This week of my friend specifically asked me to write my blog about the Channel4 programme on the latest finds from Stonehenge. I had noticed that Mike Parker Pearson had been in the papers and Stonehenge was presented as a burial place and as a result of the communal effort of whole Britain. This result had been discovered by studying the animal bones from the Riverside project excavation site, where the builders of the Stonehenge allegedly lived. Those cows had been living before coming to Wiltshire from up and down the country.
Apparently after the TV programme where were some irritated comments, mainly due to the normal reasons of irritating voice over and other TV mannerisms. However, I have not seen the TV programme. No matter how many marvellous iPlayers and 4oD services there are, they do not actually provide you with any more time. In addition, the original reasons why this programme slipped my net are slightly embarrassing to admit.
The main reason was that the programme collided with the Call the Midwife. It was the last episode and I had been following the budding, problematic romance emerging between one of the nuns and the male doctor, who widowed in the series one. I wanted to shed a tear and enjoy my Sunday night entertainment instead of watching re-enactors passing by some stones in the dusk and sweaty men pushing big stones – the programme on Stonehenge may or may not have contained such elements.
After actually visiting Stonehenge for the first time in the late 1980s, I was relatively unimpressed by the stone themselves. Somehow Avebury catches more my awe. Anyway, after my MA at Bristol I appreciated even more all other landscape elements in the plains, including the Romano-British villages/towns. Stonehenge evokes imagination when considered as part of a landscape and when one looks at some elements, such as the dagger carvings and the human burials. A few of the interpretations promoted by the professor have somewhat cold, since they have felt slightly glued on, but I cannot ignore the importance Stonehenge has in the minds of my colleagues and my ‘lay’ friends. It is a prestigious site and everyone wants a piece of it or has an opinion. Nevertheless, I must now wait for a repeat.
Of course, there is the matter of female archaeologists not normally admitting doing such frivolous activities as following Sunday night entertainment. I have never kept it a secret that I do read the gossip and watch lame programmes. After following the Bold and the Beautiful in the 1990s, I have left the soaps alone, though. My male colleagues do many things from fishing, long distance running to Roman re-enactment on their spare time. I am currently so busy with different things that pure enjoyment is a luxury. Thus, on this occasion, I wanted my fluff.