Digging up art
Bronze bog hoard
tv in ba
Editor Mike Pitts
Got the return blues
Following the ‘Boscombe Bowmen’ news, Dr Robyn Lewis, Archdruid of the Welsh Gorsedd of Bards, wrote to the Daily Telegraph: ‘Since the Stone of Destiny was returned to Scotland a few years since, and it is clearly only a matter of time until the Elgin Marbles are returned to Greece, may I express a request that Stonehenge be returned to Wales?’ Dr Lewis’ appeal, made ‘on behalf of my fellow druids, bards and the rest of my Welsh compatriots’, is not without precedent. Welsh pressure group Carreg Glas made a similar claim on Stonehenge in 2002, which turned out to be a prank to publicise a play called ‘Bringing Back the Bluestones’. Carreg Glas’ mad scheme won real-life supporters, so perhaps Archdruid Lewis’ voice won’t be a lone one.
Barbarians take Rome
Readers fortunate enough to have visited Rome recently may have noticed that many of the Eternal City’s ancient monuments have gained a new lease of life as advertising billboards. InterPromos displays adverts in return for fees used, in theory, to fund restoration work. Apparently it works so well that one palazzo in the Piazza Venezia has been restored three times in as many years. Despite protests, InterPromos’ spokesman Carlo Sinopoli believes that the adverts will help make Rome ‘all new and shiny’. Countering complaints that the 1st century ad Pantheon was next in line, Mr Sinopoli said: ‘We hope that, if the Pantheon project goes well, we can do the same with the Colosseum. And, who knows, maybe the leaning tower of Pisa one day’. Perhaps Spoilheap readers might like to suggest advertisers to vulgarise the monuments of our own fair land?
A glider en route to Glastonbury made a successful forced landing by the West Kennet Avenue, Avebury in July. A happier result than achieved by the recent helicopter attending a heart-attack victim who lived in the stone circle: an ambulance had to drive out after tuned-in visitors chased off the chopper.
We’ve all been there. You’ve got a stash of dowsing rods and you need to sell ’em quick. But however hard you try, you just can’t get rid of the damn things. So you hit on a unique sales gimmick, and hey presto – they’re flying off the shelves. Step forward Ebay seller ‘thedowser’ (Positive Feedback: 97.6%) and his ‘chrome steel stainless steel dowsing rods with wooden handles to facilitate comfort and ease of use. These rods have been “charged” on a stone forming part of a Bronze Age stone circle known as the Hurlers on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, an area full of earth energies’. With three days to go, the highest bid for these powerful tools stood at £17.52 but Spoilheap was unable to see the auction through to the end due to an unfortunate case of suddenly losing the will to live.
Careers in ruins
The Times’ ‘Questions Answered’ column is an excellent forum for readers to show off their arch wit, and recently Spoilheap was impressed with two answers to the question ‘What is the difference between an archaeologist and a graverobber?’. Chris Miller, Ipswich came up with ‘One decrypts ancient phials. The other defiles ancient crypts’, while Philip Duke, Helsby hit paydirt with ‘An archaeologist lives for digging. A graverobber digs for a living’.
Cup and satellite
An exciting theory of British rock art to be found on the web at www.thesignthesis.moonfruit.com is unlikely to find favour amongst even the most progressive of archaeologists. The Sign Thesis, by Mr Tim Bennett, concerns an example of art at Gardom’s Edge, Derbyshire, and proposes that the enigmatic carvings are ‘based on the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, who believed that your soul and mind is bounced off our orbiting satellite and the Sun before reincarnation’. The panel consists of two dotted circles and a concentric circle of rings, which Mr Bennett believes represent the Earth, Moon and Sun respectively. A central, smaller spiral represents ‘God’, naturally. The beautifully designed website features a discussion area where like-minded souls can confer on the implications of this cutting-edge theory, although it must be said that at the time of writing the number of messages posted to the forum totalled a tad disheartening zero.
You can admire classical statuary without having to dress like them, is what archaeologist Keep-the-Marbles-in-London Dorothy King told Playboy (or something like that) according to the Observer. Is this a first?
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CBA web:Jan/Feb 2005