Ignited this January through PA2015, my venture of being led by myth in the utilisation of visual archaeology (beginning with a geophysical survey) is in its infancy, with more plans afoot. Early responses are promising.
As previously stated, I like what Jeanette Winterson has to say about art and time (and their interrelations), and her observation that there’s a tendency in the West to avoid tricky encounters with art by trivialising it, or by familiarising it, is relevant to the mythoarchaeology enterprise (which seeks out tricky encounters). So, in and amongst the chatter about Situationism and sociological experiments I was interested to find one or two of the folks at The Modern Antiquarian forum adding to the legend narrative by trying to fit my A Geophysical Survey of ‘Earth Energies’ in Avebury’s Ritual Landscape using a Magnetic Susceptibility Coil into their own individual playframes – e.g., that the line evident in the data, which follows Hamish Miller’s dowsed ‘Mary’ line, is an ancient pathway caused by people traveling between sacred sites. There’s a pleasing neat circularity to how this explanation relates to older familiar versions of the ‘ley’ myth, its cosy familiarity at least presenting the illusion of rationality. For someone else, this layer of a deeper map which treats myth with some importance was either art or “has something in common with the legend of Silbury – cobblers.” (An allusion to a local tale of a shoemaker tricking the Devil.) In terms of public engagement, this is a promising start – contemporary legend can take time.
It looks like there are some really interesting PA2015 projects coming up in the months to follow. Good luck to Jane, Dan and Elizabeth, and all the other contributors to an excellent conception on James’ part. As for me, here’s yet another reminder that I’m walking around the Avebury Complex on Sunday, the 1st, and invite anyone to join me. Don’t expect a guided tour – let’s let the landscape, and the places that constitute it, speak for itself. We set off from the Waggon & Horses pub on the A4 near the Beckhampton roundabout around Noon.