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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Students move one-tonne stone!!



Breaking news!  Amazing.  And to prove that they really did it, it's on the BBC web site.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/video_and_audio/headlines/36364498

Strange how the world is endlessly fascinated with this sort of stuff.  Obviously nobody told them that Atkinson and his tame schoolboys did it all before, back in the 1950's.  It didn't prove anything then, and it proves nothing now either, especially since this was an extremely small stone on an extremely flat piece of lawn.

Ah well, one mustn't object to a few students having a pleasant afternoon out, in a London park, in the sunshine........ after all, I've done a bit of stone pulling myself, back in the good ol' days of the Millennium Stone Project......

11 comments:

sciencebod said...

Yes, as you say, a dearth of new thinking, especially as it was billed initially as a lifting, not hauling exercise, which is what I went along expecting to see. However, it was not an entirely wasted journey, having had an opportunity to chat with Prof M.P-P and some of his students and revisit some my old UCL student haunts - though sadly not archaeology. Did you know that Mike's department has installed a sarsen in the rough grass edging of Gordon Square, though one has to ignore a rope barrier to read the largely uniformative nameplate? The AP camera man to whom I burbled on thought it was from Aylesbury, but there's nothing on the plate as to origin.

For those who seek new, dare one say mould-breaking thinking about stone circles, might I use this opportunity to flag up my latest posting. It's a distillation of some 4 years of semi-seditious re-evaluation of everything we've been told in the mass media re "ritual landscapes", megalithic symbolism, the unfathomable Neolithic mindset etc etc. To which I say cobblers...

http://colinb-sciencebuzz.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/its-time-to-get-real-about-stonehenge.html

TonyH said...

Many had a pleasant afternoon out decades ago with the stones in Hyde Park, where they were urged to "Not Fade Away" by a man with thick lips brandishing a tambourine.......

PeteG said...

First lift your stone onto a wooden sled using a Crane!

Jon Morris said...

Good for him though: Gets people interested. Tough times ahead for archaeological departments when NPIB goes through. Difficult to tell at this stage whether or not that means closure of archaeological courses.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/524040/Queen_s_Speech_2016_background_notes_.pdf

BRIAN JOHN said...

Fundamentally disagree, Jon. You cannot build the reputation of archaeology on fantasies and lousy science. This panders to the "impact over substance" culture. If MPP and other professors insist on telling wild stories that are not supported by evidence on the ground, they deserve to see their departments closed down. I know we live in a world where everything is being dumbed down, but universities are supposed to be the beacons of scholarship. Call me old-fashioned, but.........

Jon Morris said...

That's a bit harsh Brian. There are lots of arty projects that do unusual publicity stuff. This wasn't part of any scientific study was it?

The potential impact was more due to the industry not providing sufficient benefit. I thought they were vulnerable, but have to admit that I'm surprised that it looks as if it's going to be quite so wholesale. The impact on departments could be quite extensive if large scale redundancies are going on at the same time. But perhaps older people, for example retirees, might take up the slack in admissions if there is a fast adjustment?

TonyH said...

Hear, hear, Brian. And ONE DAY, we may find Universities are doing what I naively thought they were ALWAYS intended to do [the clue is in the "Uni" part of the word University!], namely, use JOINED - UP THINKING, and thereby have their separate Departments e.g.in this Blog's case, Geography, Geology, and Archaeology, TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER!!!
THEN we might get some lucid thinking about what occurs at landforms in the natural landscape like Rhosyfelin which humans may have had SOME impact upon over the millennia.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Jon, if you read the appalling telegraph article, you will see that this a part of the MPP strategy for pushing his quarrying and human transport thesis with just as much enthusiasm as ever -- completely ignoring the fact that there is another theory out there that is not particularly comfortable, from his point of view.

TonyH said...

Have heard archaeological jobs and opportunities are predicted to increase because of the "Northern Powerhouse" government project.

An example of more archaeological activity is that at Bulford, near Stonehenge, on Ministry of Defence land earmarked for 227 new Army homes.

Go to:- wessexarch.co.uk/blogs/news/2016/04/13/excavations-bulford

Another Wessex Archaeology [Company] website worth a look at regarding what serious young recruits get up to is at:-

wessexarch.co.uk/blogs/Karen-nichols


TonyH said...

UNIVERSITY: derivation from Latin, "WHOLE" !!!

Jon Morris said...

"Jon, if you read the appalling telegraph article, you will see that this a part of the MPP strategy for pushing his quarrying and human transport thesis with just as much enthusiasm as ever"

Perhaps Brian. But without people willing to push one idea or another, nothing much would ever get done and it's very unlikely that there would be any interest in the subject. It's not as if he's under an obligation to be an impartial authority.


"Have heard archaeological jobs and opportunities are predicted to increase"

That's very good to hear Tony. There's a few archaeo forums out there that are getting worried about NPIB. I thought about giving them the arguments from the other side of the fence (because they won't stand a chance of affecting policy without understanding the counter-arguments). But you get seen as a troll if you question the assumptions they are working on so decided against it.