You are currently browsing the daily archive for 31/07/2009.

By Gordon Kingston, Heritage Action

 Road works on the A4, in Northern Ireland, seem to have uncovered yet another ‘Stonehenge’. The circular, timber structure, found in Armaghlughey, near Ballygawley, has been roughly dated to the years around 3000 bce and has contents that are said “to bear a strong resemblance to Stonehenge and the Giant’s Ring near Belfast.” Excavation was by the Headland Group, whose report is due to be submitted next spring (2010) and work apparently “proceeded without damaging historical sites and artefacts”. That would be wonderful, if it’s the case.

Just one pedantic quibble, however and that with the frequent use of ‘Stonehenge‘, as a name for any newly discovered prehistoric circle. There is a point, like the ‘new Bob Dylan’, or the amount of scandals that get the word ‘gate‘ tacked on their end, or persistent media hyping of each global scare up to the swine flu, at which it will become counter-productive, both for consideration of the original and for each ‘new’ monument. The ‘oh yeah, whatever’ point. While famous comparisons are undoubtedly useful for protecting, or publicising a discovery, each site is ultimately distinctive, if not unique. Even a different comparison would be welcome, for some occasional variation.

Perhaps our sensation-drunk age is merely getting, not the Stonehenge it deserves, but the amount of diluted Stonehenges it deserves.



July 2009

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