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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Guardian celebrates "key figure" fantasy

This is the Guardian coverage based on that press release from Profs W and D.  Just as lazy and error-strewn as the other piece already posted.  Whatever happened to journalistic standards?  What amazes me is that otherwise intelligent journalists just trot this stuff out, straight from press releases, without exercising their brain cells in any way.  Do they actually believe all the nonsense that they put into print?  Or don't they care whether it is accurate of balanced, or not?  Maybe all they care about these days is getting their thousand words a week (or whatever) onto the Editor's desk.......  OK -- OK  -- they don't have desks any longer.  But you know what I mean!

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Stonehenge mystery offered clue by Welsh burial chamber

Archaeologists believe key figure involved in construction of Wiltshire ancient monument is buried at Preseli mountains site

Steven Morris

guardian.co.uk,     Thursday 1 September 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/sep/01/welsh-burial-chamber-stonehenge-mystery?INTCMP=SRCH

Archaeologists are researching the grave of an important figure they believe may have played a crucial role in the construction of Stonehenge.

The burial chamber is sited above a ceremonial stone circle in the Preseli hills in west Wales, where it is believed bluestone was quarried before being taken to Stonehenge.

More research will be done to establish if the important person buried there played a role in the moving of bluestone 190 miles from west Wales to the Wiltshire monument.

The find has been made by professors Tim Darvill and Geoffrey Wainwright, who have spent the last 10 years trying to establish how and why the bluestones – or spotted dolerite – were transported from the Preseli hills to Stonehenge.

In 2008, following the first excavation at Stonehenge in more than 40 years, the professors said they had established that the bluestones – the size of a man or smaller – arrived at Stonehenge about 4,500 years ago.

Their hypothesis was that the bluestones – rather than the much larger sarsen stones that give Stonehenge its familiar shape – were the real draw because they were believed to have healing powers.

Wainwright said: "We went back to the Preselis and started doing excavations up there. The first site we explored was a big burial cairn in the shadow of Carn Menyn, where the Stonehenge bluestones come from."

The team found a circle underneath the cairn built of bluestone, the same material taken to Stonehenge, and work is being carried out to date this. But Wainwright said he would be surprised if the circle had not been created at about the same time that the bluestones were taken to Stonehenge, strengthening the link between west Wales and Stonehenge in the theory.

"Then this stone circle was covered with the huge burial cairn with a chamber in the middle. The space turned from a public ceremonial space defined by the stone circle into the burial spot of a very important person."

Wainwright said it was a "jump" to claim the person buried there was an architect of Stonehenge. "It's a hypothesis but it could well be true. There is certainly something very significant about the grave."

3 comments:

Barrie Foster said...

Sadly, our well-beloved National Park has also been disseminating this information via social media.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Have they really? That is amazing -- and disappointing, if they have nobody in there who is capable of critical thought... where is this? Have you got a URL?

Alex Gee said...

How does Wainwright know he was the Architect. Was he wearing a black polo neck?