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Friday, 27 August 2010

On walls and gaps




That thread on walls -- and the poem by Robert Frost -- got me thinking a bit about walls and gaps. It's interesting that archaeologists do spend a lot of their time thinking about "sacred spaces" -- which, as a geographer, I can understand to a degree -- and indeed about "ritual landscapes". Spaces and landscapes have to be defined by "walls" -- either in the mind, or marked by stones or walls or hedges on the ground. Hence the great debate, some months back, about "Stonehedge", which appears to have had very little hard evidence relating to it, but which got the media into a frenzy anyway.

Discussions on Walls brings into mind the famous Pink Floyd album which I used to play at full blast in the car when I travelled up -- on a number of occasions -- to give evidence at the Hinkley C Nuclear Power Station Inquiry many years ago. It got me suitably psyched up and ready to take on the forces of darkness, in the shape of the CEGB and its smooth barristers who wanted more nuclear power in the mix.

Were the circles at Stonehenge "walls of the mind"? What did they enclose, and to what purpose? And if they were never finished, what does that tell us about either the wall builders or maybe about those who did not want the walls to be built in the first place? Did THEY feel threatened by the walls, maybe? Wall builders versus gap creators? Ah, I feel another novel coming on........

2 comments:

Kostas said...

Brian,
… now you are being like the fabricators of myths about Stonehenge! But if you already recognize that, than you are forgiven! This does however reveal how powerful is our need to believe in myths! Truth I judge to be more powerful, however!

Constantinos

BRIAN JOHN said...

Tongue in cheek, Kostas! None of this alters the fact that I think the monument was unfinished, because the builders couldn't decide what they REALLY wanted, or because they ran out of stones, or maybe because the workers downed tools and walked off the site in response to a call from their union leaders for better working conditions and increased holiday pay.