> I do not consider systematically that any spot
> between ruts is a trace of hauling animal track.
> It seems clear that in many cases, there are no
> traces between the ruts pairs. On the other hand,
> in other places in Malta (that I saw only on
> photos)they are clearly visible. So to me, we can
> discuss until end of times, the point remains
> In Malta, it seems that you can find evidence of
> cart animal hauling as well as evidence of no such
> animal traction. In some places (in book "Cart
> ruts and their impact on Maltese landscape", photo
> pages 34-35) you can see both types in the same
> area, with and without. So what?
I, too, agree that the mystery remains. My only point in rebuttal is that all of the physical evidence must be taken into account, not just the ruts that show a shallower erosion between them. And so while some tracks that include erosion between them might imply power supplieid by beasts of burden, we also must be able to explain why other tracks show no such erosion between them. My suggestion was that the tracks with no erosion between them implies that it wasn't necessary to include beasts of burden as the power supply, and so perhaps the tracks that DO have erosion between them might simply indicate that humans used those tracks as guidelines to delineate human walking paths that were established long after the "cart ruts" were formed, and that those tracks both with and without a central eroded region might not really be any different in character.
> I only said that in the case of Clapham Junction,
> which I consider to be an ancient quarry, it is
> quite inconclusive considering how messy and
> eroded is the whole terrain, including the ruts
> In many cases, you just cannot ask "animal central
> tracks? yes or no". Just random holes, bumps and
> This is what you see when starting visiting the
> site from the public parking after entrance, at
> the level of "eastfield farmhouse", no clear
> patterns and conclusive evidences (in addition you
> constantly have to look where you put the feet):
However, other tracks are present in less eroded areas of bedrock and there seems to be no clear erosion between them despite the far smoother surface which would more likely show such erosion if beasts of burden were routinely used to haul such heavy loads.
> But this explanation suits only in a quarry with
> moderate slopes like Clapham Junction. Elsewhere,
> I just can't say. Do you understand my point?
> Did they have "railruts" hand cars? :)
I think I understand. But this still doesn't seem to address the apparent non-horizontal slope of those "benches" with the cross striations, it doesn't address the apparent lack of wider tracks on curves to accommodate the wheel radius, it doesn't address why some tracks on horizontal ground show erosion between them while others do not, and it doesn't address the sidewall grinding that would occur on wheels that supported a heavy load along deep ruts in bedrock.
How can any of us ever know, when all we can do is think?