Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

The Sound of Stonehenge

It is a measure of its importance that Stonehenge continues to attract academic researchers and that their research continues to yield results about the monument, and about its surrounding ritual landscape. In June I posted Stonehenge - a continuing revelation and in July Stonehenge - re-assessment and re-evaluation

Today the MailOnline has an account of research looking at how the complete structure would have caused sound to reverberate despite being open to the sky and comprised of a series of openings. The article can be read at Stonehenge amplified music and voices for people inside

What this suggests to me is further evidence for the sophistication of not just the builders but of the cult they served. Here was a complex religious or political, or more likely religion-political elite able to draw resources and devotees together from across Britain to participate in a belief system that had its own disciplines and liturgies.

This point is made, as I recall, in the visitor’s centre at Avebury within this same extended series of sites. We cannot recover what really occurred at these sites four millennia ago, but we increasingly see the necessity, indeed the courtesy, of paying regard to the seriousness and skills of their creators.

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