Stonehenge stories on Twitter

How to Build Stonehenge comes out on February 17 2022. Published by Thames & Hudson, it has lots of illustrations (including new photos and diagrams by me) and is the first book to focus exclusively and comprehensively on this theme, since… the nearest equivalent I know is Herbert Stone’s The Stones of Stonehenge, published in … Continue reading Stonehenge stories on Twitter

Do you recognise these archaeologists?

This remarkable photo shows an excavation team in Dorset in 1970. At the time of posting this, we’ve been able to identify 35 of the people there, but 18 remain unknown to us [updated, currently 36/17]. Can you help? The story begins in Wiltshire, near Stonehenge, in 1966. The council had decided to straighten a … Continue reading Do you recognise these archaeologists?

Antony Gormley at the Royal Academy 2019

I was privileged to attend a press view of the new Antony Gormley show at the Royal Academy this morning. I liked it very much. It opens on September 21 and closes on December 3. Key points: 1. It’s a real co-operation between gallery and artist, unique to the place and the time and enhancing … Continue reading Antony Gormley at the Royal Academy 2019

Quick thoughts on A303 written representations

Well, the Stonehenge A303 proposed works examination representations are now in and available online. Many of the 264 documents (perhaps most) are from Highways England. But there are many more, including from Historic England (579 pages), National Trust (286), Stonehenge Alliance (218), Blick Mead (149, an odd submission, consisting mostly of copies of other people’s … Continue reading Quick thoughts on A303 written representations

Arthur ApSimon

Sad news. Archaeologist Arthur ApSimon has died. He was 91. Like Isobel Smith, Arthur was research assistant to Gordon Childe in London. He went to Queen's University Belfast, then to the new Department of Archaeology in Southampton, where he remained until retirement. He published an important paper on the Wessex Culture in 1954, he was … Continue reading Arthur ApSimon

Archaeology and Brexit

  In a recent news magazine programme on Radio 4, there was a discussion about fruit. “We all love oranges,” says a reporter. “But if you love oranges, you’re in for a shock. Because a new survey has found out that you don’t.” Later in the feature the presenter asks a representative of an organisation … Continue reading Archaeology and Brexit

Brexit: The Uncivil War

I haven’t enjoyed a TV drama (Brexit: The Uncivil War, Channel 4 January 7) so much since Killing Eve. But I’m not heartened by the reaction of many people, whose views about Brexit I share, who seem to feel The Uncivil War somehow let down our side, that it glamorised Brexit and concealed its darker … Continue reading Brexit: The Uncivil War

Brenda Swinbank, archaeologist

Note: I wrote this for the excellent TrowelBlazers in July, but it doesn't seem to have been posted there, so in the meantime here it is as written. Brenda Swinbank was the late Jeremy Heywood’s mother, and as noted by his obituaries, she was an archaeologist. * Brenda Swinbank, born in Ackworth, West Yorkshire, in 1929 … Continue reading Brenda Swinbank, archaeologist

Albertopolis. Or, there’s still a Britain to believe in

I had to go to the V&A this morning, and as it was so warm and I had an hour I walked from Paddington station across Hyde Park. Here are some random photos in the order I took them, walking through a park in London, down a street and back again. It’s a walk that … Continue reading Albertopolis. Or, there’s still a Britain to believe in