Chapters 3 › Unit 3: Chapter 3 Journal Activity View instructions Hide instructions

Chapter 3 Journal Activity

Main 69858141521220

In the Shadow of Geoffrey


The question is: To what extent are Stonehenge archaeologists still working in the shadow of Geoffrey of Monmouth.

Short Answer: They're not.

Like many disciplines it's important to have base-knowledge of what has come before.
You'd like to write fantasy novels? Better read Tolkien.
Science Fiction? Azimov, Bradbury and Clarke.
How about Music? If you'd like to write like Mozart, you'd be wise to listen to Hayden. Good pop? The Beatles.

One of the things that makes Stonehenge so difficult to study is that everyone and his brother has written something about it.
For over a thousand years.
Reading this stuff can be confusing ─ believe me ─ I know. But it's a very good place to start, if only to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.

The same argument can be made for seeing with fresh eyes. Oh, read the old stuff, sure ─ but look at the facts for yourself. You're going to be wrong most of the time, to be sure, but once in a while you'll also be right.

Evidence is difficult to argue with. Unless somebody back at the lab made a really big mistake, that antler pick is 4,500 years old.
Interpretation of that antler pick is another story, and everyone has a band wagon. Geoffrey was a total hoot in this regard and I love him for it. But this was a guy looking at the problem with fresh eyes, but very little evidence.

Take the evidence and look at it with fresh eyes.

Neil Wiseman

Your Comment

Please login to leave a comment.