I worked on a site where a very respected (if somewhat long in the tooth)
archaeologist was convinced of the value of dowsing, to the extent that he
thought he could sex and age burials, date walls and features, etc. To prove
his theory he dowsed the site we were working on, which was known to have
bronze age burials within a stone circle. He sent his dowsing results off to
sceptical colleagues and then proceeded to dig on the basis of these. He
did not find what he expected, though inevitably given the nature of the
site he did find archaeology. He claimed this as a victory.
He also dated walls for us on another site - they turned out to be of much
more recent origin, though I suppose there could have been an earlier wall
on the same alignment. Generally, the other archaeologists, not necessarily
all cynical to begin with, were not impressed, and it seemed he was using
his long experience and informed "hunches" and putting any successes down to
the dowsing, while ignoring the much more common failures.
This was the most structured attempt to prove dowsing I have been involved
with, but have also been unimpressed by other dowsers' efforts. This
archaeologist therefore doubts if this method is really of any use to
archaeology at all.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Andrew Smith [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Sunday, April 01, 2001 3:23 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Dowsing
> It's not archaeology, but I think relevant to the question, but the
> I was following were checking up on what they called "lines of energy"
> (rather than "radiation" referred to by Janet.) In one case the "line" was
> heading towards the IA hillfort of Cadbury Camp, Tickenham, and was,
> apparently, "very strongly negative" (ie adverse to health) while in the
> other it was aiming for the IA hill fort known as Cadbury Congresbury, but
> this one was apparently "positive". I think that a pendulum had been used
> both cases, but I could not confirm now whether my rods reacted
> when I was trying to see if I could locate the lines.
> I am not sure about this , because we are back to "Ley Lines", possibly
> and I admit like many to some scepticism, but that in itself does not
> it impossible.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Janet Davis" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, March 31, 2001 4:47 PM
> Subject: Dowsing
> Now I'm really curious! A couple of archaeologists I know tried dowsing
> once - out of curiosity - and were surprised when it worked. But they
> it on a site they knew very well, so it can't be regarded as a scientific
> experiment. Are there any other archaeologists out there prepared to admit
> they've tried it successfully, and in what circumstances?
> I spent most of my childhood in an English village where dowsing wouldn't
> have raised an eyebrow (though I don't remember seeing anyone do it), and
> seemed to be considered on a par with the type of countrylore that was
> of everyday life - such as the skills and knowledge required for
> Has anyone tried doing a geophysical survey, followed by dowsing, and then
> compared the results?
> I've just done a quick web search and found a (presumably American) site
> that claimed that in Europe dowsing is used to detect underground streams
> and rivers which are considered to give off "unhealthy radiation." First
> I've heard of this. (I presumed it was American from the spellings used).
> Anyone else heard of this? Seems to me that someone's muddled up water and
> radon gas.
> Janet Davis
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