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

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

More Media Madness ... modified

 Want a picture of Craig Rhosyfelin?  What the hell -- this one of Carn Meini will do -- it's near enough, isn't it, and nobody will know anyway........

The "news" about the geological work at Craig Rhosyfelin (which readers of this blog knew about many months ago) has now been picked up by the global media, including papers in NZ, Australia and North America.  For all I know, the story is also making the headlines in Japan and China........

It's great to have a real science story attracting attention, but I do wish that there would be a bit more respect for the things that Rob Ixer and Richard Bevins actually say in the article.  All over the place we are having this story portrayed as "source of the Stonehenge bluestones (all of them) finally identified"  -- and one article which I looked at actually seemed to suggest that all of the Stonehenge stones (including the sarsens) had now been fixed to a place of origin at Craig Rhosyfelin.

Even the august Today (BBC R4) programme this morning suggested that the origin of the bluestones (ie all of them) had now been narrowed down, and that from this point on all that needs to be done is for the quarry sites to be properly identified, and for the precise mechanisms of transport (rolling, sledging etc) to be worked out.  Incompetence, from top to bottom.......

As for the Times headline thundering to the world that "the glacial transport theory has now been frozen out" -- that is total rubbish too, as I have pointed out.  My thanks to Olwen Williams-Thorpe for sending a copy of a letter she submitted to the Times, making the same point.  The letter may or may not have been published, but if it wasn't,  it should have been:


Re: 'Bluestones glacier theory is now frozen out' Times 17/12/11

It is incorrect and misleading to suggest that new evidence on bluestone provenance 'freezes out' the glacial transport theory.  Norman Hammond's article omits important information. There are many
bluestone rock types at Stonehenge that do not match the Pont Saeson outcrop.  The arguments in favour of glacial transport therefore remain: varied bluestones, many sources, and glaciers capable of removing large erratics from Pont Saeson and other areas.

Dr Olwen Williams-Thorpe

Senior Visiting Fellow of the Open University 


.............and now the ITV Ten O'Clock news caps the lot, with the most garbled report you are ever likely to see.  First of all, they say that the new work relates to ALL of the Stones at Stonehenge, then they show a picture of Carn Meini and say it is Craig Rhosyfelin, and then they repeat the nonsense (with Mike Pitts's help) that the glacial transport theory is somehow diminished by the new evidence.   Oh dear -- Richard and Rob, with the aid of your press release you have indeed unleashed a whirlwind of incompetent nonsense,  which no doubt you could have prevented if you had worded things differently.  What the hell -- who cares about the truth when there is a good story to be told?


Tony H said...

Peter Allen on Radio Five's 'Drive' at around 5 p.m. also managed to trivialise the Story, but, to his credit, Richard Bevins spoke very well when interviewed all too briefly (just before the "real" hard News) and carefully, despite attempts to get him to embellish what he said by Allen and his hysterical female colleague. It all seemed to be a jolly good wheeze.

Sorry to hear Radio 4's Today prog did itself a disservice. Get Hugh Edwards down to Preseli from BBC1's Ten O'clock News, Brian, he's quite sensible about matters archaeological, isn't he, and haven't you worked with him on a programme?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Poor Richard -- on the ITV News he was called Dr Richard Evans, which must have spoiled his ten seconds of fame. (The same sort of thing has happened to me in the past.....)

Yes, Hugh Edwards is a good Welshman. Yes, he did the commentary for the TV prog called "The Man from Angel Mountain" -- but I was out in the field and he did the commentary in the studio. So we never met.....

Tony H said...

Hugh strikes me as an intelligent thoughtful, deep-thinking news reporter who does more than simply read voice-overs for loads of documentaries. He did front your Archaeology In Wales prog.series, is it still on every so often?

He should be cultivated. As you say, he is a good Welshman. Whatever one's views on how those dolerites & rhyolites arrived in the Stonehenge vicinity, this is still a story that centres on WALES (My son's Welsh!).