This is exactly the kind of functionalist, reductionist, wrong headedness that leads to assertions based on 'common sense' and misapplication of analogy.
It also fails to take into account the diversity of humanity, parallel ways of doing things and why we humans so often pick the most convoluted, impractical ways of doing things. This had been a major focus of discourse for decades so I won't go further here; For more detailed views on this, see any book on archaeological theory under the headings processual archaeology, 'new' archaeology and post-processual archaeology.
Michael <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>John, rather than take the facts and try to imagine possible
>explanations, a far better approach is to create a gedanken experiment.
>In this, you recreate the environment and society that is likely to have
>existed and you work out from ethnographic studies what is likely to be
>the range of typical behaviours. And then you work out the least
>resource intensive ways that such a society would naturally do something.
>So, e.g. if you feel that the society needs some kind of defensive
>structure, you then ask the question: "what structures, tools,
>techniques would they have which they would naturally adapt for this
>purpose and which is the least resource intensive way to create this
>defensive structure". If your proposed "solution" isn't a natural way
>that such a society would tend to do something then it is unlikely that
>this is a "solution".
>And, if that society has cattle, and there are wolves, then we know that
>such societies regularly uses fences, earthworks, thorns thickets. So,
>it is very likely that a defensive structure for humans would be based
>on that used for livestock.
>So, the needs -> structure.
>The wrong way to approach this is to look at a stone, imagine how it
>might be used, and then assert the stones were erected for your imagined
>ends ignoring all the much simpler ways of achieving the same ends.
>In other words to imagine the structure -> needs
>On 28/12/2014 08:44, John Wood wrote:
>> Jan, it is this revolutionary thinking that helps to advance archaeological
>> thought, something rhat is very much missing in other circles.
>> On 26 Dec 2014 16:25, "Jan Vandenheede" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> That dolmens were built before the stone circles and maybe also most stone
>>> alignments may have to do with building most needed things first.
>>> The people who constructed these things thought maybe that it was very
>>> important to be able to spend the night in safety, also from lightning and
>>> intentionally caused fire. Once these buildings were there, they could be
>>> used and complemented with further defensive constructions such as stone
>>> The main Carnac stone alignments make me think somehow of the Great Wall
>>> of China but in a much earlier period with much less advanced technology
>>> and of course on a smaller scale.
>>> Best regards,
>>> Jan Vandenheede
>>> P.S. I read somewhere that even the Romans camped near or in the Carnac
>>> stone alignments. If that is true, they must have found the place apt for
>>> that. They were rather experienced in military affairs ....