Sometimes I think the human involvement in erecting stones is not important, we are creatures of creativity and invention it would follow that we would develop our world with the materials to hand. No it is the natural world that invokes the sense of awe and wonderment, the perfection of the wing of a bird, the colour of a flower or the massivity of a great mountain and perhaps their interconnectivity to everything around them as expressed by John Muir above. This always strikes me as I touch the stones at Pentre Ifan, the millions of years the stone was so long ago created, if you walk along parts of the coast of West Wales, you will see the great vertical folding of the rocks after some upheaval of the Earth - geological history writ large. Stoney Littleton has the symbolic image of an ammonite at its doorway, and beautifully shaped stones in the tomb itself. But for me Stoney Littleton represents the little Wellow river with trailing water plants floating in the current and a rich wild planting of flowers lining its banks in summer, also the stoniness of the field you walk through as you approach the long barrow, probably evidence of its' creation.
Many of our prehistoric stones, barrows, etc remain in the wild places of the moors and high mountains, the last remaining bits of 'wildness' in this small country, perhaps that is what draws people to seek prehistory out.
Your post prompted me to re-visit Bob Trubshaw's book (published 2005) Sacred Places - Prehistory and Popular Imagination - I came upon it last year when Bob Trubshaw gave a talk in my local library. In his chapter "Thinking about places" he talks about Western 'hegemony' - the main characteristic of which is that there is only one way to see the world. It is an extremely readable book and I do recommend it. He does include a section on the Pembrokeshire prehistoric monuments and makes the observation that generally they seem to be near the sea but located in positions where the sea is either obscured of can only be glimpsed - often near prominent outcrops of stone.
I do agree with his point that we can only experience ancient (or sacred) places in the present and through our 'present' conditioning. Also agree with your point that it is flora/fauna and weather conditions, i.e. Nature, that make the experience memorable.
Reply | with quote
|Posted by tjj|
2nd April 2012ce
Sense of Place (moss, Apr 01, 2012, 09:57)
- Re: Sense of Place (tjj, Apr 01, 2012, 19:09)
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- Re: Sense of Place (tjj, Apr 02, 2012, 22:30)
- Re: Sense of Place (ryaner, Apr 20, 2012, 21:48)
- Re: Sense of Place (BuckyE, Apr 21, 2012, 03:39)
- Re: Sense of Place (The Eternal, May 05, 2012, 22:55)
- Re: Sense of Place (Littlestone, May 06, 2012, 10:52)
- Re: Sense of Place/Wildness (Sanctuary, May 07, 2012, 14:15)
- Re: Sense of Place (tjj, May 21, 2012, 12:57)