How did I miss this one? Sadly, in the event, Profs Wainwright and Darvill missed out on this award, having got less than 1% of the vote. The 2008 winner was Prince Charles. Well, no doubt the BBC is working with the two senior archaeologists as we speak, with a view to making a bigger and better TV spectacular for future transmission. Perhaps, when that programme goes out, the two Profs will be in with a much better chance of winning this prestigious award. It is, so I understand, even more hotly disputed than the Bad Sex Award for which novelists so manfully strive every year......
Discussing the Darvill / Wainwright work, Counterknowledge said:
Actually, this is not so much “revolutionary stuff” as guesswork. And it’s true that reputable academics often have to guess, to follow their hunches, in order to make a breakthrough. But there something about the insistent tone adopted by Wainwright and Darvill, heavily flavoured with wishful thinking, that reminds me more of Baigent and Leigh than mainstream archaeology. And don’t forget that this conveniently colourful theory is linked to a TV series and book.
Thanks to cunning and unscrupulous cult archaeologists, respectable researchers now find themselves under pressure to dress up their discoveries in commercially appealing garb. “Prehistoric Lourdes” has a nice ring to it – but is there any truth in the theory?
2008 Counterknowledge Awards -- nomination
Tim Darvill & Geoff Wainwright
Way back in April, we said there was something fishy about Darvill and Wainwright’s theory – unveiled in a BBC documentary – that Stonehenge was intended as a stone-age Lourdes. Sure enough, in October of this year, the experts agreed. Programme commissioners, take note: this is what happens when you set out to turn archaeology into tabloid headlines.