Summary: This blogger’s hunch, indeed, growing conviction that Stonehenge, Avebury and other Neolithic sites were purpose-built for what is euphemistically called "sky burial" of the dead (er, by scavenger birds) has been met with a wall of silence (or nearly so).
|My own speech bubble reads: "Standing stones were bird perches - for 'sky burial' of the dead."|
|Nope, Maybe it was not I who did the painting into the corner. Sky burial is strictly taboo, at least in the UK...|
|Sites with standing stones for special attention as purpose-built for taboo "sky burial" with notional bird perches in all instances.|
I just tried to post the following as the primer comment to my own site (with an apologetic note re the remalfunctioning new widget -affecting other bloggers' sites too I see), only to be told on hitting Send that I had exceeeded a 4,096 character limit! Why was that not flagged up at the start?
Here it is again, unedited, here in the main posting, despite being over-long already:
I shall prime my own Commnents (and attempt to kick-start that imported "Latest Comments" widget back into action) by restating the gist of the current posting, in particualr the disappointing response thus far to my ideas re the 'universality' of sky burial in the Neolithic era. I shan't pull my punches:
No instant putdowns from any of the following to my proposal that Stonehenge and Avebury were excarnation sites (and Silbury Hill too, as an adjunct for ritual interment of the heart and/or other soft, non-bony tissue).
Ancient-Origins. No putdowns.
Neolithic Portal. No putdowns, though some minor flak and quibbles.
(Stonehenge and Ice Age - scarcely consulted, accepting its interests are peripheral to the purpose of Stonehenge)
Leading archaeology academics: ProfD, ProfG, ProfL, ProfP, (by email with summary and/or links to my postings). No putdowns. One expression of interest only.
No interest (indeed, no acknowledgement) from 2 major media outlets, both of whom invite suggestions online for “new stories”). Procrastination and stone-walling from 1 especially proactive story-seeking news agency over lack of “evidence”.
“What evidence do you have of your theory? It's not to say that I don't believe it could be true, but for the national papers to be able to write about it, there has to be some official backing/evidence etc.”Reply: what is “official backing and evidence”. Since when has the world of ideas required that final seal of approval before being allowed to engage with the public domain, and who precisely has the final say?
Are we saying there’s no place for the amateur, gifted or otherwise? What about retired science professionals, not just with an extensive bibliography of their own peer-reviewed work, but years and years of unpaid hours spent refereeing the papers that others submit to peer-review? Are they deemed to be amateurs as well? Is this how our liberal arts-dominated media treats the scientific community – with ill-concealed indifference bordering on contempt, failing to comprehend the constant exercise by science and other professionals of patient enquiry, self-restraint and indeed occasional self-censorship?
Yet the media routinely give archaeology academics, operating at the interface of the liberal arts and science, free rein to articulate airy-fairy ideas that are invariably site-specific, based on fragmentary evidence, with no wider applicability. Contrast that with my unifying idea, dare one say paradigm, that the diverse architecture at numerous different sites from Seahenge in Norfolk through Avebury and Stonehenge to sites as far away as the Orkneys, Brittany, Turkey and the Golan Heights was designed specifically, i.e. purpose-built for excarnation, specifically to attract and retain scavenging birds, that preliminary excarnation was the accepted norm over much of the Neoithic/Bronze Age world. But that simplifying overview now needs I am told to win “official” backing or evidence, whatever that is. Yeah, right... Is there a form that one can fill out and send to a particular address? Central or East London postcode? Group Think House?
Google quickly filters out i.e. censors my postings from main category non-narrowed down search – most recently within 30 mins of its crawler/algorithm allowing this latest one to be listed under search term (Stonehenge) Past Hour only, (then failing to appear under Past 24hrs, Past Week etc. That’s despite my postings being the only new thinking to appear on the web that day, that week, etc etc. That kind of negates the whole point of publishing a blog to the internet, as my sitemeter demonstrates all too clearly.
Wiki: I gave up on wiki a long time ago. It has pretensions to being a free encyclopaedia of strictly peer-reviewed knowledge, while freely under its Byzantine “Talk” and “Edit” acting as judge and jury over embryonic new thinking that has not yet reached the stage of formalised investigation and peer review. (In any case, the detailed findings of most peer-reviewed publications exist behind a pay wall, with, one suspects, most of the cited papers being unread, merely flagged-up, leaving the internet the vital default medium for getting new ideas into the public domain, but which wiki then attempts, Google-like, to filter and block.)
Generalization: where the internet is concerned, all new ideas that don’t come out of California are deemed potentially dangerous ideas, to be suppressed until such a time as they are deemed to be safe for public consumption, read smug, self-satisfied, globally- outreaching corporatist profit-repatriating e-commerce.
As the nameless wit once observed: "All generalizations are dangerous (including this one)."
12:35: First, here's some light relief. This item has just appeared in the London Evening Standard (free newspaper, help yourself at tube stations!):
|London Evening Standard, May 19, 2016|
Link to article:
This blogger managed to get in with the first comment!
Update Friday 20 May late afternoon
Subject: Gordon Square project
So how did things go yesterday? Successful or not?
Did you see my comment (only 1 so far) on the Evening Standard?
(Link to Standard)
So what do you reckon on the feasibility of enclosing the monolith first in netting, then attaching multiple handholds of different lengths? Might that not be a space-efficient means of mustering 40 (or more) lifter/transporters per tonne of stone?
Apols for not reading the Standard article more closely. I may look by on Gordon Square on Monday, camera at the ready.
Yup, I should have guessed that the netting idea had been deployed previously. I have to say it sounds more like appropriate Neolithic technology than some of the other ideas one encounters (ballbearings in grooves etc). Thanks for the handy link.
Is it OK if I copy your reply to my blogsite, and maybe to Brian John's as well (I tipped him off yesterday re your project, and said I'd emailed, so it would be nice to be able to say you'd responded)?
I'd have thought the chances of finding archaeological evidence to support one or other mode of transport of bluestone from Wales, or sarsens from closer to hand, were pretty remote. But I personally am warming to low tech human lift-and-carry transport of igneous rock from Wales, having a rationale for that particular rock in the context of my excarnation scenario (igneous rock easier to keep clean) so like the idea of selectivity (choosing the nearest igneous rock, even if west Wales, not counting glitzy Dartmoor granite - not to everyone's taste). Brian J's glacial transport ideas appealed initially, but I'm seeing too many flaws, like why isn't Salisbury Plain littered with a much greater diversity of Welsh stone....?
Here's a graphic that neatly sums up the response thus far to my new tell-it-the-way-it-is "model", the one in which AFS (avian-facilitated skeletonization) plays a key unifying role across any number of Neolithic and Bronze Age sites:
|See no excarnation, hear no excarnation, speak no excarnation...|
Progress report: Sat May 21
Am going great guns with the Big One, scheduled for this coming Monday. It will propose a unifying narrative for 10 different iconic Neolithic/Bronze age sites,