You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Education and entertainment’ category.

Jane is an artist, whose earlier works included many watercolours of ancient sites. She is a founder member of Heritage Action, and the partner of Moth, one of our previous respondents. They met at the inaugural meeting of Heritage Action at Uffington White Horse in 2004. Jane has provided the following responses to our standard questions:

* What is/was your day job?

Primarily, I am an artist. My paintings are inspired by the natural world, but history often creeps in. I love to hand-paint maps. You can see my paintings at janetomlinson.com. I also work part time as a marketer for a specialist IT training company.

* How did your interest in Megalithic monuments begin?

As a tiny girl in the 1960s, on our way back from a holiday in Cornwall, we stopped at Stonehenge. At that time, you could walk right up to the stones – and we did. I remember the overwhelming scale of the massive stones, and Dad telling me how long ago they were built. I think Dad’s own sense of wonder infected! 

* Is your interest grounded in something Spiritual, Academic or something else?

My interest lies in the fact that our neolithic ancestors built such big and complex stuff, and so long ago with little more than their bare hands, basic tools, and sheer ingenuity. That so much of it still stands fills me with the same wonder as I felt as a tiny girl at Stonehenge more than 50 years ago.

I love how the monuments – broken remnants of our history – are in remote and wild places. I love their sculptural forms in the landscape. I love to wonder at the skills of the engineers who conceived and built such massive structures.

I don’t feel anything spiritual at ancient monuments, or indeed, anywhere else. I don’t really know what ‘spiritual’ means. Ancient monuments make me feel a profound sense of wonder. They make me realise that although the neolithic people didn’t have writing or the internal combustion engine, our ancestors were exactly the same as us – creative, organised, resourceful, thoughtful.

* What is your favourite time period or era? 

Neolithic and Bronze Age is the period I find most fascinating. What just a few generations did then – settling down, farming, building permanent shelters, domesticating animals and plants, organising themselves into successful and functioning societies, meant people had the time and resources to do more than just survive. They could think, create, specialise and experiment with new technologies, materials and ideas. Clay! Metal! Art!

* Which book has had the most influence on your interest? 

There are two. Julian Cope’s ‘The Modern Antiquarian‘ and ‘The Megalithic European‘. These have guided our travels for more than two decades. It’s thanks to Cope’s Modern Antiquarian website, that I met my husband. 

* Do you have a favourite field guide reference or gazetteer that you always take with you on-site visits?

Even though they are singularly unsuitable as field guides, Julian Cope’s ‘The Modern Antiquarian’ and ‘The Megalithic European’ are essentials. More practically, Aubrey Burl’s ‘The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland, and Brittany‘ has enabled us to find some really lesser known gems, especially in hidden corners of France.

* What is the best site you’ve visited so far (however you want to define ‘best’), and why?

The most surprising day, which could so easily have ended in failure, was seeking out and eventually finding the Damiya Dolmen Field in the Jordan Valley. Armed with little more than an idea, a couple of very vague maps, and a general sense of where they might be, we hired a taxi for a day trip out from Amman. We didn’t really expect to find anything. The taxi driver spoke hardly any English and we don’t speak Arabic. He thought we were quite mad. But determination and a sense of where the ancient people might have chosen to build their tombs, and despite the screaming summer heat, unsuitable footwear, and steep rocky hillsides we actually found loads of fabulous dolmens. Built in the very Early Bronze Age, these were already 3,500 years old when Jesus was a nipper. The whole place was mind-blowing, not least its proximity to the heavily barb-wired Jordan/Israel border. I wrote a blog about it here: https://janetomlinson.com/jordan-valley-dolmens/
 
Which so-far unvisited site is top of your ‘must-see list, and why?

Göbeklitepe and Catalhöyuk in Anatolia. It would be a rare glimpse into early modern history and social organisation just at the time humanity was becoming settled. What those people did then laid the foundations for everything that came after.

* Which archaeological words or phrases caused you the most confusion when you first started? What is your understanding of those phrases now?

The phrase “ritual use” really gets my goat! On what basis is something ‘ritual’? And how would we ever know? So much supposition goes on and so often “ritual use” is lazy shorthand for ‘errr…. we just don’t know’. It’s OK not to know. But for goodness sake, be clear that ‘we’re not sure what this was for, but it might have been for … ‘

* What is your favourite theory about site origin/usage?

Rupert Soskin’s and Michael Bott’s revelation about Stanton Drew being a kind of amphitheatre for hunting games really struck a chord with me. It makes sense to me.

* What is your pet peeve with regard to Megalithic sites?

Litter – and that includes tea lights and other plastic ‘offerings’ of utter tat. Take your rubbish home with you and dispose of it properly!


Many thanks to Jane for sharing her megalithic origins with us. Look out for further instalments of ‘Meet the Antiquarists’ in the weeks to come! Don’t forget, if you’d like to feature in this series, simply contact us with your answers to the questions above. To see other articles in this series, simply enter ‘Antiquarists’ in the search box on the left (or click the handy supplied link)

Another ancient monuments enthusiast known for his photography this week: Meet James Kitto, from the west of Cornwall. James is a site monitor for CASPN in West Penwith.

Here are his responses to our questions:

What is/was your day job? 

I have been a Primary School Teacher, here in Cornwall, for 27 years.

How did your interest in Megalithic monuments begin? 

It all began when I was 10 years old – a pupil at Wendron Primary School – and we studied a topic on Ancient Cornwall, which included a field trip to some of the ancient sites in West Penwith … from that moment, I was hooked! I was lucky to have a family that encouraged my interest – my grandparents lived on a farm in Sancreed and took my brother & I to visit several of the ancient sites in the vicinity. We were often joined by my Great Uncle Bernard – another local farmer – he rode with the Western Hunt so knew West Penwith like the back of his hand! My Great Granny was a ‘Zennor maid’ (a Berryman from Porthmeor before she was married) and she told me all about the local antiquarian Colonel Hirst, who had excavated the Courtyard House village & fogou on her parents’ land. 

Is your interest grounded in something Spiritual, Academic or something else? 

I feel a spiritual link to the ancient sites, here in Cornwall – but I’m also interested to explore the academic aspects as well – as my bookcase will tell you! 

What is your favourite time period or era? 

The Neolithic & Bronze Age periods. We are blessed with so many Neolithic & Bronze Age sites here in West Cornwall – such as: quoits, entrance graves, barrows, menhirs, stone circles & holed stones. They were the sites that first captured my heart! 

Which book has had the most influence on your interest? 

John Michell’s ‘The Old Stones of Land’s End‘ – I remember that we were lucky enough to have a copy in the school library when I was at secondary school – while my friends were looking at books on football and war, I was finding out about ancient Cornwall! 

Do you have a favourite field guide reference or gazetteer that you always take with you on site visits? 

Belerion‘ & ‘Cornovia‘ by the late Craig Weatherhill are usually to be found in my car boot, along with Cheryl Straffon’s ”Ancient Sites in West Penwith‘. 

What is the best site you’ve visited so far (however you want to define ‘best’), and why? 

What a question!! I guess the site that is most special to me is Lanyon Quoit. Another set of great-great-grandparents lived at Lanyon Farm, so the quoit has always been special to our family, through each successive generatiion. My late brother, Julian even proposed to his future wife there! Now, I am the CASPN (Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network) site monitor for Lanyon Quoit, visiting it regularly and ensuring that all is well.

Which so-far unvisited site is top of your ‘must-see list, and why? 

I have yet to visit the Stannon & Fernacre stone circles on Bodmin Moor – they are on my ‘must-see’ list though, as they are so much bigger than the smaller stone circles that I am more familiar with, here in West Cornwall – and, as a keen photographer, I am looking forward to capturing some of their magical beauty with my camera. 

Which archaeological words or phrases caused you most confusion when you first started? What is your understanding of those phrases now? 

‘Fogou’ … I pronounced it with a hard ‘o’, instead of ‘foo-goo’.  I know how to pronounce it correctly now! The word fogou is derived from the Cornish word for cave.  

What is your favourite theory about site origin/usage? 

I have always been intrigued by the purpose of fogous – I think Ian McNeil-Cooke’s book ‘Mother & Sun‘ gives a pretty convincing argument for them being constructed for ritual purposes. However, over the centuries, they may well have had multiple functions. 

What is your pet peeve with regard to Megalithic sites? 

My pet peeve is people leaving non-biodegradable & inappropriate clouties at holy wells! Grrrrrrr! 


Many thanks to James for sharing his megalithic origins with us. Look out for further instalments of ‘Meet the Antiquarists’ in the weeks to come! Don’t forget, if you’d like to feature in this series, simply contact us with your answers to the questions above. To see other articles in this series, simply enter ‘Antiquarists’ in the search box on the left (or click the handy supplied link)

‘Moth’ is this week’s Antiquarist, and is one of the founding members of Heritage Action. He is an accomplished photographer, better known these days for his nature and concert photography, but his earlier work capturing ancient sites is well worth searching out (see Flickr).

Our questions, and his responses can be seen below:

* What is/was your day job?

Boring! I was a civil servant, now do admin for a tiny IT training company who write & sell niche courses for niche software used in big business.

* How did your interest in Megalithic monuments begin?

In the 90s, I had a girlfriend who was interested in megaliths & I’d always loved walking. I found prehistoric monuments made a great target for a walk & found them beautiful (and if the monument wasn’t beautiful, the setting usually was!) I became more & more interested, especially once Julian Cope’s ‘the Modern Antiquarian‘ book came out & the website was launched.

* Is your interest grounded in something Spiritual, Academic or something else?

Not spiritual & not really academic – though I’m interested in that side of things, at least to a degree. My interest mainly comes from finding the monuments and sites aesthetically beautiful in one way or another.

* What is your favourite time period or era?

I’m not picky. Favourites are Neolithic & Bronze age, though I do like a nice iron age, Roman, Viking or Saxon site, too.

* Which book has had the most influence on your interest?

Undoubtedly Julian Cope’s ‘the Modern Antiquarian’ (TMA) & later his ‘the Megalithic European‘ (TME) – though I don’t always agree with what he says about sites, he’s always interesting & writes beautifully!

* Do you have a favourite field guide reference or gazetteer that you always take with you on-site visits?

From early on I found the most important thing for me is the best map I can get – OS Explorer if possible. If sites look as if they might be difficult to find, I also tend to print out any description I can find online if it looks helpful – this is often from the Modern Antiquarian website. Any books for on-site visits would be dictated by what I was looking for & where. I have quite a few books as I’ve always researched any new area I’m visiting & often buy a suitable book! If my target is in them usually take the relevant of the Cope books mentioned above (though might leave it in the car if there’s a walk!) If relevant, I’d absolutely take Aubrey Burl’s little ‘A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany‘.

* What is the best site you’ve visited so far (however you want to define ‘best’), and why? Which so-far unvisited site is top of your ‘must-see list, and why?

In the UK, the Callanish complex – hands down. ‘Callanish 1’ is just so spectacular & interesting and there are so many other beautiful and/or interesting sites in such a small & unspoilt area. And they’re even more interesting if you’re aware of Margaret Curtis’s studies. To be honest, unvisited is difficult in the UK as I’ve seen most of the sites I want to see. There’s some stuff on the Lleyn Peninsula in north Wales I’d like to see & I’ve never got round to Northumbria – but nothing specific. If I can go further afield, there are loads of Portuguese monuments I want to see one day, especially dolmens. I’d particularly like to see the christianised dolmens ‘Chapel Anta de Pavia’ & ‘Chapel Anta do San Brissos’. But although I’ve seen quite a few, there are still lots of places outside the UK that I’d like to see!

* Which archaeological words or phrases caused you the most confusion when you first started? What is your understanding of those phrases now?

Can’t think of any, but as mentioned, my interest isn’t primarily academic.

* What is your favourite theory about site origin/usage?

I find Margaret Curtis’s studies of the Callanish area fascinating.

* What is your pet peeve with regard to Megalithic sites?

Not finding the site I’m looking for! It’s mainly only happened with small, obscure & probably unspectacular sites but I hate having to give up…. Vandalisation and people climbing on monuments. People sitting in, on or right next to monuments for long periods when I want to take a photo!


Many thanks to Moth for sharing his megalithic origins with us. Look out for further instalments of ‘Meet the Antiquarists’ in the weeks to come! Don’t forget, if you’d like to take part in this series, simply contact us with your answers to the questions above. To see other articles in this series, simply enter ‘Antiquarists’ in the search box on the left (or click the handy supplied link)

Our next Antiquarist is Thelma, also known for one of her previous canine companions, “Moss”. Thelma was an early supporter of both Heritage Action and the Journal, and was involved in the early discussions before their formation.

Here are her answers to our questions:

* What is/was your day job?

Retired

* How did your interest in Megalithic monuments begin?

Many, many years ago when I lived in Calne near to Avebury and did an Archaeological A level course.

* Is your interest grounded in something Spiritual, Academic or something else?

Academic to start with and then a spiritual interest and a need to understand why it became spiritual to Pagan groups.

* What is your favourite time period or era?

Iron Age, though the Neolithic/Bronze Age is also important.

* Which book has had the most influence on your interest?

Prehistoric Avebury by Aubrey Burl, though Cope’s TMA book encouraged the interest later.

* Do you have a favourite field guide reference or gazetteer that you always take with you on-site visits?

No, my interests have always been near to where I live, or holiday places.

* What is the best site you’ve visited so far (however you want to define ‘best’), and why? Which so-far unvisited site is top of your ‘must-see list, and why?

Pentre Ifan for its beauty.  I love the Pembrokeshire landscape and find the Presilis a good starting point for contemplation of prehistory.

* Which archaeological words or phrases caused you the most confusion when you first started? What is your understanding of those phrases now?

I had great difficulty, still do, with the dating methods of the three prehistoric phases and slotting them in.  I was married to an archaeologist lecturer, so books were always to hand.

* What is your favourite theory about site origin/usage?

I am constantly astonished about the similarity of Neolithic long barrows all over the world.  The use of stone and movement of stone as a primary material.   Take most theories with a degree of scepticism, till the next one comes along.

* What is your pet peeve with regard to Megalithic sites?

Lack of good discussion about subject material. Having said that I did join Standing with Stones but found the chat too long and the call on time to listen to lectures not being able to fit in my day.


Many thanks to Thelma for sharing her megalithic origins with us. Look out for further instalments of ‘Meet the Antiquarists’ in the weeks to come! Don’t forget, if you’d like to take part in this series, simply contact us with your answers to the questions above. To see other articles in this series, simply enter ‘Antiquarists’ in the search box on the left (or click the handy supplied link)

It’s no secret that here at Heritage Action, we are no fans of the vast majority of metal detectorists. Whilst there may be a legitimate place for such instruments (sorting through spoil heaps on a dig, used as legitimate geofizz tools for analysis with no digging), it’s our avowed belief that on balance their use does more harm than good, and we make no apologies for our stance on the issue. 

Indeed, this stance is hardened when we hear the same propaganda being espoused by members of metal detecting clubs, and so we proudly present: the top 5 lies detectorists like to tell:

5. “I’m only in it for the history”

Headlines make history. Large payouts for treasure finds make headlines. Of course they’re only in it for the history, just not in the way they want us to think.

4. “It’s been in my collection for ages”

Of course, if it had been dug up recently, then it should have been declared as treasure…

3. “I got it off someone who’s had it in their family for years”

See above. Of course, lack of provenance makes an object less valuable, particularly for those studying the distribution of such objects…

2. “It’s only a piece of grot”

To a detectorist, possibly, probably only because the Ebay price is so low. If it’s only grot, why do so many detectorists have buckets full of the stuff? (Ref: YouTube)

And the top lie told by many detectorists:

1. “Of course, actually we’re saving the history before it corrodes in the ground” 

No, what you’re doing is damaging the context from which an object came, thus destroying the history. It’s not all about the shiny geegaws. A lot of detecting takes place on undisturbed land and even plough soil is a context – ask the Battlefields Trust! Corrosion is actually not a major problem in many soils, and gold wouldn’t corrode in a million years.


So what porkies have you heard from/about detectorists? Tell us in the comments.

.

__________________________________________
More Heritage Journal views on artefact collecting
__________________________________________

Way back in 2012, a contentious post on the Modern Antiquarian forum was discussing the perceived reticence of academics to accept new ideas. One of the comments on that discussion has stuck with me all these years:

Archaeology (certainly pre-historic archaeology that is entirely dependent on the field evidence) is just about interpretation. Nothing is proven ever, there is only the prevailing orthodoxy… 

Taking that idea a step further, I’m sure that we’ve all seen archaeologists on TV stating “This is what happened” as opposed to “this is what WE THINK happened”. Assuming such archaeologists are speaking their own thoughts, and not those of a scriptwriter (which would make them just paid puppets), one has to wonder how much personal bias is involved. When definitive statements are made, it’s always best to consider how much the speaker’s pet theories and interests may be clouding their vision.

With that in mind, here are some potential ‘mistruths’ that have been heard in the past:

5. “This is a unique find!”

Usually stated in the initial excitement of discovery during excavation. Often rescinded once the post-excavation research uncovers similar/identical finds elsewhere.

4. “This changes our entire viewpoint of the past”

Not necessarily. It may provide illumination on a particular practice or culture, but the entire viewpoint? Please!

3. “This is a previously unknown God/Goddess”

Usually spoken when a figurine (usually dated to Roman times) is found. It couldn’t possibly just be a trinket, bought at a bazaar to remind the owner of a loved one at home? Or a child’s poppet (think Sindy/Barbie or Action Man)?

2. “Arthur was at Tintagel”

This is a difficult one. It’s not an outright lie, as it can never be proven one way or the other, but a scratched name on a piece of slate can’t be considered evidence of such a royal presence.

1. “It’s Ritual!”

Now, this one isn’t a lie. To the layman, ritual signifies religion, occult, finery or other mysterious practices. To an archaeologist, having breakfast and washing the afterwards dishes is ritual. Brushing your hair before going to bed is ritual, wearing the same colour underwear on match days is ritual.

(With thanks to Calvin and Hobbes)

What porkies have you heard from archaeologists? Let us know in the comments!

Introducing Chris Brooks, otherwise known as ‘Scubi’. Chris has been a stalwart supporter of Heritage Action and the Journal since its earliest days. He famously documented his travels to the far north in our 2011 series “Scubi’s Scottish Adventure”.  

Here are his answers to our questions:

* What is/was your day job?

I am an Electrical Engineer in the Railway Industry

* How did your interest in Megalithic monuments begin?

I studied Archaeology at college as a fill in subject and was introduced to our prehistoric monuments through that.

* Is your interest grounded in something Spiritual, Academic or something else?

I do feel an air of excitement around our structures but I do not let that get in the way of facts so under it all I suppose I am an academic in the first instance.

* What is your favourite time period or era?

I am definitely interested in Neolithic more than any other time period but do enjoy learning about the late Mesolithic leading in to it and the early middle Bronze age that followed it.

* Which book has had the most influence on your interest?

When studying Archaeology at college I had a book on almost permanent loan from the library which was called something like ‘The A-Z of Prehistoric Sites in Britain’ and which had about 20 sites around Wiltshire in it.  I used the book and my push bike to cycle around the county trying to find the sites listed as well as others outside.  I gave the book back at the end of my studies meaning to buy it later but have never been able to locate a copy.

* Do you have a favourite field guide reference or gazetteer that you always take with you on-site visits?

I still use The Modern Antiquarian website if I am looking for prehistoric places near where I am travelling to for work. 

* What is the best site you’ve visited so far (however you want to define ‘best’), and why? Which so-far unvisited site is top of your ‘must-see list, and why?

The best sites that always stay in my mind are on the Orkneys and in particular Taversoe Tuick, a double decker Chambered Cairn on the island of Rousay. I am still to visit Carnac in Brittany which is still on the top of my list because it looks so strange in photos and I need to be there to see it first hand and get my head around it.  

* Which archaeological words or phrases caused you the most confusion when you first started? What is your understanding of those phrases now?

Ritual associated with sites!  I understand ritual being a repetitive event but I cannot understand why it is always associated with sites in a ‘religious’ context and especially where there is no real evidence. it always strikes me as a convenient answer and infers all our ancestors built the megaliths with some sort of ritualist context.  I do not think this is the case. 

* What is your favourite theory about site origin/usage?

I continue to ponder the theories of Silbury Hill, being such a large structure with no real evidence of its intended use.  My thoughts are still that it was taller than it is now when first put to use, that it marked the gathering point of various activities and most likely had a beacon on top such as a very large fire that could be seen by its flames at night and by its smoke in the day.  the flattening of the top in the Roman period as resulted in the removal of evidence of this.  It’s a theory as good as any I suppose.

* What is your pet peeve with regard to Megalithic sites?

I have two pet peeves;

1. the deliberate destruction or damage of ancient monuments including that by landowners through neglect or by vandals.

2. Claims by certain fraternities of their knowledge of the use of these sites and powers contained within, with no evidence whatsoever… oh…and the votive rubbish they constantly leave behind.


Many thanks to Chris for sharing his megalithic origins with us. Look out for further instalments of ‘Meet the Antiquarists’ in the weeks to come! Don’t forget, if you’d like to take part in this series, simply contact us with your answers to the questions above. To see other articles in this series, simply enter ‘Antiquarists’ in the search box on the left (or click the handy supplied link)

The first subject in our ‘Meet the Antiquarists’ series is Heritage Action chairman, Nigel Swift. So without any delay, let’s get directly into his responses to our questions…

* What is/was your day job?

(Was) Chartered Surveyor and lecturer.

* How did your interest in Megalithic monuments begin?

Pootling along westwards out of Marlborough in 2001, suddenly seeing Silbury loom up and exclaiming “What the #### is that?!”

* Is your interest grounded in something Spiritual, Academic or something else?

It came from wonder.

* What is your favourite time period or era?

The older the better. 

* Which book has had the most influence on your interest?

I suppose, since The Journal has its origins in people chatting on The Modern Antiquarian forum, I should say Julian Cope’s book of that name.

* Do you have a favourite field guide reference or gazetteer that you always take with you on-site visits?

A couple of Burls, Stukeley Illustrated and a map of Ancient Britain.

* What is the best site you’ve visited so far (however you want to define ‘best’), and why? Which so-far unvisited site is top of your ‘must-see list, and why?

Best unvisited site: Callanish. Best visited one has to be Silbury as I’ve yet to get over the shock of first seeing it in 2001, bearing in mind I knew nothing about ancient sites at that time. As a small child I’d seen a picture of the Avebury stones in “1001 Wonderful Things” but Spinal Tap-like, I thought they were only a foot high!

What is it about Silbury that attracts and obsesses? Two things, the sheer size and the sheer mystery. It inspired me to pen a poem which expresses it and, come to think of it, probably explains my conservation enthusiasm. The sites aren’t ours to mess with.

Silbury Hill

Ask in vain!
For we, the dead,
Speak not a word to you.
This thing was ours, not yours.

Gaze, in awe.
On what we wrought,
There is no clue.
This thing was ours, not yours.

We, whose fingers bled,
Whose passions burned,
Care not for you.
This thing was ours, not yours.

* Which archaeological words or phrases caused you the most confusion when you first started? What is your understanding of those phrases now?

Just about everything, as I knew nowt and I’m still struggling with Marxist archaeology and the bipolarism that exists between the processual and post-processual debates!

* What is your favourite theory about site origin/usage?

I have lots of theories, but not many I’d bet my house on as so many theories in archaeology end up wrong. But one of my ideas is that sarsen can be highly polished but the shine weathers away entirely in two decades (I’ve checked), leaving no evidence at all. Plus, there was an Age of Timber, or many, prior to stone circles and rows but again the evidence has largely disappeared. And a third one, a fantasy rather than a theory, that one day, deep in a cave, there will be discovered (preferably by me) a neolithic wheel.

* What is your pet peeve with regard to Megalithic sites?

I like to think the sites are shared, so leaving anything at them, even for a day, seems an unwarranted extension of our time there and just mean to those who come after us.

As for long-term changes, I’m not a fan of mantras such as “sites must change over time, nothing can be preserved in aspic”. I only agree with those if the changes are inevitable and aren’t imposed for ignoble and transitory human reasons such as to make someone richer or to provide cut-price road solutions, and certainly not if presented as an enhancement to the visitor experience, if you get my drift. I also think hiding from view is tantamount to demolishing.

The thing is, if a site has lasted for a hundred generations it’s right that we try to make it last another hundred generations, without changing it radically during our petty and blinkered spans. To do otherwise also seems just mean to those who come after us.


Many thanks to Nigel for sharing his megalithic origins with us. Look out for further instalments of ‘Meet the Antiquarists’ in the weeks to come! Don’t forget, if you’d like to take part in this series, simply contact us with your answers to the questions above.

Over the past nine years or more on the Heritage Journal we have profiled many archaeologists, asking them questions in a series we called ‘Inside the Mind‘. This series proved to be very popular, and the entry highlighting Raksha Dave has become our most popular post ever! Indeed, it still receives dozens of views every month, despite being first published nearly nine years ago!

Now it is the turn of the committed archaeological ‘hobbyist’. We’ve been asking a new series of questions to people who have demonstrated a passion for prehistory and related sites, but who are not professional archaeologists, meet ‘The Antiquarists’.

As regular readers will know, Heritage Action was created after discussions on the Modern Antiquarian web site, and we began by asking several of our early members a new series of questions about their megalithic interests. We’ll be presenting their replies, and those of other amateur hobbyists over the next few weeks – some make interesting reading! We’ll be kicking off with Nigel Swift, Heritage Action chairman, in a few days time so keep an eye on the Journal!

The questions we’ll be asking are as follows, so if you’d like to join in, please contact us with your answers, and we’ll feature them in a future article:

  • What is/was your day job?
  • How did your interest in Megalithic monuments begin?
  • Is your interest grounded in something Spiritual, Academic or something else?
  • What is your favourite time period or era?
  • Which book has had the most influence on your interest?
  • Do you have a favourite field guide reference or gazetteer that you always take with you on site visits?
  • What is the best site you’ve visited so far (however you want to define ‘best’), and why? Which so-far unvisited site is top of your ‘must-see list, and why?
  • Which archaeological words or phrases caused you most confusion when you first started? What is your understanding of those phrases now?
  • What is your favourite theory about site origin/usage?
  • What is your pet peeve with regard to Megalithic sites?

We look forward to presenting the responses we’ve received so far, and also to receiving your responses to these questions!

Ok, it’s an old joke, but at least it makes a change from the usual Stonehenge/Avebury/NT tropes at this time of year…

Archives

September 2021
S M T W T F S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Follow Us

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Facebook

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10,376 other followers

Twitter Feed

%d bloggers like this: