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Friday, 29 June 2018

Geologists in fantasy land


Thanks to Alex for bringing this to my attention.  Norman Hammond is the reporter responsible for this complete nonsense — but who fed this stuff to him?  Why, none other than our old friends Rob Ixer and Richard Bevins........

It presumably came from a press release associated with the recent paper on HH Thomas and on another recent paper in “Antiquity” which I shall shortly take a look at.  But there was no new evidence in either paper relating to the Altar Stone or to bluestone provenances, so this article is based on no evidence whatsoever.  This is nothing short of wild fantasising, and I cannot for the life of me understand why two respectable geologists have allowed themselves to be dragged into, and cited in, this sort of gutter journalism.

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PS.  Mind you, I'm a fine one to talk -- some of the press coverage when my new book was published was quite incredible!  The Daily Mail article was a thing to behold.   Then the coverage in all those newspapers in the Australian outback was especially wonderful.  But I did at least send out to the press a carefully written press release which they then did terrible things to.  In the case of this Times article, I think Norman Hammond is probably reflecting quite closely what he was told.....

18 comments:

TonyH said...

Could it be that Rob Ixer has inadvertently taken a magic mushroom or two, perhaps after watching an afternoon repeat of a Ray Mears hunting and gathering programme?

Keep cool, keep clean, if you know what I mean, Myris.

TonyH said...

Norman Hammond the reporter for this? Wouldn't Richard Hammond of Top Gear have been more appropriate to talk about motorway and "A" Road routes?

Garry Denke said...

British archaeologists in fantasy land.
British geologists in fantasy land.
British pagans in fantasy land.

G-D

Alex Gee said...

Fancy! Stonehenge as the equivalent of Heston Services? Auroch Burger anyone? Were the road builders working for McAlpine's or Wimpeys?

TonyH said...

Brian, have you read the so - called review of your book in the "Landscape & Monumentality" wordpress site?

The site itself may be worth perusing, however. This includes a 'blogroll".

BRIAN JOHN said...

Never sent them a review copy, Tony. Will take a look.....

TonyH said...

I wonder if the Landscape and Monumentality site may be something Tim Darvill has created? Whoever it is, they seem to be being rather coy about admitting authorship. Yet T.D. is well known for having an accessible list of all his publications on - line.

There are features on e.g. Rhosyfelin and other parts of the Preseli Hills within the above site.

Tim Darvill has a feature within another website: "digital digging", sub - section "grave goods".

BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes, it is a strange site — no acknowledgement of authorship or ownership anywhere. An anonymous blog — probably not worth taking seriously. Derivative and repetitive. The “review” by the way is taken more or less word for word from that strange review published in America, on a web site that has always taken the archaeological fantasies very seriously and given them great publicity......

BRIAN JOHN said...

It’s clear that Norman Hammond’s report, and those in the Daily Mail and Sun, are taken straight from a press release issued by the authors of the Antiquity article — probably issued by the UCL and National Museum of Wales press offices? As we have asked before, who needs evidence when you can sell a good story instead? And this is about as nonsensical as it gets.

TonyH said...

Norman Hammond has a Wikipedia entry. He's based in the USA. It says he's an expert in Mayan and other Central American civilisations. Maybe he's a believer in Grand Designs, wherever he looks.....

chris johnson said...

Story was in the Mail too - nuff said.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Mike Pitts, in thei latest edition of “Salon”, says this: “Hammond tells Salon that his story was unhelpfully edited, and as printed there was little explanation for the headline. His original piece was based on as yet unpublished research into the Altar Stone at Stonehenge, whose origin has long been contentious. Bevins and Ixer think it may have come from outcrops in the Black Mountains or the Brecon Beacons. Meanwhile, the two geologists have a paper in the June Antiquity on the theme, reviewing the work of the man who famously started the modern quest for bluestone origins, H H (Herbert) Thomas.” So the stone road idea came from the copy editor, or from the lad who makes the tea in the office — or somebody else equally anonymous. I like it!

Alex Gee said...

I thought the stone road idea came from MPP; According to your blog entries? MPP thinks the stones were moved along the approximate route of the modern day A40,across the Severn, thence via the approximate route of the Modern day M4, A36? a hypothesis ( as you've pointed out so many times)for which there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever!

The prospect of Bevins and Ixer comparing the evidence of Thomas's hypothesis to their own is just so screamingly funny! The residents on the top floor of a house of cards trying to dismantle its foundations! Ha Ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha;"ad infinitum". Congratulations Brian! I think you've finally caused the brains of the proponents of the Human transport theory to reach critical mass.

Got to go just dashing to my nuclear shelter!;need to find the first aid kit to stitch my sides up!

Cheers
Alex


TonyH said...

MPP has one of his famous "light bulb" moments on pages 289 - 290 of his 2012 Stonehenge - Exploring..." book. Helped by Colin Richards in the thought processing, he says:-

Initially, MPP was thinking that the embarkation point for the bluestones was Newport, Preseli, along the sea coast etc, but Colin was "thinking otherwise"

"What has persuaded me to Colin's point of view is the distribution of Neolithic polished-stone axes in South Wales. Somewhere not yet located within W Wales, probably not far from St David's Head, lies a source of rhyolite that was used to make stone axes in the 4th millenium B.C.......These axes are of a different type of rhyolite to the4 types of rhyolite identified at Stonehenge......The St David's source is known as Group VIII and its products are distributed all over south Wales......the Group VIII axes are mostly found at inland locations east of Preseli. IN OTHER WORDS, UNLIKE THE THE CORNISH IMPORTS THESE OBJECTS WERE NOT BEING MOVED BY SEA BUT WERE TRADED OVERLAND. LONG BEFORE THE BLUESTONES WERE DRAGGED OFF THE HILLS THERE HAD BEEN AN ESTABLISHED NETWORK OF ROUTEWAYS LEADING EASTWARDS FROM PRESELI." [My italics]

He then says "Recent archaeological investigations in advance of new pipelines have found evidence of many Neolithic sites in south Wales' valleys." There follows a detailed description of where MPP et al think the bluestone route was, overland eatwards etc. He also mentions the sandstone monliths and getting provenances for them as this "may just help to confirm or negate this theory". [pages 289 - 291]. Hmmm...

Garry Denke said...

The Stonehenge Altar Stone is from the Western Pontides of Turkey
http://www.geologicacarpathica.com/browse-journal/volumes/61-3/article-521/
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250166975_Devonian_in_Turkey_-_A_review

Altar Stone is a Late Devonian micaceous sandstone
from the Western Pontides of Turkey transported by
Cheddar Man, petrology and petrography identical.
(samples from Stonehole 96, its original location)

Prime Minister of Turkey, Binali Yıldırım, wants Turkey's Rock back;
Should the National Trust / English Heritage return the Altar Stone?

https://archive.4plebs.org/pol/thread/177688850/
http://boards.4chan.org/pol/thread/177688850
https://desuarchive.org/his/thread/4955148/
http://boards.4chan.org/his/thread/4955148

Garry Denke, Geologist

TonyH said...

You ARE our leg(s), aren't you, Garry Denke Geologist??

Certainly a very idiosyncratic comment.

Garry Denke said...

Sakarya Province, Turkey to Wiltshire County, UK
1 (Altar Stone) x 3,400 km (2,100 mi) = 3,400 km (2,100 mi)
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Sakarya,+Turkey/Wiltshire,+United+Kingdom

Pembrokeshire County to Wiltshire County, UK
80 (Bluestones) x 225 km (140 mi) = 18,000 km (11,200 mi)
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Pembrokeshire,+United+Kingdom/Wiltshire,+United+Kingdom

Cheddar Man transported the Altar Stone to stonehole 96
(97 the Heelstone hole), 5 times easier than Bluestones.

Absolutely, T-H, absolutely. G-D

TonyH said...

My last comment SHOULD have said "ARE pulling our leg(s),,,,"


By the way, Garry, my son has a Mathematics degree, so I'll ask him to study your figures.