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, 17 February 2012

Ancestors return to Stonehenge?

From Julian Richards's web site / blog.  Mostly he's touting for business (well, we all have to make a living somehow) but he also says this:

............I will be back on TV again in the Spring with a new series on BBC 4 called Meet the Ancestors – revisited - there are more details in the TV and Radio section. So perhaps I can return to calling myself an ‘archaeologist, writer and broadcaster’ as I am certainly still (and always will be) an archaeologist and I’m also still writing - have a look in Books.
Inevitably I’m still fascinated by Stonehenge, as I think you may be able to tell from my Diary - lots of talks to groups around the country as well as some weekend outings next year for various specialist tour operators. This is why I will be adding a new Stonehenge section in the website soon so that I can keep everyone up to date with what’s going on in and around that fantastic site.


It will be interesting to see whether Julian has noticed the debate about the transport of the bluestones -- and whether he gives any credence at all to the idea that glaciers might have had something to do with it.

Am I right in thinking that Julian writes the EH official guidebook to Stonehenge?  He certainly wrote the old edition I have on my bookshelf........


Tony Hinchliffe said...

Julian wrote (and autographed my copy in late 2008) of the 2005 English Heritage Official Guidebook for Stonehenge.

Julian still lives in Shaftesbury, Dorset, I believe, and has strong links with the nearby Wiltshire Archaeological Society and its Heritage Museum at Devizes, as well as the Salisbury Museum, near Salisbury Cathedral. A real enthusiast!

chris johnson said...

I hope Julian gets more new work.

He was a friend at school and a thoroughly nice guy and sincere. Knowing a lot about Stonehenge as he does, having done the hard yards walking the fields, I would be surprised when he has not heard of the glaciation theory - although I don't know what he thinks about it.

I will be glad to see him back on TV. Maybe someone can put some work his way, he deserves it.

Anonymous said...

No evidence, no proof, no comment!


BRIAN JOHN said...

"No evidence, no proof, no comment" ?? I assume that's a "no comment" on the glacial transport theory?

Since there is no evidence and no proof relating to the human transport theory either, can we expect a similarly agnostic approach to that one too? Or do different rules apply in that case?

Anonymous said...

This is why I don't get involved in these mindless blog debates with 'hobbyists'. We know there was human transport as the stones had to be taken from 'somewhere' and placed in the stone holes at Stonehenge.

Yet you deny 'human transport', what's the point of debate with such closed minds?


BRIAN JOHN said...

Julian -- don't put words in my mouth. I don't deny human transport. What I do -- until somebody comes along with some evidence for me to look at -- is to remain entirely unconvinced by the thesis of LONG-DISTANCE HUMAN TRANSPORT of bluestones all the way from West Wales to Stonehenge. It is self-evident that stones were picked up and moved about a bit during the building process.

Your dismissive attitude to "hobbyists" and "closed minds" does you no credit. I reckon that most of those who contribute to this blog have minds that are a good deal more open than many of those in the archaeology establishment -- as you will see if you follow some of the threads. There is some honest enquiry going on here.

A little more respect from you would not come amiss.....

Anonymous said...

Sorry Brian you said "Since there is no evidence and no proof relating to the human transport theory either"

I think Julian has a point!

Ann Other

BRIAN JOHN said...

Dar Ann

No he hasn't. It's perfectly clear to anybody who has ever looked at this blog that by "human transport theory" I mean "the theory which proposes human transport of the bluestones from West Wales to Stonehenge." To pretend otherwise is disingenuous..... I have NEVER denied that stones were collected up and moved during the Stonehenge construction project.

Anonymous said...

Julian wrote "This is why I don't get involved in these mindless blog debates with 'hobbyists'."

just the sort arrogant remark I've come to expect from Archaeological Lovies on top their high horses.
I won't bother to watch the next Ancestors series, in fact I didn't bother with the last one.

Anonymous said...

A little less conversation, a little more action, please! Thank you very much. Now all you good people go and put your heads TOGETHER, and approach the entire Stonehenge stones subject SCIENTIFICALLY. Thats rock....and roll. Thank you very much, Good night, y'all. God bless.


Julian Richards said...

Can I point out that the comments about 'mindless blog debates with hobbyists' and 'debate with such closed minds' were made by 'anonymous' although signed Julian. This was not posted by me, the real Julian Richards, archaeologist of Shaftesbury Dorset, Stonehenge enthusiast and not, I hope, either arrogant, or an archaeological lovie perched on any sort of high horse. I am quite happy to engage in rational debate about the subject of the bluestone transport. Julian Richards

Jon Morris said...

Interesting comments. On the internet, almost anyone can post anonymously as if they were someone else.

However, the comments took me back to the apparently unassailable status of Engineers in the '80's just before the QS profession found a new way (Project Management) of looking at what was being done.


BRIAN JOHN said...

Thanks Julian -- much appreciated! That's the trouble with blogs like this -- anonymous posts and pseudonyms are used much too often, and people with all sorts of motives can hide behind them. I tried to encourage contributors to use their real names, but not everybody wants to do that......

Anyway, glad to hear you are keeping a watching brief here, and I hope you will sometimes have things to contribute.

chris johnson said...

I suppose there is no definite proof that this new Julian is actually Julian - his Blogger ID links to an empty site created a few days ago.

Still some ID is better than no ID. Internet is growing up and no room really for people pretending to be someone else, especially someone with a reputation to lose. It is not even funny.

Recently on a well read economics site where I contributed under my own name I was harassed by a PR/legal company representing the "real Chris Johnson" -rather than fight this I agreed with the publisher to go forward under a pseudonym although I still feel upset.

This puzzle is not solved. Chris Johnson is a ten-a-penny name and no doubt there are many JRs and MFs and BFs who could also make a legal objection. What would Brian think when another Brian John starts to build a web presence using his name and arguing for transport of bluestones by flying saucers?

I think whoever pretended to be Julian deserves a blackballing, or should apologize. Meanwhile on this site I hope Brian tightens up on what gets through under the "anonymous" flag - serious facts maybe, personal abuse never. And nobody should pretend to be someone else even in jest.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes -- this is a problem. I haven't got the time to go checking on the identities of people who call themselves Max Boyce, Dr Who, Jane Russell or Elvis Presley (to mention but a few) -- and for the most part the people with daft pseudonyms say things that are mildly amusing and harmless enough. I do try to block posts which are abusive or where people are madly pushing some theory which bears no relation to facts on the ground. But I have got into serious trouble with some faithful contributors for exercising my editorial privileges....... Can't win..... ah, the joys of blogging!

Tony Hinchliffe said...

Great to hear that the real, Stonehenge-connected Julian Richards has stepped forward to denounce a pseudonymous and mischievous imposter. I heard him at a Stonehenge Debate the other year, along with Parker Pearson, Darvill and Mike Pitts, and have generally over the years found him to be open-minded. Since he has authored the English Heritage Stonehenge Guidebook since at least 1991, and presumably vetted the latest amendments (mentioned here on a separate Post by Brian not that long ago), it is good to know he is "quite happy to engage in rational debate about..bluestone transport".

More power to your elbow, Julian!

But even Wessex and Stonehenge's Julian Richards probably has his identity problems at times, as there is another, fairly well-known and equally respected Julian Richards who, last time I looked, was at York University Archaeology Dept.

Even I have a doppelganger,for there is/was another J Hinchliffe in British Archaeology. However, he must be a fully-fledged archaeologist: I am a mere enthusiast who studied Geography who does, nevertheless,as a trained Librarian, still enjoy encouraging the
dissemination of information on matters bluestone etc and the trying thereby to bring minds together in a common purpose i.e.:-

to attempt to reach a consensus.....EVENTUALLY. So keep plugging away, everyone! We have a common cause - to get to the bottom of this Bluestone Enigma.

Anonymous said...

No, I am the real Julian!!

The other proposter is a proposter, ask fanny!

The situation is quite proposterous, a little like the bluestone glacial theory.

Julian (Clary)

Anonymous said...

Not the famous, eponymous, apostate Julian? aka Flavius Claudius Julianus Augustus.
Could not resist.
Myris Of Alexandria
(my real name I swear by the great and sublime Apollo.

Tony Hinchliffe said...

Well, many of us probably have twigged your actual identity, Myris of Alexandria (one of your many Classical pen-names).

They say proximity to matters Stonehenge can cause unusual psychic effects?

Tony Hinchliffe said...

Well, I for one am CONVINCED that the Stonehenge-connected broadcaster and archaeologist, Julian Richards, has indeed contributed above at 10.41hrs on 18/02/12. This is because he contacted me,also, by email, to disclaim any knowledge of the "Julian" cooments that preceded (he was thanking me for forwarding on by email to him this very Blog Entry "Ancestors return to Stonehenge".)

Julian Richards is enthusiasm personified, so it's great if he's keeping a watching brief at 'Stonehenge Thoughts' in my opinion.