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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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Megalithic Empire


I was sent a copy of this sombre-looking book for review, so I suppose I'd better oblige........

It's a wildly eccentric tome, in parts deadly dull, in parts quite entertaining, with the central thesis that there was once something called "Megalithia" or the Megalithic Empire which controlled and orchestrated everything like some gigantic secret society or underground subversive organization -- infiltrating into all aspects of life from the Neolithic period up to the present day.  Like many other books, the belief underpinning this one is that there was a sort of Ancient Wisdom which is still there if we want to look for it in the landscape, in our language and folk traditions, and even in the domestication of wild animals.  Another part of the central thesis is that because archaeologists argue about all sorts of things, that just goes to show that they know nothing, and that somebody like the authors (Harper and Vered) must come along and tell the truth. Sounds familiar?

So this book is a polemic rather than a careful examination of evidence.  In fact, the authors seem to have so little respect for evidence on the ground that they cannot even be bothered to cite proper case studies or give references to support their arguments.  They simply state everything as if they are self-evidently in possession of the truth, and as if all other hypotheses coming from many decades of careful archaeological research are self-evidently nonsensical.  Such confidence might be a fine thing if the authors could demonstrate some knowledge of the things they are talking about, but the book is littered with evidence which goes to show that they do not really know their territory and that their grasp of concepts (about landscape evolution, for example) is seriously inadequate.  Some decent refereeing or editing might have helped..........

There are three parts to the book.  In the first part the authors propose the hypothesis that stone circles and ovals were made as direction-finding structures which could be used by reference to a simple set of rules by those intent in making long-distance cross-country journeys.  They could be used rather like a compass or a clock face to guide the traveller towards and along long-distance trackways akin to ley lines.  The authors say that many landscape features were specifically fashioned by the Megalithic Empire bosses (whoever they were) to assist in the process of navigation.  The middle part of the book (which is rather turgid) relates to folk beliefs and suggests that there are many survivals of Megalithia to this day.  And the final part of the book suggests that these mysterious ancestors not only domesticated birds and animals but taught them to become a part of the communication system (because there was no written language) and also a part of the system for travelling about in droving groups or as trading groups with pack animals.  In a truly wonderful section, the authors suggest that jackdaws were trained to stand at crossroads where they could give instructions to travellers who might be looking a bit lost...............

On the website that goes with the book, they say "everyone can agree that The Megalithic Empire is complete tosh........"  I think I would agree with that.  Now then, excuse me while I go and lie in a darkened room for a while.........

http://www.themegalithicempire.com/


8 comments:

Robert John Langdon said...

Boats and Navigational aids....

I'm sure I've seen that somewhere before?

RJL

Geocur said...

"Boats and Navigational aids....

I'm sure I've seen that somewhere before? "
Dean Talboys ?

Robert John Langdon said...

Couger

Looking at the index of his book on the internet 'The Stonehenge Observatory' he has no reference to 'boats', 'stone circles' 'ley lines' or 'navigational aids'.

BUT he does have a complete chapter on the bonkers astronomical alignments you also preach - Well they do say great minds think alike!!

RJL

Geocur said...

Talking of bonkers . He mentions boats and navigational aids here . http://www.louistalboys.com/avebury/index.htm

Not that you would understand , but what astronomical alignments do I "preach" ?

Robert John Langdon said...

Couger

Your right, he has recognised Avebury and Stonehenge are built by raised prehistoric waterways - Mind, its not exactly rocket science if you own a OS map and half a brain.

Still 'the stonehenge observatory' bears little to no relationship to the book Brian was critiquing.

RJL



BRIAN JOHN said...

A bit more politeness please, chaps.....

Geocur said...

I didn't mention the "Stonehenge Observatory " , only you did that .
The point was that he had mentioned "Boats and Navigational aids " .
The history and source of whacky ideas around archaeology is fascinating . The ”Boats and navigational aids “ connected with Stonehenge /Avebury stuff is pretty new to me ,wouldn't he be the first to suggest it ?
Still no mention of the what I "preach " re. astronomical alignments . Could you quote an example or something specific that is either preaching or demonstrably wrong ?

chris johnson said...

troll?