Thursday, April 19, 2007

Archaeology Woo

I'm not sure if it's the nature of the work or what but there seems to be a bit too much woo in archaeology.

Case in point:

Cambridge historian Paul Daw is brining divining rods to help identify
stone circles in Cumbria. Cambridge Not the worst school on the planet.

[quote]Mr Daw said: “My main purpose will be to try and obtain
verification that the three stone circles I believe I have found on
Bleaberry Haws are in fact stone circles.[/quote]Okay, how is it that
the guy hasn't figured out that there's no there there when it comes to
divining? Somebody send him the link to the forums and anything on
Wikipedia about 'ideomotor.'

[quote]Describing how the mystery of the twitching and moving divining
rods seems to reveal what lies hidden in the ground, Mr Daw said: “My
first attempt at using the divining rods was at the Druids stone circle
on Birkrigg Common.

“My notes record ‘Mild sensation on outer rings, and stronger sensation
on the internal ring (larger upright stones) and at the centre of the

“It is my recollection that the wires crossed four times in walking
towards the centre of the circle, although unfortunately I did not take
any measurements.

“Later that day I visited the Beacon stone circle where the wires
crossed on the outer bank and at the centre, and at the Kirk stone
circle where the wires crossed on the circular bank but not at the

“On my first visit to the Hird Wood stone circle the divining rods
confirmed that there were two concentric circles, the inner circle
paced about 12 metres diameter and the outer circle about 20

I think it might have been more helpful to the technique if he had actually taken some measurements.

[quote]Asked why the experts do not rely on the scientific geophysical
monitoring used on the TV show Time Team, Mr Daw said: “Geophysics is
very good but very expensive to survey a large area.”[/quote]And it's


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