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Photo by Drury student Austin Abbott

Drury Students Search For Stone Age Solutions to Move a Five-Ton Stone

For Immediate Release: September 4

Contact:
Tom Parker
Professor of Art and Art History
Office: (417) 873-7239
E-mail: tparker@drury.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 4, 2009 — On Friday, Sept. 4, Drury undergraduates in Tom Parker’s Artifacts of Prehistoric Culture class began to solve the problem of how to move a five-ton stone without the help of modern machinery.

The course is designed around the problem of moving the stone 40 feet and standing it up using only the technology available during the earliest phase of the Neolithic period. “We will install it on a recently acquired piece of Drury property where it will stand for thousands of years as a tribute to the motivation, ingenuity and social organization of the students who moved it there and stood it up,” says Parker.

Besides testing their brawn, Parker’s students will tax their brains as they research theories about how ancient people erected stones long ago. The class will also examine who placed stones in certain locations during ancient times and their significance, along with investigating the culture, religion and technologies of the time.

Students will be required to produce several papers on the project and Professor Parker will provide a narrative of the project titled “The Menhir Chronicles.” (Menhir is an ancient Gaelic word meaning “long-stone.”)

The stone came from Phoenix Quarry in Ash Grove, Mo., and the owner, David Richter, donated the 10,330-pound stone to Drury at no cost. It was delivered to Drury on Friday, Sept. 4.

To ensure the safety of Drury’s students, all final plans for moving and erecting the stone will have to be approved by the Office of Campus Operations.

According to Parker, success will be measured in black and white terms, “Proof of a workable solution will be a standing stone at the end of the class.”

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