Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- due for publication on June 1st 2018. After that, it will be available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Amesbury Archer strikes again

  Just came across this on the Amazon web site -- anybody seen it, or got it?  A review will be welcome --  can't afford a copy myself, although £30 is probably remarkably good value if you like this sort of thing.
Is it available on line?  Doesn't seem to be.....

I must admit to a degree of trepidation as to what this volume might contain, having seen the earlier posts on the Wessex Archaeology web site about this particular hero who strode about on Salisbury Plain in days of yore.......


Tony Hinchliffe said...

No, I haven't seen it, and won't be buying it at that price. Even Wiltshire Libraries are only likely to be buying one copy, I should think, and that will be based at the Chippenham History Centre, conveniently adjacent to the Wiltshire local goverment archaeology team.

Incidentally, Brian, have you realised that Andrew Fitzpatrick has connections with Durham University? Likely to have had some contact with Brian Roberts, as he probably did a lot to link the Geography Dept (historical geography) with the Archaeology Dept.

Anonymous said...

I have my copy of it having written a couple of brief petrological descriptions of the two bracers.

I say that I wrote them, as without my permission or knowledge they were rewritten and given a bizarre bias and had I not been able to partially correct and reinstate my text at the page proof (an initial, unwelcome Orwellian surprise and was that scurrying I could hear in the wainscoting?) it might have been left an me mistaken for an illiterate lobotomised yahoo with but the faintest knowledge of geology. There are still sentences that make me wince.
However I must TOTALLY DISTANCE myself from any use that these descriptions have been put to and the quite mind puzzling ‘journey’ that is made of them.
The red bracer is probably not from Caerfai Bay in South Wales and the chances of the Amesbury Archer taking a day trip to the gold fields of Wicklow and stopping off to collect some red rock so that he might fashion for himself a memory of Ireland is as likely as his sending a Penny postcard to Ithika or my forgiving the ‘rewriter’ of my text.
It strikes me that The Severn Estuary was so full of stone-laden Wessex boats that I am surprised more stones have not been discovered beneath its waters. Please nobody think I believe there are any lost orthostats beneath the salty brine as I have no view as to their transport, although I do so want to believe that Joseph of Aramathea sailed the waters in his stone boat.

The Volume is well produced and the data, assuming only I was unlucky enough to be ‘rewritten’, are easy to access.
It does carry much speculation but hey each generation gets the Stonehenge and associations that it deserves.
Dr R.A.Ixer

BRIAN JOHN said...

Thanks Rob -- I look forward to learning more about this tome! Interesting how some straightforward bits of scientific evidence can be twisted in the service of some complex and wonderful fairy tale. Now where have we seen that before?

Thinking of stone boats, it may not be universally known that our local saint, one St Brynach, is reputed to have travelled from Rome to Milford Haven on a slab of rock, which miraculously floated upon the waters. That had better be true, since I don't know of any glaciers which might have followed the appropriate route..... or perhaps the sea was frozen at the time?

Tony H said...

I for one like the idea that the Amesbury Archer may have hobbled his way into the settlement nearest to Stonehenge, on his gammy leg, all the way from what is now the Austrian/Swiss/German borderland, so he could take a look at Stonehenge, whether unfinished or not.

After all, we ARE at present in a recession, and I reckon the Amesbury Archer probably still has a magnetic, New Age-type effect upon the fine citizens of those present-day countries, who want to see him and his grave-goods at Salisbury Museum (great display there) before visiting Stonehenge itself.

So He can have a lubricating effect on our stuttering economy, by boosting tourism. Let's hope many Germanic folk go on to Pembrokeshire, too, to see where the bluestones originated.

Have you had your "Enigma" book translated into German, Brian? Just a thought.

Alex Gee said...


Dr Ixer has inadvertently provided the answer.
All these boats in the Severn Estuary were part of the worlds first Pontoon Bridge?

The stones were rolled across the bridge on stone balls.

I agree with Tony H and yourself.
That a lot of the Balls were transported from the Durham area.

Tony H said...

Gee, Alex, that's a coincidence you mentioning Balls!

I've just found a very large stone Ball on the boundaries of two Medieval Hundreds near Westbury, Wiltshire, near what may have been a Saxon cross. The Ball is mentioned in a 1575 document.

Apologies if this is somewhat off- topic.