- a collection of essays on Neodruidic Studies
- a journal of Post-Reconstructionist Neopaganism

Monday, October 31, 2011

Stonehenge Schmonehenge

"Early Celtic Stonehenge discovered in the Black Forest" 

proclaims the headline...  and, my my, what a cool looking diagram!  But wait a minute...

Nope... This is precisely the kind of drivel that gives Archaeoastronomy a bad name.

I've been fascinated by the lure of Archaeoastronomy ever since I cut my teeth on Gerald Hawkins' "Stonehenge Decoded" back in the early 1970's.

In those days I was easily swept away by images of druid-ish ancient astronomers standing ghostly in the starlight in their long white robes, marking out their sacred calendars with virtually every standing stone, post-hole, and horizon-notch in the whole of the British Isles.

Taken in its time and context (1963,'65), Stonehenge Decoded was an inspiring and cautiously reasoned work. Nowadays it is considered quaint if not continually problematic to the writers of contemporary works considered "cautiously reasoned" by more modern standards.

No, initially I'd not tasted the venom waiting to be unleashed from the lurking world-wide community of skeptics. They were out there alright, their cruel and sneering attacks to be readily lunged into the soft underbelly of the theories offered by innocent visionaries who made the fatal mistake of not anticipating the danger at hand. Oh, the meanness of those heartless bullies; and, most alarmingly: their fair and critical analysis as experts in their own fields pointing out the huge gaping holes left unnoticed by an "expert" in one field, unsuccessfully assuming his competence in another, largely unrelated, field...

Yes, it's a thin and ricketty bridge that spans the abyss separating one's expertise from the domains of knowledge charted wholly by others...

- E.


For more cross-disciplinary Stonehenge-abuse drek (click HERE)
(added Feb.17 ,2012)