Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Friday, 28 March 2014

Beyond Belief -- Stonehenge

Julian Thomas, trotting out the same old stuff.....

A 30-minute programme investigating the spiritual significance of Stonehenge.  Presented: Ernie Rea -- guests Prof Ronald Hutton, Julian Thomas and Frank Summers. 

Interesting conversation, but the usual nonsense from Julian Thomas about the "periglacial runnels" being the reason for the location of Stonehenge where it is, and a rather arrogant dismissal of the glacial transport theory without any explantion about why it is "out of fashion."   Perhaps, if he had been prepared to be a bit more honest, Julian might have admitted that it is science that is out of fashion, because the present generation of archaeologists prefers fantasy.......

Anyway, the prog is available for listening via the BBC web site (link above).


TonyH said...

Julian is part of the elite and esoteric Inner Sanctum from the MPP Stonehenge Riverside Project. He seems to be getting the big Producer gigs on the TV archaeology programmes these days, e.g. the recent Channel 4 one on Bronze Age mummies etc in 2014, presented by Tony Robinson.

Julian is based at Manchester University, along with Colin Richards, he of Megalithic Removals Ltd.

This same University has, however, Jamie Woodward, Professor of Physical Geography.

At the forthcoming Edinburgh International Science Festival, 5-20 April, 2014, Professor Woodward is, according to the programme I recently picked up on a train(!), presenting "a bite - sizes overview of the Ice Age, 'A Very Short Introduction to...Ice Age', in which he explores the evolution of ideas, MAJOR DEBATES and research methods used to investigate this fascinating era of our geological past".

It is on Friday 11th April - 1 p.m.(1 hour). £5 student offer £2.50 Let's hope Jamie isn't a secret member of the Inner Sanctum and can draw his own conclusions including an opinion on the CURRENT Stonehenge Glacial Debate! Booking Hotline 0844557 2686

TonyH said...

Professor Ronald Hutton likes to dress in the garb of an English Civil War person - not sure which side, or whether this was his preferred apparel for his "appearance" on Radio Four's "Beyond Belief".

Ronald's other favourite historical subject is The Druids, but no sightings, as yet, of him in their uniform have been confirmed.

TonyH said...

Julian was a lecturer, just up the road from where Brian lives, at Lampeter, between 1987 and 1993. He is an advocate of Phenomenology, amongst many other things.
One of his ideas for the Greater Stonehenge Landscape is set out in MPP's 2012 book, "Stonehenge":-

"Julian thinks it is most likely that the [two] Stonehenge cursuses were monuments to former processional routes whose antiquity could have gone back to the Mesolithic. Their position, straddling the watershed between the Avon and its tributary the Till, occupies a natural routeway for people and animals crossing from one valley to another. We know that the upper waters of the Till were an important place for Early Neolithic people: many of its coombes and valleys are overlooked by long barrows. Similarly, there is a significant group of Early Neolithic long barrows to the east, around what would become Durrington Walls [henge] and Woodhenge. Perhaps the ditches and banks of the cursuses demarcated routes that had once been used by the Ancestors, moving back and forth between the settlement areas in the two valleys [the Avon and the Till].

The above extract can be found on pages 145 and 146 of MPP's book.

As a person interested in historical geography as well as archaeology, Julian's idea here is fascinating.

I note Julian has a particular interest in the period linking the Mesolithic and the Neolithic; and he has been very involved with those periods in the Herefordshire landcape, close to Wales.