THE BOOK
Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my book called "The Bluestone Enigma" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Monday, 1 October 2012

Multiple wild goose chases.....



Tony was moved to send this to me the other day.  Very kind of him.  It's a very nice Monet painting called "Geese in the Brook."  Symbolism is everything -- although the geese here don't seem to be very wild, and they are apparently not being chased.......

Moving on from the chase for bluestone quarries, I have been dipping into MPP's latest book, having now obtained my very own personal copy onto which I can scribble with wild abandon.  Having got used to the universally lousy photo reproduction and MPP's chatty and jovial writing style, I am looking forward to reading the bit about the bluestones, towards the end.  Thus far, I have dipped in here and there, and I find myself to be seriously concerned about fantasies, fables and wild goose chases.  I have read the section on Bluestonehenge, and cannot find any evidence anywhere that there ever was one bluestone on that revered site, let alone 25.  Does anybody else share my concern?

Then I moved on and had a look at the chapter called "Why Stonehenge is where it is."  I discover that it is where it is because there happened to be some periglacial stripes there, which happened to be pointing in more or less the right direction............  No presentation of proper evidence, no convincing process of deduction.  Does anybody share my conviction that that is all a load of old cobblers?

21 comments:

TonyH said...

Symbolism is indeed everything. No, those Geese don't appear particularly wild,or on a chase at this captured moment in time but, in this particular Impressionist painting, we see the RIPPLE EFFECT, and this reminds me of the effect of MPP's dogged, doggone-it, insistence on the innate TRUTH behind his 'Holy Grail Hunt' for bluestone quarries. Mike PP's Hero (he readily admits on the Amazon site) is Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford. His book. and therefore his rhetoric, is reaching large,naive, rather impressionable audiences around the Globe. So we witness a RIPPLE EFFECT, involving, as it were, "geese" similar to those in the painting, apparently docile, yet probably paddling furiously beneath the surface, perhaps mirrored in real life by MPP's veritable Army of archaeological recruits, be they fellow professionals, students, or mere amateur field enthusiasts. Good luck, boys and girls, everywhere! You may need it in your Quest....

BRIAN JOHN said...

I wonder what the archaeological establishment thinks of this zany idea that Stonehenge is where it is because somebody thought that a few natural ridges and gullies in the ground surface were vaguely pointing in the right direction? Because periglacial stripes always run downhill in the direction of the greatest surface slope, their orientations (if they really are everywhere) will be highly variable across the Stonehenge landscape. Charly French, if you are reading this, will you please publish your research properly, or at least give us a map to look at?

TonyH said...

Don't forget that the origin of the expression "Wild Goose Chase" goes back to 16th Century horse races, when the horses usually had a strong front-runner, followed by the others in a roughly v-shaped formation. This reminded those betting of a wild goose formation.

So the front horse seemed to be impulsively leading the rest, who hung onto his "coat-tails" regardless of terrain and whether or not it was generally wise. Perhaps the lead horse led them by sheer physical presence or stamina? Shakespeare seems to have been the first to have coined the phrase, in print. Can we draw modern parallels on this Blog?

Anonymous said...

Tony,

Lacking Truth, Symbolism becomes everything! By default. The Brians of the world (and those that follow them) are mankind's best hope!

Kostas

Anonymous said...

seen this?
http://www.matrixofcreation.co.uk/megalithic-sciences/item/93-moving-the-bluestones-at-last-a-successful-method-is-demonstrated

PeteG

BRIAN JOHN said...

Thanks Pete. news to me -- but I heard the rumours that the stone had been successfully shipped across the sea...... all in aid of the latest Discovery Channel programme which was being planned a few months back. Will do a post soon...

Phil M. said...

Hello all,
I've tried to get to the above website but keep getting a warning that a malicious cookie is interfering: any suggestions, please?

Phil M.

BRIAN JOHN said...

It opened OK for me, Phil..... no idea what the problem might be....

Anonymous said...

works ok here as well.
Nice looking neolithic digger in the background of a couple of photos!
PeteG

Phil M. said...

Hello Brian & Pete,
Ta for the response.
In the caravan at a site in Cornwall,so perhaps the camp's Wi-Fi has something to do with it. I'll just have to be patient I suppose.

Could it be said that I've been goosed?

Phil

Phil

TonyH said...

I dare say the RIPPLE EFFECT, as used in Economics parlance to mean the spreading effect of one economic event e.g. the success of one aspect of the car industry in the UK having a beneficial effect on other elements of the car parts industry throughout the country, equally applies to possible stimulating effect of archaeological hunt-the-bluestone-rocks-source throughout the World of Archaeology. This no doubt includes not only archaeological activities but "spin-offs" [pity the disoriented geese!!] in the form of magazine sales, conferences and one-off "I wuz there when us found it" gravy-train talks. The Chancellor, in these straightened times, is probably all for it!!

BRIAN JOHN said...

Agree that the Chancellor is probably delighted --- all economic activity, no matter how futile, goes to help the GNP. And in this case, the National Geographic is paying!! (And, as MPP admits, controlling the flow of information to the outside world, which is full of inquisitive and unruly people like us......)

TonyH said...

straightened?.....whoops, meant straitened.

tonyH said...

Yes, unfortunately for some there IS an outside world beyond the National Geographic and the Stonehenge Riverside Project [& its latest manifestation, the "Stones Of Stonehenge Project"]. Others, on the other hand, are delighted that Free Speech is still possible in Uncle Dave & Nick's 2012 A.D. Democracy. Puzzling when we seem to be the only Official Opposition to the conventional wisdom being spouted on Stonehenge matters by our "betters" who we should realise understand it all. It strikes me we have what amounts to the equivalent of an economic CARTEL operating in archaeology, rather like the biggest supermarkets provide our foods by collaborating on pricing and commodities. Sometimes unruly is good and necessary! Let's continue to call a Spade a Spade.Perhaps Mick Aston (recently dropped from Time Team) will join our Blog, he readily admits to being a loose cannon, and probably has no particular bias or axe to grind...

chris johnson said...

The lead goose is the one with the funding.

Myris of Alexandria said...

Mr Johnson
Love it! but did the others write the proposal for/with him.
M

TonyH said...

Whither shall I wander? I know, I'll fly where there are some old blue chestnuts.....

TonyH said...

Talking of virtual Economic Cartels operating within academic archaeology circles, we might make an interesting business comparison amazingly close to Stonehenge itself.

At the appropriately-named Solstice Park is the Co-operative Distribution Centre, Amesbury, with easy access to the Basingstoke to Exeter A303. Fleets of lorries use this for distribution of goods to the South-West Region.

Meanwhile, just down the road from there, the Stonehenge Riverside Project has been able to produce its own Juggernaut in the form of the thoughts of The Team, currently, it appears, selling like hot cakes.

TonyH said...

Regarding the Periglacial Stripes issue and MPP's assertion/conviction that prehistoric people moved from Wales to Wessex/Wiltshire, here's an interesting letter from PAULA DOHERTY in the latest edition of Current Archaeology {Issue 272):-

With reference to your article on Stonehenge (CA 270), I wonder what tree-felling and stone-dressing technology was available at the time of the creation of Durrington Walls, Woodhenge, and Stonehenge? It would also be interesting to know about any climate change that might have precipitated the movement of peoples from west to east, and the immediate environment on and around Salisbury Plain. Do we know how far deforestation had denuded the Plain and how visible the periglacial stripes would have been? Or were the sarsen stones hidden from view in heavily wooded valleys? Could the Avenue be more about ritual deposition into water rather than a processional route using river transport? Finally, the suggestion that people might have moved from Wales to Wiltshire begs the question about wider cultural links, especially to Ireland and southern Brittany. Can we learn anything further from the landscape around Carnac?
PAULA DOHERTY
pauladoherty@tiscali.co.uk

TonyH said...

Periglacial stripes? Amazing set of coincidences, says MPP and his Geo-Men, involving the sun.

Perry Como? Sang "It's Impossible" with the lyric, "Ask the Sun to Leave the Sky, it's just Impossible...." Hang on a minute, there's ANOTHER stunning coincidence, in a manner of speaking. See what I mean?! Must go and check that crop circle...

BRIAN JOHN said...

Perfectly sound points from Paula. The matter of tree cover has been covered at some length -- and of course the famous "periglacial stripes" may or may not have been visible at the ground surface at the time when MPP wants Stonehenge to be chosen as an auspicious place. If they were covered in sediment, they would have been invisible, as they are today -- and bang goes another MPP theory......