Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Latest Time Team Programme

Last night Channel 4 transmitted the latest blockbuster about Stonehenge -- a Time team Special featuring Prof Mike Parker-Pearson and his Riverside Project, including assorted other professors and researchers digging holes all over the place, and fitting all their evidence into the ruling hypothesis that Stonehenge was "a place of the dead" whereas Durrington was the "place of the living". They talked about a "dead zone" and a "living zone" in the landscape, with a boundary between the two, and the use of the River Avon as a ritual routeway for getting from one zone to the other. The Avenue and the Cursus featured heavily too, as processional ways. There were some very strange interpretations of natural landscape features -- they could have done with talking to a geomorphologist! The programme wasn't as bad as it might have been, but it was made extremely irritating by Tony Robinson's habit of turning all Mike P-P's suggestions or musings into instant "facts" and them hyping up these "facts" as being of earth-shattering importance. That's what TV does all of the time -- it hates caution, and it hates qualifications, and thinks only in HEADLINES. Oh dear oh dear.....

Naturally enough, since this programme came from the Time Team /Channel 4 / National Geographic / Parker-Pearson tribe, it gave short shrift to the Darvill / Wainwright theory about Stonehenge being a place of healing. That idea was promoted by the OU / Smithsonian / BBC / Timewatch tribal grouping.

Strange, isn't it, that tribalism is alive and thriving, in these supposedly enlightened times?

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