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Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- due for publication on June 1st 2018. After that, it will be available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Monday, 23 October 2017

MPP: I have discovered a speculation!


I just came across this. I thought it worth sharing, especially since it came from an academic web site that prides itself on its academic rigour........

Mike Parker Pearson: "I led the team of researchers that discovered that Stonehenge was most likely to have been originally built in Pembrokeshire, Wales, before it was taken apart and transported some 180 miles to Wiltshire, England." 

Stonehenge isn’t the only prehistoric monument that’s been moved – but it’s still unique

http://theconversation.com/stonehenge-isnt-the-only-prehistoric-monument-thats-been-moved-but-its-still-unique-51962

(This was in the “science and technology” section of The Conversation…..Dec 11th, 2015. It prides itself on "Academic rigour, journalistic flair”………….)

26 comments:

Gordon said...

He who pays the piper.

PeteG said...

I didn't know there was so much sarsen in Wales!

TonyH said...

Talking of "academic rigour", University College London, home of Professor Mike Parker Pearson, has this current undergraduate course, 2017 - 18:-

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/studying/undergraduate/courses/coursehandbooks/ARCL3098

N.B. includes: STONEHENGE AND ITS STONE SOURCES: Lecture 7, 13th November 2017

Essay submission date 17th November 2017

MPP himself runs the course.

TonyH said...

I note that, in this item, "The Conversation" at UCL says that it receives funding from, amongst many others, The Nuffield Trust, and The Alliance for Useful Evidence, whatever that may be. Anyone heard of it? Does it possess much academic rigidity, or is it a mouthpiece for the likes of MPP?

BRIAN JOHN said...

Maybe MPP knows something the rest of us don't.

TonyH said...

University of London Archaeology course run by MPP 2017 -18:-

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/studying/undergraduate/courses/coursehandbooks/ARCL3098

includes: "Stonehenge and its stone sources" Lecture 7, on 13 November 2017.


Perhaps we should all go.

Joost van den Buijs said...

From the same article:

"The best example of such a structure outside the UK is La Table des Marchand, a Neolithic tomb in Brittany, France, built around 4000BC. The enormous, 65-ton capstone on top of its chamber is a broken fragment of a menhir, a standing stone, brought from 10km away. The original menhir may be 300 years (or more) older than the tomb. Another fragment of this same menhir was incorporated into a tomb at Gavrinis, 5km away. This menhir, originally weighing over 100 tons, is actually one of the largest blocks of stone that we know of to have been moved and set up by Neolithic people. "

O dear, almost right... The over-100-tons-menhir was transported to a place near the current Table des Marchand (10 kms? I thought 5, but okay) and raised there together with 13 other large menhirs. One of them was even bigger (Grand Menhir Brisé). About 300 years later they fell down (or were toppled) and that over-100-tons menhir broke into two pieces. One was indeed used in the Table des Marchand (20 meters...), one was used in Gavrinis (5 km).

So I would say that Gavrinis is the best example of "such a structure outside the UK", not the Table des Marchand.

This article could benefit from a decent review...

Dave Maynard said...

Went on a family trip to Brittany a few years back and saw many of the sites. The kids were not so keen on all the stones (Carnac is a family swear word), but perked up at Table des Marchand hunting lizards sunbathing on the stone cairn.

They probably wouldn't go anywhere near cromlech now!

Dave

Myris of Alexandria said...

Ah Priddy Circles is the equivalent swear words in our house alongside Rhodes City Walls and Lake Elementita.
M

Joost van den Buijs said...

Yes, Dave, my wife and daughter were in the swimming pool while I was cycling through the environment of Carnac...

TonyH said...

Considering all the fuss and pallaver (word origin?.....Egyptian, Myris???) this week over that Tory MP who's written to all the UK Universities asking about what Academic Courses they do on Brexit, perhaps I have opened another Can of Worms with my last comment, letting the world know about MPP's lecture, "Stonehenge and its Stone Sources" scheduled for November 13th.

What is he these days claiming to have evidence for at Rhosyfelin? Does he make due and humble acknowledgement for Rhosyfelin's newly - acquired RIGS Geological/ Geomorphological status? May we please see his Bibliography of references please? Is he still purporting to have a "smoking gun". Does he ever eat humble pie? Shall we see a retraction? When will they ever learn? (the "academics" in their ivory towers, that is). Wher have all the menhirs gone? Gone for picnic tables, every one.

BRIAN JOHN said...

.... and if you are lucky enough, and are willing to part with £18, you can get to listen to our old friend at the Pembs National Park Archaeology Day in Haverfordwest on 18 November --

3:00 – 3:45 Prof Mike Parker Pearson - The Origins of Stonehenge in Wales

Should be exciting, with urgent news, as ever, of the imminent discovery of the Holy Grail. One wonders how long it takes for the faithful believers to start losing faith.

T said...

I, for one, am eagerly anticipating this event.

For, despite all indications to the contrary, I do feel that Michael Parker Pearson MAY have something.

But, then again. I have just been watching Martin Clunes in "Doc Martin".

Myris of Alexandria said...

Palaver my guess Was Hindi, but no it is exPortuguese.
It does seem Hindi/Urdu-esque.

I see the firewall whinge is back. Sometimes a great pleasure is denying reprint requests.
My least favourite Cavarfy poem is Waiting for the Barbarians. Dressing up for the academic grate (sic) unwashed holds little appeal. Daily Mirror readers to a fault they should stay without a city wall.
M

Myris of Alexandria said...

Palaver my guess Was Hindi, but no it is exPortuguese.
It does seem Hindi/Urdu-esque.

I see the firewall whinge is back. Sometimes a great pleasure is denying reprint requests.
My least favourite Cavarfy poem is Waiting for the Barbarians. Dressing up for the academic grate (sic) unwashed holds little appeal. Daily Mirror readers to a fault they should stay without a city wall.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

I don't see what pleasure might derived from denying a request for a PDF of a published article. That would be 100% counterproductive.

Myris of Alexandria said...

Ah but malice is so delicious and I deserve at least one vice (other than self-righteousness).

Why should someone who you would disallow entry into the family home be given access into your mind, a far more precious entity.

Of course you don't deny, you just ignore the request. We both must have had many examples of that over the years, never hearing from the first author again. In the old days of course you could just say that you have run out of reprints,(very very sadly in real life that rarely happened, until my archy days oh lots of foreign students wanted free copies of my atlas but so did some professional acquaintances) a bit more difficult with pdfs. Although, now I mention no huge continental publishing houses, some publishers even try to restrict the number of times you send the pdf (5 was the given number recently in a publishing contract I had to sign). Enforcing that would be a joy.

Of course as ever the wrong target is attacked it is the publishing houses that restrict access not the academics. They do it because it costs them money to produce the articles. It is their business. Why is paying to read a paper different from paying to watch a film or hearing a piece of music played by an artist.

I give my work away freely because I think it is the better thing to do and I like to see my name abroad. BUT I can financially afford to, I have no career to worry about and bugger my reputation (other than as a petographer) all that the publishing houses can do is bar me (we would all lose...... a little).


Do not get me started on thieves who up-load my wife's music/albums and redistribute it for free.
Hungry woodlice sown into their ears is scarcely punishment enough.

M

Dave Maynard said...

The cost of publications is extravagant and appears to be well beyond the actual cost.

The other day I was looking for information and saw a source to a relevant report, I followed it up, but immediately stopped when I saw it was over £60 to access. This is a report in the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society that I already had on my shelves, but was too lazy to fetch it down. I had the annual journal with 15-20 other reports for an annual membership fee of £12, 20 years ago. I guess I've had to bear the cost of keeping the journal with the other reports I'll never look at, on my shelf and probably donate to a worthy recipient in due course.

Compare with the medical research reports my daughter is working through. For this there are a multitude of short 3 or 4 page documents, with a brevity and complexity of text that equals a petrographic study. I've been able to access many of these freely, but of course some of the big, important, ones are behind a paywall.

Part of the problem is that there are so many paywalls, even the lottery winner would find new barriers to reading every day. Surely we could just have a single source giving access to the majority of documents for a couple of quid just to cover costs.

Dave

Myris of Alexandria said...

Ah greedy publishers. Ask our host who is a publisher about wanton avarice.
Martha could be sold for pence but is she, no she is an expensive doxy. Cost of a book a quid or two that is all.
BUT BJ deserves paying for the effort and time in writing the books,wanting academic/artistic property for nothing is no less that intellectual scrumping. Theft.
I do agree that academic books/journals now in the hands of a small number of publishers are over priced and they will not pulp books when advised to do so.

Myris of Alexandria said...

Ah greedy publishers. Ask our host who is a publisher about wanton avarice.
Martha could be sold for pence but is she, no she is an expensive doxy. Cost of a book a quid or two that is all.
BUT BJ deserves paying for the effort and time in writing the books,wanting academic/artistic property for nothing is no less that intellectual scrumping. Theft.
I do agree that academic books/journals now in the hands of a small number of publishers are over priced and they will not pulp books when advised to do so.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Not sure what your point is, Myris. There is, I think, rather a big difference between "wanton avarice" and making a living. I write books and sell them, in order to survive. I hope that is respectable enough for all who might think I should be giving all my books away..... as everywhere else in the big wide world, he who takes the risk takes the profit -- or suffers the loss. Don't get me going on the Welsh publishing industry, where the big players effectively publish without any commercial risk, since they are so heavily subsidised by the taxpayer to produce books that nobody really wants......

As for academic publishing in peer-reviewed journals, everything should be freely available to everybody who wants to see it. Most of us old fogeys had the benefit of a free university education, and I do not resent at all providing as much of my research material as possible for free, via the web. Cutting off access to the public by putting stuff behind paywalls is an outrage.

Myris of Alexandria said...

I agree with all that you say and was making the same points. Of course you should be paid for your efforts it is no different from being a car mechanic. Nobody expects free car servicing.



It is the maudling self-pity of the firewall whingers whose contributions are minimal if even accountable I find offensive. They should be content with white lightning and the daily sport.

In the Reign of Terror there were boxes in the street where you could drop names of citizens. Have you thought of that for this blog. I have a name or two or rather woosy initials.
M

BRIAN JOHN said...

Oh, there is a lot of whingeing on this site, not least from you, Myris! We all like a good whinge now and then, about something or other. I am happy to encourage it, so long as we all stay polite and cheerful!

Myris of Alexandria said...

Moi!!!!!

No I am incapable of whingeing I am just telling it like it is, or rather should be.

Apres moi ........

My only serious gripe is your Stalinist-like suppression of 'Agios Kostas.Oh and people who demand, but do not read, the primary literature.

M

AG said...

I Just feel its a shame that Tim Berners Lee's altruism has been so sorely abused. The chance to provide all of humanity with free access to the fruits of scientific research and knowledge has not been taked!

That is all I say!

As for white lightning and the daily sport! I've always believed that a man's religious rituals and observances are his own private business.

One has never knowingly attempted to breach the walls of Myris personal shrine to "The great and dear Margaret" Or interfered with his right to worship the power of market forces!

After all, The followers of the dear Margaret are the last bastion against the evil heretics who claim that mankinds activities have had an effect on our planets climate!

God bless the dear Margaret and her representatives on earth "Her High Priest Lawson and the geologists who work for Oil and mining companies!

TonyH said...

Never mind the dear Margaret: the rather dear MPP will cost you £18 for a listen to his pearls of wisdom, as Brian has pointed out above, in Haverfordwest on the 18th of November.

Fittingly, his talk, entitled "The origins of Stonehenge in Wales" [no rhetorical question mark, notice, no, no, it's a statement of fact] will be on offer at the MERLIN Theatre. Legendary magician, legendary speaker, 'legend in his own lunchtime' as future historians will surely confirm on this particular topic.