You Built A Henge? #britishmuseum #exhibition

Why would you want to build a henge? Michael Flanders, above had an idea but really, can we say for sure what drove our ancestors to take time out from their busy schedules, to down tools, fold away the sheepskin troos and join the Masons at the Chip and Chisel for a little communal sarsen stoning?

No. Someone lost the planning permission and Wiltshire County Council is notoriously bad at paperwork.

But there are these bright coves who go around Britain and Ireland and the rest of Northern Europe comparing and contrasting the various henges and other monumental structures and drawing some tentative conclusions. These they laid out for punters like me to browse at the British Museum. At least with Stonehenge I don’t have to feel guilty that we nabbed these rocks from lands far and foreign when the locals weren’t paying attention.

And in truth those ideas are fascinating. Still, it boggles my mind that at a time when it was pretty much subsistence living, a significant cohort was given time off to drag some bloody huge lumps of rock from where the earth and glaciers and what have yous had dumped them and bring them to what is after all a pretty unprepossessing part of Wiltshire. There was a fair bit about flint which, while I think it’s amazing what the managed to make with a rock chisel bit pall a little…

Yet for a long time this whole drag, chisel, erect, repeat process was the equivalent of going to the footie or church: some act of apparently pointless devotion. Without the meat pie. But probably with a sermon.

In time, the introduction of metal working, the portability of votives and so forth meant the guys with their fixation on priapic rocks began to look less like, well, rock stars. They’d had their time.

Though quite why they were displaced by chaps with beakers defeats me. I suppose it’s not how big your beaker is but what’s in it that counts…

Do go and see this exhibition if you get the chance. It’s grand speculation of the mind-widening kind. With flint.

Oh, and a sea henge. Only in Norfolk are they sufficiently daft to build a wooden henge in the sea.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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18 Responses to You Built A Henge? #britishmuseum #exhibition

  1. Ah but they left stone thingies lying about that anyone can stumble over, examine and wonder, “what were they thinking ?”
    We, instead are leaving behind huge collection of woven-words that require a world-wide-web, some kind of screen and the presumption that our articles are out there – somewhere – floating loose & rarely read in the binary ether of virtual history & thought.

    In 50 or 100 years, what will they conclude of our stories if some digital archeologist happens to find and wonder – “what the _____ were this guy thinking?”

    Perhaps it’s best we won’t be around to answer . . .


  2. I’m hoping to go with a friend in the next few weeks so it was good to see a review, thanks.
    Heaven knows what future archaeologists will think when they come across our landfills full of plastic lateral flow test strips and associated plastic bags and tubes …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JT Twissel says:

    They look a lot like arrowheads – which you can find in the deserts of the West.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. noelleg44 says:

    It boggles the mind that these so-called ‘primitive’ people could make such impressive monuments and various bits and bobbles of amazing artwork. I do wish we could time travel to find out why the heck those stones were so important. Assuming humanity is still around millennia from now, I think the archeologists of those days will NOT be impressed with what we leave behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bloomin’ litter louts. Leaving all their rubbish around like nobody’s business!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. V.M.Sang says:

    Sounds like an exhibition worth seeing, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jennie says:

    I wish every museum left visitors learning and thinking, like you did.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I remember an assignment in oratory class in 8th grade(yes they still taught oratory in public school) when we were handed an ordinary object and were to speak extemporaneously as if we had found said object hundreds of years in the future. It was great fun. I was handed a church key(punch can opener) and got to invent what it was for. I figure the scientists are having just as much fun.


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