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MEGALITHOMANIA CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

2022 Line-up coming soon - below are the 2021 speakers

Prof. MIKE PARKER PEARSON
The New Archaeology of Stonehenge


Recent scientific advances in archaeology are having a considerable impact on our understanding of who built Stonehenge and why. This talk will examine the evidence from ancient DNA, isotopic analysis, geological identifications and other methods that have revolutionised our knowledge of the British Neolithic and of the builders of Stonehenge, from moving the bluestones from Wales to building the great complex of timber monuments at nearby Durrington Walls.

Mike Parker Pearson is Professor of British Later Prehistory at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology in London. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy and was voted Archaeologist of the Year in 2010 for his research on Stonehenge. He has worked on excavations in many parts of the world, from Madagascar to the Middle East and from North America to Easter Island.

Dr. MARTIN SWEATMAN
Prehistory Decoded: Gobekli Tepe and the Origins of the Zodiac

It is now clear that a prehistoric code was used across much of western Eurasia, and possibly beyond, for several tens of thousands of years to write dates using precession of the equinoxes. What were, until now, thought to be depictions of animals, are instead very likely symbols representing star constellations, essentially the same constellations we continue to use today in the West. Here I provide examples of this code involving some of the worlds most famous prehistoric artworks, from the very earliest Palaeolithic cave art (38,000 BC) through Gobekli Tepe (11,000 BC) to Pictish Symbols (500 AD). The code appears to be used in many cases to date and describe cosmic impact events, and I will highlight connections between the astronomy and the associated art, religion and megalithic architecture.

Martin Sweatman is a scientist at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. His research, which involves statistical analysis of the motion of atoms and molecules to understand the properties of matter, has helped him to solve one of the greatest puzzles on Earth - the meaning of ancient artworks stretching back over 40,000 years.

www.robinheath.info

ROBIN HEATH
Bluestone Magic: The Bigger Story of Waun Mawn


To understand a megalithic landscape, one must focus on the liminal space between sky and landscape, where 'the above' meets 'the below', at locations where Neolithic folk chose to locate their major temples and other significant monuments. Unfortunately, the techniques required are not those preferred by present day archaeologists. In a new richly illustrated presentation Robin Heath will share his latest research, which sheds new light on the function and purposes of the Waun Mawn site, in the Preseli region of West Wales, conferring a greater significance onto this monument than previously recognised.

Robin Heath is a seasoned researcher, author and presenter on prehistoric and ancient science, a subject that has become a lost legacy to the modern world but remains built into the design and construction of many megalithic monuments. Robin has written and published nine books, and co-authored a further two. An engineering graduate, his background has enabled Robin to discover astonishingly elegant qualities in many Neolithic monuments, and reveal an unexpected knowledge of astronomy, geometry and metrology. Robin's goal is to see this subject incorporated in the history books of the future, a recovered legacy made plain for future generations, and recognised as the vital first chapter in any revised history of science. Robin lives in the Preseli National Park of coastal West Wales, with his wife Tricia.

Website

HOWARD CROWHURST
The Megalithic Plan: Landscape Geometry in Carnac and Britain

In the far distant past, Great Britain was measured and organised and unmovable monuments, earth mounds and henges, were built to immortalize the plan and to incorporate the differences linked to the earth's curvature. The major natural features of the British Isles were part of this epic undertaking. The highest points in each part of the land, Ben Nevis, High Willahays, Helvellyn, Milk Hill; the Holy Islands of Mona, Lundy and Lindisfarne; the limits of the British Island, Land's End, Cape Wrath, the Needles, Orkney. The principles behind this masterpiece, on a par with the Great Wall of China or the Egyptian pyramids, and the reasons for which it was done, were handed down orally and in secrecy over the centuries by druids and Celtic monks until they were finally written down in cryptic form in the Mabinogion, the Welsh bardic tales. This was done in the Domesday period when it was believed that the destruction of humanity was imminent. The installation was linked to the massive megalithic monuments in Brittany by incredibly precise meridian lines. This plan has remained hidden until now.

Howard Crowhurst was born in North Wales. He has been living in Brittany since 1986 and has become one of the leading experts on the megaithic monuments of the Carnac area. From 1990 to 2004, he was vice president of the Association Archéologique Kergal and as such he took part in the french TV documentary, Carnac. In 2006, he launched the Summer Solstice in Plouharnel event with the Plouharnel Tourist Office. He founded the ACEM-Association for the Knowledge and Study of Megaliths, whose aim (amongst other things) is to create a 3D computer model of the Carnac megalithic complex. He appeared at Megalithomania in 2009 and 2011 when he introduced his incredible research on geometry and metrology to the world.

Dr. GAIL HIGGINBOTTOM
Lecture 1: Simple Scottish standing stones: the world begins here, the world ends here

Gail's first lecture explores an on-going study of free-standing Bronze Age megalithic monuments across areas of western Scotland, both on islands and the mainland. The original project was designed to unearth the locational choices of their builders, the reasons behind these choices and what these reveal about the belief systems of these societies. Through the construction of stone, water, the land, the cremated dead and specific astronomical phenomena, the builders of monuments mirrored their cosmological ideologies and created dramatic visual events in time at particular periods during the solar and lunar years. These visual events were played out using spectacular shows based on light and darkness, and which, by manipulating these, the builders demonstrated that, whilst the Moon was chosen as the object towards which the majority of standing stones were aligned, the significance of the Sun was clearly shown to be the connection to life, and its lack, to death. Thus we shall see, for the creators of the standing stone monuments of western Scotland, that these sites embody the fundamental knowledge of existence.

Lecture 2: Similar but Different: Landscapes of the 'Coast of Death' in NW Spain

This second talk looks at very different kinds of megaliths, in fact, some of the earliest megaliths in Galicia, NW Spain. Here we shall explore research done on the middle Neolithic sites of dolmens or megalithic tombs. For this work, similar to that of the standing stones, we shall be relying heavily on the use of digital visualization techniques, which allow us to see and analyse the kinds of landscapes the builders chose for their sites, and the extent to which astronomy played a role in their design. It is likely that these dolmens were created with a strong connection to astronomical phenomena and their surrounding landscape from their inception but in ways quite different to those of standing stones seen in western Britain. Whilst some of these dolmens were connected to the Sun, as they lit up the tombs inside and out and as was the more traditionally believed, other astronomical phenomena may well have been incorporated. Fascinatingly, these astronomical targets may also appear on the islands of Islay and Jura. Nevertheless, overall, these two wider areas of Costa da Morte and Western Scotland had vastly different natural landscapes and the landscapes that were chosen by each group for their monuments may relate to different cosmological sub-systems.

Gail Higginbottom is a landscape archaeologist, cultural heritage manager and theorist whose current areas of archaeological research involve monuments, geographical and cultural landscapes, depositional behaviour and belief systems. She has acted as an international cultural heritage adviser on indigenous to historic cultural places, the existing geographical coverage of her specialist research is Europe and the study of ancient and prehistoric cultures. Major scientific investigations include the application and development of databases, geographical information systems (GIS) as well as the co-development and application of statistics. Methodological enhancement activities revolve around digital archaeology and the theoretical considerations and actual applications of these. These include the use of 3D landscape software (in-house development), use of drones and photogrammetry, and the use of tablets in the field loaded with specialist data and software to enable field observations of the night and day sky and landscape together as seen by past peoples. Gail's research program also incorporates working with ideas about materiality and human experience and the research program has a connection to many of the philosophical traditions currently used in cultural and ecological anthropology today.

ALAN WILSON & ROSS BROADSTOCK
The Origins of Britain, and the Egyptian Language Connection with Wales

Alan Wilson, with his partner “Baram” Blackett, has spent his life restoring British history from the neglect and ridicule that it had been subjected to for decades. Together they have untangled Egyptian chronology and identified the Pharaohs and Biblical characters, corrected middle eastern chronology, shown that the Trojan War was five hundred years earlier than thought and who the combatants were and why the war was fought, traced the history of the Cymry/Britons back through the stages of their migrations and back to ancient Assyria and along the way clarified who the King Arthurs were and removed the darkness from the “Dark Ages”. One of their many achievements was to work out and demonstrate that Welsh/Cymraeg was the language behind the hieroglyphs and how straight-forward they became to read once this was known. Demonstrating this is the subject of the Megalithomania presentation. Wilson and Blackett’s published works include – Arthur the War King, Arthur the King of Glamorgan and Gwent, Arthur and the Charters of the Kings, The Discovery of the Ark of the Covenant, The King Arthur Conspiracy, Moses in the hieroglyphs and The Trojan War of 650BC. New books are on the way, including Britain’s Hidden Christianity – How Jesus and the Christian message came first to Britain AFTER the crucifixion (Due for release May 2021). Please note that Alan will not be at the conference but an exclusive interview is being recorded for the event.

Ross Broadstock was passed the baton by Wilson and Blackett and dedicated himself to promoting and continuing their great work. After graduating as a Management Scientist from the London School of Economics, where he was the editor of the University publication The Beaver, Ross went on to have a successful career in advertising. After returning from six years working in the Middle-East Ross returned to his native Wales where he has set up Cymroglyphics Ltd to publish and promote the work of Wilson and Blackett and related writers. Alongside this is the growing Britains Hidden History Facebook group and Youtube channel which publishes videos on an almost daily basis. His new book, Cymroglyphics is a guide to reading and writing hieroglyphs for yourself and contains many real examples and exercises to hone your skills. Join us at Megalithomania where you can learn how to read hieroglyphs in hours rather than years!

CAROLINE WISE
Finding the Deer Goddess of the Ancient World

Caroline will be speaking about the quest to find ‘Elen of the Ways’, an elusive figure who is associated with deer and the ancient tracks of the land. In Britain, her story is conflated with that of St Elen of Wales, Elen Luyddog, whose mythic story is told in the Mabinogion. But her tracks and her ways take us much further afield. Who is Elen? Where does she come from, and where can we find her?

Caroline Wise has contributed to several books on goddesses, is the author of Finding Elen, the Quest for Elen of the Ways, and co-editor, with John Matthews, of The Secret Lore of London. She was involved in Earth Mysteries from the late 70s, taking part as a volunteer in the Dragon Project, which investigated the reality behind the claims of strange phenomena at ancient sacred sites in Britain and Ireland. She was associated with the Ley Hunter magazine in the 1980s, and was a founder member of ASSAP in 1982. In 1981 she met Andrew Collins at the home of the counter-cultural ‘Sage of Notting Hill’, John Michell, and fell into the intriguing world of Psychic Questing – following dreams and intuition to uncover enigmas in the landscape. A former owner of Atlantis Book- shop, she also worked for the spiritualist newspaper, Psychic News.

MICHAEL BOTT & RUPERT SOSKIN
Ten Time Our Minds Were Blown in the Last Year

Michael and Robert produced the documentary 'Standing With Sones' and presented their film at Megalithomania in 2008. They are now known as 'The Prehistory Guys' and host a popular podcast and Youtube channel. They will give us their top ten amazing archaeological discoveries from around the world over the last twelve months. From Astonishing artefacts to breathtaking burials, Southern Britain to Siberia, the past is unlocking its secrets faster than ever before.

Rupert’s university education was in Design, Photography and Natural History. His work has been copiously printed in books, magazine and wildlife publications. His love of the outdoors led him to train and qualify as an expedition leader and diver. Rupert has travelled extensively, lecturing and leading groups including expeditions to visit the Kogi Indians in the jungles of Northern Colombia. His life long interest in the natural world, has led him to further his research into archaeology, anthropology and evolutionary psychology. Filming ‘Standing with Stones’ and the subsequent The Prehistory Guys project has been a culmination of this work but he has also fulfilled his ambition to be a writer with the publication of the accompanying book by Thames & Hudson. For more information visit www.rupertsoskin.com

Michael was born on the Isle of Man in 1954. He is a professional actor, and among his many credits he was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and worked at the Royal National Theatre for several years. Around the end of the 90’s he moved into video production and film making, developing ideas for television and freelancing as a corporate video producer. As a television producer his work includes “Henry Lincoln’s guide to Renne Le Chateau” and “The Man Behind The DaVinci Code” for Channel 5 and Discovery. His fascination for megalithic sites stems from early childhood when he was first taken to the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire. His ‘magnum opus’ has turned out to be the subject of this site: ‘Standing with Stones’. and the Prehistory Guys project.

HUGH NEWMAN
The John Michell Memorial Lecture, introduced by Christine Rhone

Hugh will share how John Michell influenced him and his work, and how John was the inspiration for the founding of the Megalithomania conference, looking at his work on alignments, earth mysteries and how he influenced a generation, and continues to do so today.

Hugh Newman is an author, conference organiser, world explorer, tour host, and Megalithomaniac. As well as organising the Megalithomania conferences, he organises the Origins Conference in London with Andrew Collins every November. He has spoken at events in the UK, Malta, France, Peru, Egypt, Bosnia and North America. He has appeared on BBC TV, Sky Channel 200, Bosnian TV and the History Channel in the last five seasons of 'Ancient Aliens', and
'Search for the Lost Giants'. He is author of Earth Grids (Wooden Books 2008), Stone Circles (Wooden Books 2017) and co-author of 'Giants On Record' with Jim Vieira (Avalon Rising 2015) and Megalith: Studies in Stone (2018) and has published numerous articles.

JOHN MARTINEAU
Speakers Forum Host

John is the regular host of the speakers forum at Megalithomania, and this year he will be doing so once more, but online! So if you have any questions for the speakers, please put them in the chat box and John will choose the most sensible ones, and comment on the not so sensible questions!

John founded Megalithomania with Hugh Newman and Gareth Mills in late 2005 and has spoken regulary at Megalithomania and other conferences in Britain, South Africa and Europe. John graduated in Philosophy from Bristol University and spent a few years in the early computer games industry before completing a Master’s degree at the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. John’s project at the School was focused on geometry and harmony in the solar system, and culminated in his Book of Coincidence, which he published under a new imprint, Wooden Books, a series of richly-illustrated and fascinating books exploring the age-old themes of nature, pattern, cosmos, design, ancient sites and geometry. Wooden Books now lists more than 60 titles, with 2.5 million printed copies in 25 languages; in 2007, it won Best Non-Fiction Series at the New York Book Show. He lives in Suffolk, UK.

SATURDAY 8th MAY 2021:
SUNDAY 9th MAY 2021:

 

10.30am: Registration
11 am: Michael Bott & Rupert Soskin
12.00 pm: BREAK
12.30pm: Caroline Wise
1.30 pm: Lunch
2.30 pm: Dr Martin Sweatman
3.30 pm: Break
4 pm: Gail Higgingbottom pt.1
5 pm: BREAK
5.30 pm: Alan Wilson & Ross Broadstock
6.30 pm: BREAK
7.00 pm: Prof. Mike Parker Pearson
8.15 pm: END

 

10.30am: Registration
11:00 am: Gail Higgingbottom pt.2
12.00 am: BREAK
12.30 pm: Howard Crowhurst
2 pm: LUNCH
3pm: John Michell Memorial Lecture - Hugh Newman
Introduced by Christine Rhone
4 pm: BREAK
4.30 pm: Robin Heath
5.45pm: BREAK
6.15 pm: Speakers Forum hosted by John Martineau
7.30pm: Closing Remarks
7.45pm: END

 

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