Assorted events to report. The Trojan Horse rumbles on, cheered by the crowds, assisted by those who should know better, crushing beneath its wheels both academic standards and scientific integrity. Once upon a time, scholarship meant something. Not any more........
This is from a Pembs Coast National Park press release:
There’s a chance to enjoy a free tour of the source of the Stonehenge bluestones in the Preseli Hills, with Dr. Richard Bevins on Thursday, June 2. Booking is essential on 01437 720392. It’s followed by an evening talk at Oriel y Parc by archaeologist Professor Mike Parker Pearson at 6 pm. Tickets (available separately) are £5 per person.
I hadn't realised that Richard Bevins was personally involved in the NPA programme of quarrying promotion, and hope that he at least had the good grace to inform visitors on his trip that there are many earth scientists who look at Carn Goedog and Rhosyfelin and see no quarries at all........
The high pressure promotion of the Neolithic bluestone quarrying hypothesis continues unabated. Not only has MPP been speaking at Oriel y Parc in St David's, but he has also been given a slot in the Hay Festival, as reported in this nonsensical piece published today in the Telegraph's Science Section (I kid you not......) :
Original Stonehenge was dismantled in Wales and moved to Wiltshire, archaeologists believeSarah Knapton, Science Editor
5 June 2016
Stonehenge began life as an impressive Welsh tomb which was dismantled and shipped to Wiltshire, archaeologists now suspect.
Experts have known for some time that the smaller bluestones of the 5000-year-old Neolithic monument were brought 140 miles from the Preseli Mountains in Wales.
But the question has always been why? Why would the English settlers bother to make a lengthy pilgrimage for Welsh stone when they had perfectly good local sandstone quarries nearby - from which they would later cut the imposing ‘sarsen’ stones for Stonehenge.
The answer is that the stones were probably brought by the Welsh themselves, when they decided to relocate to the area, and did not want to leave their ancestors behind.
Professor Mike Parker Pearson at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London believes that Stonehenge began life as a Welsh monument to the dead.
“The Welsh connection isn’t just about stones it’s likely to be a long term movement from west to east at this particular time," Prof Parker Pearson told the Hay Festival.
“Why dismantle an original monument? We’re wondering if it actually might have been a tomb with a surrounding stone circle which they dismantled. If that were the case they were basically carting the physical embodiment of their ancestors to re-establish somewhere else.
“Their idea of packing their luggage was rather more deep and meaningful than our own. They are actually moving their heritage, and these stones represent the ancestors. They are actually bringing their ancestors with them.
“The more we find out about Neolithic society, their culture and religion, it is focussed on the ancestral dead. If you build in stone for the dead, that is a society that is worshiping its ancestors.”
Archaeologists at UCL and the University of Leicester recently found the actual quarries that produced the stones. The spotted dolerite bluestones came from the outcrop of Carb Goedog while Craig Rhos-y-felin, produced the rhyolite bluestones.
The special formation of the rock, which forms natural pillars, allowed the prehistoric quarry workers to detach each stone with minimum effort.
They only had to insert wooden wedges into a crack and let the Welsh rain swell the wood and crack the stone, to allow each pillar to be eased away from the rock face.
It has even been possibly to work out which stones were cut from which part of the quarries by analysing the cut marks.
The team at UCL has also been studying half a million bone fragments found at Stonehenge and discovered that one fifth of them came from people who lived in the west of Britain, possibly in Wales. Some of them may even belong to the hallowed ancestors which were brought to be reinterred at Stonehenge.
“Where are the dead? The simple answer is Stonehenge, because what we hadn’t realised was that Stonehenge is the largest cemetery of the entire 3rd millennium BC in Britain,” added Prof Parker Pearson.
“Most of those remains are cremated. Just burnt fragments. There were several hundred people buried.
“Who were they, where did they come from? Latest scientific results not yet published tell us that we are looking at people being cremated on pyres made from different kinds of material.
“In other words almost certainly not all from Salisbury Plain. They are arriving from Stonehenge already cremated and we know from our own excavations that they were deposited in organic containers, which were probably leather bags.
“It’s very possible that among the cremated remains, those could actually be some of the dead themselves that were brought with them.”
There is no evidence to show why the Welsh moved to Wiltshire. There is no evidence to show they were driven by climate change, warfare or catastrophe. Prof Parker Pearson believes that Stonehenge was built to unite warring tribes.
Archaeological evidence of warfare and ‘grisly killing,’ seems to disappear after the monument was built.
The team at UCL believes that the original Welsh tomb must be located somewhere between the two quarry and is launching a dig this summer to try and located the site.
“We might have an answer by September, “ Prof Parker Pearson added.
From the Hay Festival Programme:
Mike Parker Pearson
Stonehenge: The Welsh Connection
Apparently there was an "enraptured crowd" for the talk.......
MPP has also been involved in the Festival as a "leading academic" and role model for aspiring university students. See this:
Mike Parker Pearson
Subject Areas – Archaeology
Mike Parker Pearson is Professor of British Later Prehistory at University College London.
Note that the MPP narrative gets more elaborate by the day.........
It appears that the two papers written by Dyfed Elis-Gruffydd, John Downes and myself have been written out of history. As MPP will find, we are not going away. Anyway, we do have confirmation now that the "proto-Stonehenge" hunt will be going on this summer, presumably in the area around Bedd yr Afanc.