Stone Symposium Barre VT September 2008

As part of the upcoming Stone Symposium in historic Barre VT, in September, Dan will conduct DSWA testing for the Initial Level.
Dan will also present a slideshow and talk on the roadways, constructions and arch bridges of Norway and the stone bridges of Vermont’s James Follett.

Please see the link for the full schedule of events.

Since the time of the Vikings, Norwegians have been seafaring people. It’s understandable that they would choose the water for their livelihood, and transportation needs. From the fjords, Norway’s landscape rises dramatically. Much of the terrain is difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate.

Until the 19th century Norwegians relied upon foot trails and packhorse tracks to travel the interior. Before any type of wheeled vehicle, horse-drawn or motorized, could be introduced, narrow passes had to be widened, steep grades reduced and rivers bridged.

At the heart of Norway’s ambitious road building programs were gangs of laborers and skilled stone workers. Crews of men, aided by very rudimentary mechanical devices, built extensive infrastructure that relied heavily on dry stone construction. Looping switchbacks climbed out of fjord valleys on the backs of massive retaining walls. Long causeways crossed wide streams. Ravine-spanning dry stone arch bridges became signature creations of Norway’s pioneering road builders.

Many of their Herculean efforts survive today as integral parts of Norway’s road system. Others have been bypassed with more modern structures but remain preserved and treasured as testaments to Norway’s hand-built past.

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