06 Feb 2016
Architect presents radical new theory that Stonehenge was a two-storey, wooden feasting and performance hall
Could the prehistoric Stonehenge megaliths once have been the support for a wooden, two-storey roundhouse, a venue for feasting, speakers and musicians? That’s the theory of an English landscape architect who designed a small model of what she has in mind and is looking for money to build a 1:10 scale model of the structure.
Sarah Ewbank says the fact she is not an archaeologist has freed her from preconceived notions and allowed her to approach the matter in a fresh way.
Ms Ewbank told Ancient Origins via email about her vision of Stonehenge:
“I believe Stonehenge was a Bronze-age venue, a large oval hall encircled and overlooked by galleries. Interestingly the upper level was tiered, the height of different sections reflecting the different height trilithons. Consider both hall and galleries filled, listening to a speaker, or maybe there was feasting on the galleries with dancing below, perhaps crowds gathered to listen to singing or musicians playing, or maybe ceremonies took place to welcome in the solstices. It all sounds rather splendid and certainly needed – there were no electronic gadgets then!
My view – such a splendid building deserved to be used often – so, much as the Albert Hall in London serves to accommodate every type of gathering, so I believe our Bronze-age ancestors used Stonehenge whenever such a venue was required. Our bronze-age ancestors were intelligent people with needs similar to ours today. Forget the furry loin cloth and ritual sacrifice stuff – it’s wrong.”
She said she’s discussed her theories with other experts. Some of them agree with her interpretation of the building’s use, but others strongly disagree and argue for the traditional view.
Ms. Ewbank speculates that the sides of the house were made of oak and the roof of thatching. Of course, it is highly unlikely wood or straw would survive the thousands of years of Stonehenge’s existence, so finding physical evidence for her theory—other than the layout of the stones themselves—is next to impossible.
Roofed Stonehenge website
Discovery News reports the finding of burials of “high status women.”
The remains of 14 women believed to be of high status and importance have been found at Stonehenge, the iconic prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England.
The discovery, along with other finds, supports the theory that Stonehenge functioned, at least for part of its long history, as a cremation cemetery for leaders and other noteworthy individuals, according to a report published in the latest issue of British Archaeology.
During the recent excavation, more women than men were found buried at Stonehenge, a fact that could change its present image.
“In almost every depiction of Stonehenge by artists and TV re-enactors we see lots of men, a man in charge, and few or no women,” archaeologist Mike Pitts, who is the editor of British Archaeology and the author of the book “Hengeworld,” told Discovery News.
“The archaeology now shows that as far as the burials go, women were as prominent there as men. This contrasts with the earlier burial mounds, where men seem to be more prominent.”
Pitts added, “By definition — cemeteries are rare, Stonehenge exceptional — anyone buried at Stonehenge is likely to have been special in some way: high status families, possessors of special skills or knowledge, ritual or political leaders.”
The recent excavation focused on what is known as Aubrey Hole 7, one of 56 chalk pits dug just outside of the stone circle and dating to the earliest phases of Stonehenge in the late fourth and early third millennium B.C.
Christie Willis of the University College London Institute of Archaeology worked on the project and confirmed that the remains of at least 14 females and nine males — all young adults or older — were found at the site. A barrage of high tech analysis techniques, such as CT scanning, was needed to study the remains, given that the individuals had been cremated.
Radiocarbon dating and other analysis of all known burials at Stonehenge reveal that they took place in several episodes from about 3100 B.C. to at least 2140 B.C.
06 Feb 2016
Richard Dreyfuss in front row at Ted Cruz rally.
The actor, well known for portraying Dick Cheney as a villain, provoked alarm in Hollywood by showing up last Saturday at a Ted Cruz rally in Iowa.
Dallas Morning News:
AMES, Iowa — Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss – star of Jaws and Mr. Holland’s Opus – was on hand, somewhat inexplicably. He quietly nabbed a reserved front-row seat as Cruz made his own entrance. Afterward, in a brief interview, he said he wasn’t there to support Cruz and isn’t supporting any candidate.
“It’s the politics of my country, so I’m interested,” he said.
“No,” he said, when it was pointed out that his presence suggested support. “It suggests that I’m interested in what he has to say.”
“We come at it from different places. But he reveres the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When you seek to be the president of a country that has 300 million people, you can’t get everyone on the same platform. You can’t. But if you can make it clear that the most important things are shared, then fine.”
So upset with this evidence of ideological treason was the entertainment community that Dreyfuss’s son felt obliged to defend his father at the Puffington Host:
My father, actor Richard Dreyfuss, is taking heat for attending a Ted Cruz rally. I shouldn’t have to write this, but here goes: curiosity is not a sin.
My father went to a Ted Cruz rally. My father also won an oscar in the ’70s, and his name is Richard Dreyfuss. Those two things are only related because by virtue of being famous, my father’s attendance at a Cruz rally got written about by a couple of media outlets. Those write-ups were absorbed by a number of mouth-breathers, and so began The Dumb.
Let me clarify. When asked if his being there suggested he supported Cruz, he responded, “It suggests that I’m interested in what he has to say… It’s the politics of my country, so I’m interested.” This seems like a pretty clear answer to me. I don’t necessarily endorse these views, but I’m curious about them because they are poised to have a very big effect on me and my country.
But clarity be damned, the same day as those articles were published I started getting calls and complaints asking me why my father was a Ted Cruz supporter. This is where we should leave the story of “Richard Goes To Ted Talk” behind, and just start talking about the principle of the thing. I’m really not trying to talk about my dad. I just want to address The Dumb.
It is not shocking that people mistake curiosity with support, but it is pathetic and it is tragic.
If you can’t stand to listen to an idea, it does not prove that you oppose it. Refusing to show interest in a different perspective should not serve as a badge of pride in your own ideas. It actually serves the exact opposite function. It proves that you don’t even understand your own opinion. If you can’t understand the argument you disagree with, then you don’t have the right to disagree with it with any authority, nor do you really have a grasp on what your own idea means in its context.
I’m not saying all ideas need to be validated, or even respected. There are absolutely some beliefs that simply deserve to be tarred and feathered and never given the time of day. Bigotry falls under this umbrella. But when some ideas are so prevalent that they hold huge sway over your own country, you’re an idiot if you decide to stuff your ears with your fingers and start humming.
As Christopher Buckley noted on Facebook:
Wunst they wuz a little actor, an Oscar he din’t lose:–
An’ when he went to hear a speech by Texas Sen’r Cruz,
His fans was heerd ta holler, an’ the left was heerd to bawl,
An’ when sonny said “he’s curious!”, they din’t believe a’tall!
An’ they hounded him in Hollywood, an’ Twitter, an’ the press,
An’ angry talk’d at tha Whole Foods, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Liber-urls ‘ll git you
05 Feb 2016
All this AK needs is a pair of fuzzy dice…
05 Feb 2016
Quinn Hillyer, like a lot of the rest of us, is tired of listening to sore losers whining.
[T]here was Ben Carson calling a press conference to complain about Cruz’s somewhat misleading email to caucus captains that could be read, between the lines, to be suggesting Carson would soon withdraw from the race. But once he got into the presser, Carson tried to make it sound as if he wanted to move on, but that it was the media trying to pit candidates against each other like gladiators in an arena. Neat trick: Call a press conference to complain while saying you’re not the one complaining.
But of course, nobody could top Donald Trump for over-the-top sour-grapeness. The surprise loser of the Iowa evening went so far as to demand a re-vote vote in the Hawkeye State or, barring that, a disqualification of all Cruz’s votes, on the grounds that Cruz supposedly “stole” the election. “If you think about it, I really finished first,” Trump claimed to a crowd in Little Rock.
Yeah, right — and when Muhammad Ali knocked Sonny Liston to the canvas, it was really Liston who was the victor.
All of this is a sorry spectacle. It contrasts with the dignified exits of candidates Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum, with Santorum also offering an entirely positive endorsement for Rubio with nary a bad word about anybody. While Republicans should of course want candidates who don’t like to lose, they surely don’t want candidates who don’t know how to take a loss.
Forgive the old-fashioned use of gender images, but there was a time when real men would move on from a loss with gracious fortitude. Think of golfer Jack Nicklaus smilingly congratulating rivals Lee Trevino and Tom Watson when they broke his heart with unlikely chip-ins, and you get the picture of how setbacks ought to be handled.
05 Feb 2016
In this period, Alfa Romeo produced bespoke cars for the wealthy with bodies by Touring of Milan and Pinin Farina.
“When I see an Alfa Romeo go by, I tip my hat.” –Henry Ford.
Hat tip to Eliza Vasileva Pavlov.
05 Feb 2016
Guitarplayer.com has a story not very complimentary to Quentin Tarantino.
The makers of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight never told Martin Guitars how a historic acoustic guitar on loan from its museum came to be destroyed on the set of the 2015 film.
Dick Boak of C.F. Martin said the company did not learn that the instrument was smashed by actor Kurt Russell until the incident was reported on Tuesday by Reverb.com, an online marketplace for gear. That story was itself based on an interview with the film’s sound mixer, Mark Ulano, that ran on SSNInsider.com.
Boak, director of the museum, archives and special projects for C.F. Martin & Co, said the company was initially told the guitar had been damaged in an accident on the set. “We assumed that a scaffolding or something fell on it,” Boak told Reverb.com, in response to its story.
The film’s script included a scene, shown below, in which Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character, Daisy Domergue, plays the Martin guitar before Russell’s character, John Ruth, smashes it against a beam. A prop guitar was supposed to have been substituted at the last moment. According to Ulano, Russell was not told of the swap and proceeded to destroy the Martin, an act that is retained in the film’s release. …
According to the SSNInsider interview, upon learning of the guitar’s destruction, Martin reps asked, “Do you need another one and can we please have all the pieces to display in our museum?”
While the pieces were returned to Martin for examination, Boak said restoration is impossible.
“We want to make sure that people know that the incident was very distressing to us,” Boak says. “We can’t believe that it happened.”
As a result of the incident, Boak said Martin will no longer loan guitars to movies “under any circumstances.”
04 Feb 2016
Hat tip to John Brewer.
04 Feb 2016
Kurt Schlichter imagines what it would be like to wake up in January next year looking a Trump presidency.
So, Donald Trump pulled it off, and though he would never, ever admit it, no one was more surprised than he to be shivering in the January cold with his hand on the Bible taking the oath of office from a grim Chief Justice Roberts. Vice-President Marco Rubio looked on, his own thoughts concealed behind the same bland smile that had been pasted on his face since the “Republican Unity Ticket” was announced in Cleveland in July. Ted Cruz, at home in Texas, was re-watching John Wayne in “The Searchers.” Sarah Palin was invited but could not make it; one of her family members had a court appearance.
The decisive defeat of Hillary Clinton in November was the greatest humiliation in a life marked by serial humiliations – failing the District of Columbia Bar Exam, being cuckolded by Bill while he was in office, losing to Barack Obama, and now being beaten by Donald Trump. She ignored her advisors at the first debate; so certain was she in her own moral and intellectual superiority that she tried to take him head-on. All America remembered about that debate was her look of utter mortification as The Donald dismissed her as a “doormat who Putin and the mullahs are gonna step all over just like Bill did.” She pulled out of the remaining debates because of his “sexism” even as she was greeted at every public campaign event (until she stopped having them) with hordes of Trump fans waving doormats with her face emblazoned upon them.
Read the whole thing.
03 Feb 2016
John Smith was an ardent Trump supporter since the billionaire first threw his hat in the ring. However, that might change after the local ironworker was shot by Trump on 5th avenue this weekend.
Sitting in his hospital bed, John ran through the reasons why he might have to switch his vote. “I just dunno anymore. I mean, one second I’m just walking across 5th avenue during my lunch hour and the next second, Donald comes up to me, says something about ‘it’s going to be huge’, and shoots me in the gut.”
“However, I don’t know who else I can vote for,” he added. “None of the other candidates really excite me the way Trump does. He’s the only guy who is willing to build that wall and stand up for American workers like…oh… Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Could you call the nurse?”
This is not John’s first encounter with a presidential candidate. The week before, he was courted by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who clubbed him on the back of the head and stole his wallet, and this past Monday, he was kicked in the shins by former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.
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