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Monday, 14 November 2022

Are you sitting comfortably? Waun Mawn -- a fairy tale for kids (revised)

NB This post has been substantially rewritten to take account of Kiddle's speedy response when text inaccuracies were pointed out to them.

One of the consequences of all this fantasising by MPP and his team is that teachers pick up on their narrative nonsense and then feed it to children as if it is the truth.  To put it mildly, it's cynical and it's irresponsible -- and it's exactly what some of us have been warning about for years.

Anyway, I came across this article, which was originally very dodgy indeed,  based on the New Scientist article of Feb 20th 2021, which was in turn based on the press release issued by UCL with the assistance of the BBC and "Antiquity" journal around the time that the infamous "Lost Circle" TV programme was first broadcast.

I complained to Kiddle about the bias and inaccuracies in the original article, and to their eternal credit, the moderators of the site took my comments on board, checked out the relevant articles and made substantial changes.  So many thanks to them for that speedy action.

I don't know how long the original article had been out there in the public domain -- but it might already have done quite a lot of damage.  What steps are MPP and his colleagues, and these assorted august bodies, taking in order to ensure that the nation's children are not fed this sort of junk food for a moment longer?  

I hope that many concerned individuals who keep up with the literature will complain to Kiddle and other sites as necessary, and ask them to take posts down when they display unacceptable bias-- but it would be nice to see the initiative coming from those who led them all off on this wild goose chase in the first place.   Hmmm -- fat chance of that happening, I fancy......

In this case, Kiddle just needed to be informed that:

1.  There never was a "lost circle" of bluestones at Waun Mawn

2.  The four stones at Waun Mawn have nothing to do with any bluestone quarries

3.  There are no geological or archaeological links between Waun Mawn and Stonehenge.


PS.  The Rhosyfelin entry is here:

"Stonehenge facts for kids" is here:


Tom Flowers said...

Depraved archaeology.
Brian, you and I know that archaeologists lie through their teeth regarding Stonehenge. But this latest ploy takes the biscuit.
On wondering what to buy my four-year-old granddaughter for Xmas and consulting a friend, I was recommended to buy her an educational toy called a Vtech. Like a simple computer, this toy teaches youngsters maths, spelling, etc., so I ordered one.
Imagine my surprise, and disappointment, when learning from your blog that a website called “Kiddle” adopts the same attractive, child-engaging style as Vtech.
Catch them while they’re young.
It’s all very well teaching youngsters about Father Christmas coming down chimneys, knowing they will eventually be told the truth, but indoctrinating them with no intention of revealing the truth is tantamount to brainwashing.
How could anyone stoop so low?
Tom Flowers

BRIAN JOHN said...

Actually -- if you look at my PS, you'll see that Kiddle has immediately changed the text following my protest, so that it is now pretty balanced. I doubt that there is any conspiracy here -- I will give Kiddle credit for wanting to be as accurate as possible across a vast slate of subjects. They seem to be a sort of Wikipedia for kids. Their researchers probably just go with the flow, picking up on press releases and write-ups in popular journals. So in this case they seem to have based their little article on the New Scientist -- on the basis that that journal is seen as probably responsible and respectable.

The blame lies entirely with MPP and his team. They are the ones who screw up science and produce nonsense narratives, and then push them using every media device they can get hold of. As long as archaeology allows them to get away with it, things like this will continue to happen, and the subject will become a laughing stock.

There was an interesting comment from a young archaeologist on social media a couple of weeks ago -- saying that the younger generations knows there is a problem, and that they are just waiting for the older generation to die out. But if the youngsters are that passive and that tolerant, that doesn't exactly inspire confidence that any change will happen any time soon.....

Tony Hinchliffe said...

I notice that the Kiddle article on Waun Mawn, which they date as today, November 16th, has a final paragraph that does not read satisfactorily, i.e. grammatical and spelling inaccuracies.

BRIAN JOHN said...

Quite right Tony. The article as it now stands is somewhat garbled -- as one might expect of an article that was packed with inaccuracies and which has required considerable doctoring. They should have scrubbed the old version and started from scratch again. But hey -- they have at least responded to my complaint and have made a genuine effort. I suspect that those who now read it will come away confused rather than enlightened......... but they will at least now be aware that there is a dispute going on!!