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Monday, 25 November 2013

The Rhosyfelin "pedestal" again......



As readers of this blog will recall, I made a series of posts in September relating to the 2013 dig at Rhosyfelin.  One of them related to the idea of a "pedestal" beneath the "monolith that never was taken to Stonehenge":

http://brian-mountainman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-dreamtime-pedestal.html

Well, this pedestal has come to the fore again.  We have dealt with the railway track, and now we have the pedestal.  One of those who attended MPP's Pembrokeshire lecture the other day reported that he insisted not only that there was a "pedestal beneath the big stone" but that the stones supporting it were once VERTICAL.  Now my informant might have got this wrong, but that suggestion sems to me to be extraordinary.  As far as I can see, there is just a random mess of fractured rockfall debris beneath the big stone -- and no sign at all of any human interference.

Where is this heading?  Are we now going to have a hypothesis of a collapsed portal dolmen here?  Maybe the latest idea is that this big stone was not meant as a standing stone heading for Stonehenge after all, but that it was "chosen" as a capstone for a dolmen or cromlech.  So there we are then -- let's await the denials from those involved in the dig........

And thinking of the 2013 diggers, one small piece of gossip that has reached my ears is that one of the female diggers from the 2013 dig was sent packing on the basis that she asked too many questions and was too sceptical about the MPP interpretation of the site.  If I have that wrong, then no doubt I will be corrected.......... and will apologise for misinformation.

But a little suggestion gnawing away inside my head is the possibility that sycophancy is a necessary qualification for all those involved in the Rhosyfelin dig.  Now surely that can't be true, can it.........???


19 comments:

Tom Flowers said...

Brian
Further to the lady who was discharged for asking too many questions. She may be the same person as the young guide who, when showing me around the Durrington Walls Henge quietly told me that she was not allowed to call the small circle found inside Durrington - a henge. I couldn’t see a bank that would have proved it so questioned her closely. She was quite clear about it. “Whilst you might not be able to see it, an outer bank has definitely been found, she replied.
Pearson wrote about this mini henge in his book, but he called it a house!
I have a photo of this mini henge, not that it tells us much!
Tom Flowers

chris johnson said...

Well Tom, unless and until we hear from the young lady we are unlikely to become much wiser, and even then ...People who get fired often have a story about being unfairly treated while people who do the firing tend to keep quiet.

I can imagine that it is a tough leadership challenge to keep everybody digging away in the cold September rains in Pembrokeshire without some smart ass starting a discussion about first principles. "Why are we here" is the last thing I need to hear while tired, cold, and numb from trying to sieve mud.

My recollection of the altar stone is that it was peculiarly horizontal - almost like a table. I could well believe that it had been propped up from beneath to function in this way. But a pedestal? Surely not.

About time MPP showed his hand. I for one am ready to call his bluff - not that I count, but I can imagine the pressure is building.

Generally speaking I do not suspect foul play with this academic secrecy but I DO think it non-productive. We all know there is too little evidence so why not show all the evidence there is openly and let the resources on the sidelines apply their various intelligences and knowledge to sharpen up the hypothesis?

Surely MPP has everything to gain and nothing to lose by leading such a process.

Tom Flowers said...

Chris.
The hard work of his operatives doesn’t give Pearson the right to alter past records.
He wasn’t present when Geoff Wainwright excavated Durrington’s southern timber circle, nowadays completely buried, but that didn’t stop him calling the midden found alongside it, a house.
Furthermore, he sought Wainwright’s collusion in the matter, and got Wainwright to change his mind.
You will recall that Wainwright was a man who proclaimed Stonehenge to be a kind of Lourdes -- a place of healing. But within a matter of a few years, and by yielding to Pearson, Geoff effectively allowed MPP to go ahead and call Stonehenge a place of death.

Stonehenge was a place of life, not death. www.therealstonehenge.com
Tom

Geocur said...

"but that didn’t stop him calling the midden found alongside it, a house. "
Wainwright (1971),after Piggot , called it an "offering house " .

"But within a matter of a few years, and by yielding to Pearson, Geoff effectively allowed MPP to go ahead and call Stonehenge a place of death."


D&W suggested the "Lourdes " idea in 2008 ,Stonehenge was being described as an enclosed cremation cemetery a long time ago , or more specifically "a house of the dead " Burl 1987 and the original MPP paper with Ramil was 1998

Kate Dean said...

Time to hear from the young lady! Can anybody contact her? Someone close to MPP, since he surely knows her. Chris perhaps? Or Tom since he spoke to her? Direct her to Brian's blog where she can post her story.

Jon Morris said...

[i]Surely MPP has everything to gain and nothing to lose by leading such a process.[/i]

I imagine he's contractually tied in by the sponsors? If so, it means he can't agree to some types of information input and also can't release certain information without agreement.

Nothing much you can do about this if that is the way things are set up: Without the sponsors, the work wouldn't get done.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Kate -- we await a call from Ms AN Other. But don't hold your breath -- who knows what is going on out there in the dark. There might even be threats of "you'll never dig again....." for those who have the temerity to blow whistles......

BRIAN JOHN said...

Jon -- this commercial sponsorship thing is very strange. If it trumps normal academic publishing protocols I would be very concerned. Mind you, in his Stonehenge book I don't recall MPP referring to any commercial sponsorship -- my impression is that all of the funding for the Riverside Project has come from normal university and research council sources -- ie from the taxpayer.

Jon Morris said...

my impression is that all of the funding for the Riverside Project has come from normal university and research council sources -- ie from the taxpayer.

I got the impression that National Geographic were also involved: If so, I can very much understand any reluctance to release information. Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick: If it's all publicly funded, different matter entirely.

BRIAN JOHN said...

You are quite right, Jon -- in a Nat Geog article (June 2013), they say the Riverside Project was "part funded" by them. How big that "part" was is probably a closely guarded secret -- 5%? 10% of the total? It's an interesting question whether a smallish contribution of that scale can carry with it some form of power of embargo over publication of the research results.....

Kate Dean said...

Brian,

It's safer for whistle blowers to never stop blowing the whistle. By stopping they discredit their stories and themselves.

Jon Morris said...

a smallish contribution of that scale can carry with it some form of power of embargo over publication of the research results..

National Geographic is a form of News: Very high end, but still news, so I guess the only major stipulation is likely to be on the timing of the release of information. Other than that, their contribution may effectively be free money that otherwise wouldn't be available to the project.

Trouble is, it will probably be covered by a CA that MPP would have had to sign in order to get access to the funds; so we have no way of knowing what constraints MPP is under. In these circumstances, it isn't necessarily in the public interest for whistle-blowing to occur because it could, at least potentially, affect funding for future projects.

All the above is guesswork though. But given the probable funding structure, I don't think it's fair to criticise MPP for preventing the early release of information, no matter how much we would all like it to be otherwise!

Charles said...

Why publicize the Rhosyfelin “quary” if the Rhosyfelin data cannot be published?

This is not science … but myth making.

BRIAN JOHN said...

As soon as they heard of the geological link between Pont Saeson / Rhosyfelin and Stonehenge, they decided that this was a quarry. That was probably before they had even broken the turf with a shovel. Everything discovered in 2011-2013 has been slotted into this ruling hypothesis -- no matter how ludicrous it might be.

Tom Flowers said...

My word, I do seem to have stirred up a hornets nest -- poor old Tom Flowers, almost all alone against the whole archaeological community.
Well folks I’m too busy to enter into further argument, and must rest my case. I Hope you have read my website, but there is far more detail on my blog. http://stoneage2500bc.blogspot.co.uk.
I will leave you with this though!

Although he measured it vastly undersized, and didn’t bother to put it right, Professor Alexander Thom called Woodhenge an Egg. A GPS survey made in 2008, and folded tracings, proved that egg to point at the Moon.

What do you think you would get if that egg were to hatch out?

Great blog Brian, keep up the good work. My support is here should you ever want it.

Get well soon.

Jon Morris said...

Why publicize the Rhosyfelin “quary” if the Rhosyfelin data cannot be published?

If you want to get people to give their unpaid time to something, you have to give them a reason why?

I suppose there could be many other reasons. MPP seems to get the data out faster than others have in the past: You might be 100% sure that an investigation of one type or other will be in the public interest, but almost all major discovery requires some form of intrusive investigation. if you don't have the money for the unglamorous bit; to be able to properly record what's been done and what the result was, you might as well have done nothing and let someone who can fund it make the discovery.

chris johnson said...

Charles' remark looks like a classic troll so I was not going to rise to the bait. His initial premise is a deliberate distortion of the situation, as Charles must know unless he is a complete newbie.

The geological work that gives rise to the interest is well publicised. MPP has been giving updates to the local community too, as reported here on several occasions. You can hardly bring big teams into a quiet community like Bynberian without it being noticed and arousing curiosity. Some credit is surely due to MPP for telling what he thinks.

The litmus test on the evidence will be whether MPP can secure funding next year to lift the pedestal and see what is underneath.

Charles said...

Characterizing the comment as 'a classic troll' while avoiding addressing the issue does not serve the search for truth. Only the search for funding.

If only ”The geological work that gives rise to the interest is well publicised.” was publicized I would have no problem with that. But MPP uses the research by Ixer et al to promote his theory. Without releasing the other scientific data (like the dates) which may be counter indicative.

I have no problem giving credit to anyone for ”telling what he thinks”. The problem always is not 'telling' but 'not telling'.

chris johnson said...

Money talks, bull walks.

Actually Charles, Ixer et al can serve either of the two main theories. The gents in question are firmly on the fence and, more importantly, so is their data.

I doubt the top secret evidence gathered by MPP in the mud is going to be of much help or it would have been leaked by now or even turned into a documentary.

I am sure they discovered some neolithic traces. For one thing MPP told me so, and for another it would be amazing if there were NOT neolithic traces in this vicinity.

I am not sure what constitutes smoking gun quality evidence for a quarry and nor is anyone else I suspect. Nobody has defined what a quarry is in this context so picking up stone from the ground could legitimately be construed as a quarrying action, methinks.

Ah, the truth. Careful, there may be children reading.