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

Sunday, 22 January 2012

EH updates on Stonehenge bluestones

EH has made a number of changes to the Stonehenge Guidebook (2011 edition)  -- nothing very exciting, but if anybody is interested, there is a PDF available which details all the changes, point by point.  On the bluestones, there are new mentions of the recent TD/GW and MPP work, with mandatory mentions of the worlds of the living and the dead, and of the healing powers of bluestones "as a reason for going to the effort of transporting them from Preseli."  It's strange how wacky theories, without a shred of evidence to support them, get turned into truth and orthodoxy.  EH needs to take some responsibility for that, and the organization should be ashamed of itself.  In spite of the ongoing debate about the mode of transport of the bluestones, EH has steadfastly set its face against any mention of the glacial transport hypothesis.  Well, as I have said before, with the Olympics coming up, and a need to pull in as many punters to Stonehenge as part of the national recovery plan, they clearly don't want to say anything that might cast doubt upon the Gospels as written by the Apostles.  Certainty above objectivity, any day.....

Location of Preseli Hills has been changed from "west Wales" to just "Wales". Caption to the
first map has been changed from "Map showing a likely route" to "Map showing one
possible route" from the Preseli Hills to Stonehenge.

Discussion of the bluestones "original setting" of "an incomplete circle of
paired stones", the dismantling of it prior to the inner sarsen structure's construction
and the later reintroduction of the bluestones, has all been removed. This has been
replaced by a paragraph noting that the sarsen structures do not appear to have
been moved once erected whereas the bluestones have been rearranged more
than once. It notes that the stone settings were built between about 2500 and 2000

........... two additional potential reasons for its construction are
also outlined. These are: its use as a cremation cemetery from the earliest
monument coupled with the idea that the stones represent long dead ancestors
compared to timber circles which represented the houses of the living; and, a
possible belief in the healing powers of bluestones as a reason for going to the
effort of transporting them from Preseli.

Outline of the main differences between the 1st edition of the English Heritage Stonehenge guidebook (2005, reprinted 2007) and the 2nd Edition (2011)
(download as PDF)


Tony H said...

Presumably, English Heritage [at the risk of prompting an immediate triumphalist response from RJL and his Mesolithic Church, I will STILL use this metaphor] do not want the ROCK THE BOAT.

So, as though we are living out George Orwell's '1984', English Heritage is aligning itself with the 2 most fashionable recent theories, one emanating from MPP, and the other from the fabled GW/TD.

It is as though these gentlemen's theories are like the Signs emblazoned everywhere in the book 1984. Just as in that book, English Heritage's narrative serves to condition the minds of its unsuspecting purchasers, who arrive in their coachloads from all corners of the Earth, and buy the handbook in whichever language they prefer.

I suppose English Heritage justifies, to itself at least, quoting both of these theories on the basis that it gave permission for both theoreticians to excavate on its land at Stonehenge in the 21st Century.

So it seems English Heritage is the self-appointed arbiter of the truth, as far as Stonehenge is concerned.

Tony H said...

It would appear that the author, on behalf of English Heritage, is AGAIN Julian Richards, the archaeologist and broadcaster. His website is:-

Tony H said...

The keywords STONEHENGE GUIDE BOOK 2011 EDITION in your search engine will reveal ALL of the changes made since the 2007 version, not just those relating to The Avenue.

Tony H said...

On one of the Time Team Specials devoted to Stonehenge, in the last 3 years maximum, Tony Robinson (with MPP agreeing) started and finished brandishing the last edition of the English Heritage Handbook in his hands.

They concluded that it was badly in need of revision/ new edition back then!