THE BOOK
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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Friday, 19 January 2018

More about Durrington Walls and animal teeth


Affinities of sampled animal remains at Durrington Walls with UK environmental / geological contexts -- source:  Current Archaeology

There's an interesting article in Current Archaeology 334, published in connection with the exhibition in the Stonehenge Visitor Centre called "Feast!  Food at Stonehenge."    It's by Hilts et al, and summarises much info already published about the feasting that went in at Durrington Walls, possibly at the time when a lot of work was going on at nearby Stonehenge, around 4,500 yrs BP.

Neolithic food miles: Feeding the builders of Stonehenge
Hilts, C., Greaney, S., Madgwick, R. and Parker Pearson, M. 2017. Neolithic Food Miles: Feeding the 'builders of Stonehenge'. Current Archaeology 334: 26-31.

The article concentrates on the animal remains, and the latest findings (from Richard Madgwick of Cardiff University) bring up to date the earlier info discussed on this blog about strontium isotopes in the teeth of cattle and pigs.   They can be matched to specific geological locations -- or more accurately, to specific rock types and environments.   Sure enough, as suggested earlier, some of the animals slaughtered and eaten in these jolly BBQs  were from far away, but the great majority (percentages are meaningless in this sort of context) were from "middle England" -- 65 of the animals probably having been raised within 50 miles of Durrington Walls.  Of those that were clearly not local, 14 pigs and 4 cattle appear to have come from the south of Cornwall, at least 180 miles away. Only 14 pigs and 4 cattle appear to have come from more distant parts, "at potential locations as far-flung as west Wales, upland northern England, and perhaps even north-east Scotland."  It is of course interesting that cattle and pigs were being driven to Durrington over distances of 200 miles or more -- but there is no justification whatsoever in the evidence presented for suggesting "west Wales" as a place where some of these cattle and pigs were raised.  (The only reason for that mention is, of course, that MPP and his colleagues are desperate to establish a connection, for reasons that are obvious........)  It's much more likely that the little group of animals that appear to have connections with the pink areas on the map came from SE Wales and the Welsh borders.

So there is nothing in this article to show that there was any sort of  "special relationship" between Salisbury Plain and Pembrokeshire -- and this of course is the conclusion we have to reach when we look at many other cultural indicators as well.  Please forget all that stuff about "political unification".......




9 comments:

Jon Morris said...

Nice to see Sue's career coming along on this one.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Who is Sue?

Jon Morris said...

Susan Greaney. Works for English Heritage. Nice to talk to. Cautious.

BRIAN JOHN said...

We need more like her.......... the story of Stonehenge has had far too much fantasy and far too little fact in recent years......

Myris of Alexandria said...

Brian I totally concur with your last comment; there are people still banging on with their cold, tired theories to sell their books, it is all rather sickening. Thank the Gods there are altruistic seekers of truth too. Modesty of course....

See also "Feeding Stonehenge ......" on line (For free, so nip down the cash and carry for an extra bottle)at r.ixer academia.edu.

The original multi-authored paper.

Carly Hilts is the newish editor of CA and a lovely job too (the editorship, I mean, although Ms Hilts be fair also).Other archy mags are available and edited by equally bonny persons (that must cover me for all political correctness).

Naturally all academic journals have special people as editors other than those deformed creatures that reject papers. Been on both sides, neither is pleasant.

M

Jon Morris said...

At first glance, it's difficult to tell who the authors are. Some of the authors may not have actually written anything but are cited to satisfy the hierarchical rules. Might be just Richard Madgwick who really wrote it?

Sue's one of the archaeos who follow my Twitter account but I don't really know what she's up to these days as I no longer use twitter to keep track of developments in archaeology (and the archaeos who are really interested in the geo-hyp seem to prefer to link up using another platform).

BRIAN JOHN said...

Usually one of the authors will do the writing, another will be a famous professor whose name you need if you want anybody to read the article, and some others will be in there too since they have done the lab work and technical analyses. The trouble with these multi-authored things is that you may have virtually no input into the actual content of the paper (if the lead author is inclined to ignore you anyway) -- and that you then have to share corporate responsibility for whatever nonsense is in the article. That appalling Antiquity article on Rhosyfelin is a case in point -- all sorts of perfectly sensible authors are now having to share responsibility for MPP's extraordinary obsessions and fantasies. (That, of course, suits MPP rather well.......)

Myris of Alexandria said...

Touche
M

Myris of Alexandria said...

"a hit, a very palpable hit"
M