> areas we were walking on man-made artificially
> levelled parallel strips of rocky terrain, all
> flat (and inclined), all of same limited height
> and width.
> The idea of cutting benches became pregnant. And
> then I realized that they were all crossed by
> parallel cart ruts, and the crossing angle was
> constant. It seem to me that cutting benches were
> following geological sedimentary layers to
> optimize rock quality, whereas ruts direction was
> defined to optimize a constant tracks slope.
> No evidence of course. I visited this site more as
> a tourist than as a specialist, I did not check
> every square inch of terrain, I missed a lot of
> zones. In addition, I confess I should have had
> accurate maps, google earth prints and a compass,
> or a GPS. Unfortunately, as a good tourist, I only
> had my camera, and a limited sight at man's
> Definitely, this site should be mapped to
> professionaly check if it was a quarry with
> tracks, yes or no.
Again I appreciate your eyewitness account and impressions. I don't have any argument with anything you've said here, and agree that professionals(masons and quarrymen, not archaeologists) should evaluate these sites.