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using rope and wooden rollers seemed as viable to me as alien involvement. The rollers wouldn't have taken the weight and the physical effort required would have been super-human," he explains. "It occurred to me that a megalith could be picked up, moved a short distance, put down and moved again.

Further research suggested this would be quicker, require less manpower and negate the need for muscle power. Also, the initial inertia the body experiences when attempting to drag large stones, is all but nullified."

Called stone rowing, the procedure involves laying down a number of logs - the number determined by the weight of the stone - in a parallel formation. Resting on supports, the logs are positioned just above the ground. Some are then used to support the stone, while the rest act as a continuous fulcrum for wooden oars, or levers, inserted underneath the stone. By pressing down on the levers, the stone rises two inches clear of the support logs, and when the levers are moved sideways, the stone moves forward.

Pipes tested his theory in his garden. "Four of us carried out this experiment using a four-ton concrete block, four logs and four levers," he explains. "We were able to move the block between six and 12 inches at a time with ease. I then set up a ramp and discovered that the method also worked uphill when using more levers and incorporating a break mechanism."

Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology, suggested that, "Few archaeologists ever consider practical issues like moving stones. Gordon's ideas fascinate because they come from an understanding of lifting and moving things, rather than from theories dreamt up at a desk. And while he doesn't underestimate the difficulties facing the Stonehenge builders, neither does he come up with impossibly complicated solutions. It's the first time that someone has come up with anything really sensible for a long time."

Pipes is planning further experiments on Salisbury Plain next summer, including an attempt to move a 40-ton block.

Source: The Guardian http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/workinprogress/ story/0,11109,1362131,00.html

Book Review

The Last of the Celts

By March Tanner From Read Ireland: Hardback; 37.00 Euro / 45.00 USD / 25.00 UK; 390 pages

A cultural tour spanning the Celtic world from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland to Brittany, and from Cape Breton to Patagonia, this book sets out to find out what has happened to the Celtic peoples in a world where pressure to conform to Anglo-American culture has grown ever stronger. Taking the form of a journey that starts in the wilds of north-west Scotland,

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before proceeding through western Wales, the Isle of Man, troubled Northern Ireland, the western seaboard of the Irish Republic and The French region of Brittany, the author weaves solid historical research into the language, religion, music and customs of the peoples concerned with first-hand encounters with a host of priests, ministers, government officials, cultural activists, musicians and writers. The author finds talk of a Celtic revival much misplaced, for while the term \"Celtic\" is banded around as never more, largely to suit the needs of commerce and tourism, the fragile cultures the word actually refers to in the north-west of Britain, Ireland and France are closer than ever before to extinction. As the author discovers on his journey, the tide is going out at different speeds in different places. While Welsh culture and language are (relatively) robust, the rich culture of the Bretons is heading for almost certain oblivion in a decade or two at most, as relentless, centuries-long pressure to be French reaches its climax. Nor are the prospects much brighter for the small Celtic communities in the New World. As the author travels from Cape Breton in Canada to Patagonia in Argentina, he finds the once sturdy communities of Gaelic and Welsh speakers facing exactly the same threats of assimilation and ultimate disappearance. It is a development that impoverishes as all.

To order books from the Read Ireland Book Review send an email to the order department at: greg@readireland.ie Please be sure to include your mailing address and credit card details.

You can of course also post your order to:

Read Ireland, 392 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3,Ireland. Telephone and Facsimile number is: +353-1-830-2997. Read Ireland Web Site Home Page: http://www.readireland.com

All Prices and Rates are in Euro (US Dollar and UK Sterling prices are guidelines based on current exchange rates.) Euro prices on books reviewed above are firm. Post + package is charged at cost.

Events

The Avalon Mystery School

January 15, 2005

The Avalon Mystery School presents a series of six monthly classes on the Arts of Sacred Magic with Mara Freeman. Discover; The basics of Western Magic as taught in the Avalonian Branch, How to open your psychic and spiritual centers to contact innerworld beings Guides, Teachers and Guardians, The Three Arts of Meditation, Vision Journey and Ritual whys and hows, Ways to forge a strong connection to Self and Spirit that will transform your life. Our Mission: The goal of the Mysteries is the conscious realization of the self as

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