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The Megalith Builders: British Archaeology and Alexander Thom + Interview

For a few years in the 1970s it seemed as if British archaeology might take on board and assimilate at least some of Aexander Thom’s radical new ideas about the intellectual capabilities present in Neolithic Britain. However this never happened and now the profession is more hostile than has ever been to these concepts. Various suggestions will be offered as to why is this so, including the social nature of academic communities themselves. One important reason is the relentless opposition of Britain’s first and only Professor of Archaeoastronomy, Clive Ruggles, who has ‘downgraded’ Thom’s ideas so that they have little effect on traditional archaeological thinking. Paradoxically over the last few decades a variety of new evidence has been accumulating which implies that Thom’s original propositions were basically on the right lines, and the more important of these discoveries will be described. The newest and most dramatic however is from archaeology itself – nothing less that the first known stone temple precinct from northern Europe.

Euan MacKie DVD
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MacKie graduated with a degree in Archeology & Anthropology from St. John's College at the University of Cambridge in 1959 and has a PhD from the University of Glasgow where he is now an honorary research fellow. He was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1973, Keeper of Archaeology and Anthropology in 1974 and Deputy Director from 1986 - 1995. He took early part-time retirement in 1995 with full retirement 1998. He is also member of the Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, an Honorary Research Fellow of Hunterian until 2005 and an Honorary Research Associate of the National Museums of Scotland from 2007. Mackie is also a member of the Prehistoric Society and Glasgow Archaeological Society, of which he was president in the 1980s. His primary research interests include the Iron Age of Atlantic Scotland and The nature of the esoteric/specialised knowledge possessed by the chambered tomb and standing stone-bulders of Neolithic times. He has written hundreds of articles & papers and his most well known book is The Megalith Builders, published in 1977. He is an advocate of Alexander Thom and coined the term 'archaeoastronomy'.

2013 Interview with Euan MacKie  



The 2013 Megalithomania conference took place on the 18th - 19th May at the Assembly Rooms in Glastonbury. Filmed and edited by Gary King and Liam Bauckham.