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Thursday, 15 September 2011

On big stones in rocky places

A little bird who flew over the other day tells me that the MPP team has found a big elongated stone in their latest dig, at the tip of the rhyolite outcrop of Craig Rhosyfelin.    No idea how big it is, or how deep beneath the surface it was found.  All will revealed.....

A big stone in a rocky place?  No big deal for a geomorphologist, since we see such things every day in the field. (I could fill up an album of photos of big elongated stones embedded in the turf all over the Preseli region.)  But obviously such a "find" is a very big deal for an archaeologist, especially if you are hunting for quarries and bluestone orthostats, and have to justify your latest research grant!

How often have we seen this wild excitement before?  Quite often, and every now and then the excitement is stoked up again, especially if there happen to be some TV cameras in the vicinity.  Many years ago Roger Worsley and Robert Kennedy got very excited over the "bluestone that got left behind" at Carn Meini.  This one:


Then in 2009, Profs GW and TD got very excited (cheered on by the Royal Commission) about the "broken bluestone that was left behind when somebody carelessly dropped it" .... This one:


And I remember vividly the great pleasure everybody had more than 30 years ago when somebody found a lump of something hard and bluish on the bed of Milford Haven, and people spent good taxpayers money diving to the bed of the Haven and grovelling about in the mud, looking for the "bluestone that fell off the raft and was lost."  I told them at the time that the bed of Milford Haven is littered with erratics -- mostly from the St David's Peninsula -- but they were not inclined to listen, because they were fixated on the bluestone transport myth and were hell bent on confirming its correctness.

Has anything changed?  I doubt it.....

4 comments:

BOSCOMBE BOWMEN (ALL OF 'EM) said...

What a pity Max "I Wanna Tell You A Story" Bygraves won't be at the Newport Talk by MPP tonight. Perhaps his son will be there, I believe he followed his Pa into Show Business. Let's hope Mike PP doesn't 'play to the audience' too much. But then, if you've got a good story, why let the facts get in the way? (False) memories are made of this, someone once sang.

BRIAN JOHN said...

It was quite interesting, and profoundly disturbing, at the same time. I don't think I have ever heard such complacent and disingenuous twaddle before, from a group of senior archaeologists. More anon.....

SPOKESMAN FOR BOSCOMBE BOWMEN said...

Oh dear! There's no business like show business, or so they say.

BRIAN JOHN said...

We were spared the TV cameras for the evening, thank goodness. But I dare say they were filming happily away during the dig......