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BRITARCH  July 2007

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Subject:

Re: Cerne Abbas Giant and Long (Wo)man of Wilmington

From:

Richard James <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 19 Jul 2007 13:35:19 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (133 lines)

And if the Long Man and the Cerne Giant are 17th century creations (isn't the Cerne Giant supposed to be a satire against Cromwell?), then the 'pagans' have got the wrong end of the stick anyway.





========================================
Message Received: Jul 19 2007, 09:45 AM
From: "Michael Haseler" 
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: 
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Cerne Abbas Giant and Long (Wo)man of Wilmington

Paganism was a concept devised by christians to lump together all the
diverse religions and non-religions which were not christian. Paganism never
existed as a single religion - indeed "religion" presupposes an organised
hierarchy of belief which is unlikely to have had any meaning to those for
whom the historical label of "pagans" is supposedly applied.

The only certainty is that whoever created the Cerne Abbas Giant,
stonehenge, glastonbury, etc., if they could see the way they are treated by
the new-age "pagans" they would react with absolute incredularity ... either
shocked that their religion has been so insulted by the pagans, or laughing
at their stupidity - or more likely both.

But then again, we could say that about most archaeology - so perhaps I
should reframe from saying anything.

Mike Haseler

> -----Original Message-----
> From: British archaeology discussion list
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Caroline Tully
> Sent: 20 July 2007 02:05
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [BRITARCH] Cerne Abbas Giant and Long (Wo)man of Wilmington
>
>
> Hi there, as a student of archaeology at the University of Melbourne,
> Australia, I'm interested in what British archaeologists make of the
> following:
>
> "TV fashion gurus Trinny and Susannah clashed with the county's
> Pagan chiefs
> after they gave the Long Man of Wilmington a sex change. About 22 Pagans
> gathered beside the historical and religious site to protest
> against filming
> by ITV ... Pagans are angry people have trampled across the
> religious site
> to decorate it with breasts, pigtails and rounded hips ... Druid battle
> chieftain Arthur Pendragon, 53, who is nomadic, said: 'We are very angry
> because this is so disrespectful. We, the Pagans, would not in
> our wildest
> dreams consider putting female breasts and clothing on effigies of any of
> the Holy Prophets, be it Jesus Christ, Buddha or any other
> revered figure of
> another faith. Why, then, does ITV commission Trinny and Susannah
> to do so
> at the Long Man of Wilmington?'"
>
> Also... regarding the Homer Simpson image next to the Cerne Abbas Giant:
>
> "yesterday there was a new alpha male in North Dorset. He wields
> a doughnut
> instead of a club. He has four fingers on each hand and four toes on each
> foot. Only three hairs sprout from his bulbous head. And his
> unmentionables
> are, mercifully, covered by the world's largest pair of Y-Fronts.
> His name
> is Homer Simpson ... Pagans, who believe the Giant is a spiritual
> icon, are
> dismayed by this bold new artwork, and, in particular, the accompanying
> encouragement for young couples to "do it in the doughnut". 'It's very
> disrespectful and not at all aesthetically pleasing,' said Ann
> Bryn-Evans,
> joint Wessex district manager for The Pagan Federation. 'I'm
> amazed they got
> permission to do something so ridiculous. We were hoping for some dry
> weather but I think I have changed my mind. We'll be doing some
> rain magic
> to bring the rain and wash it away.'"
>
> Then...
>
> "The Sussex Archaeological Society has apologised to protesters
> after they
> allowed a controversial stunt by ITV to give the Long Man of Wilmington a
> sex change. ITV and the archaeological society caused fury among
> Pagans and
> other protesters when they allowed fashion gurus Trinny and
> Susannah to add
> breasts and pigtails to the figure many believe is sacred. As part of the
> programme, Trinny and Susannah Undress, ITV asked woman dressed
> in white to
> lie on the figure to create the transformation. Chief Executive Office of
> the organisation, John Manley, said: 'The Sussex Archaeological Society
> would like to apologise to representatives of the Pagan community, or any
> other individual or groups, who might have been offended by recent
> television filming on the Long Man of Wilmington."
>
> My question is...
>
> Should archaeologists have to "apologise to local "Pagans"" about this? I
> don't think so because I don't think that "local Pagans" can
> claim religious
> ownership of these sites. Can we even say these sites are or were
> "sacred" -
> to anyone? I think modern Pagans are trying to put themselves in the same
> positions as currently existing indigenous cultures who have been
> recently(ish) colonised like say, Australian Aboriginals or Native
> Americans, who *may* have a claim regarding sacred sites, or say, the
> removal of their ancestors' bones from a museum. But do modern Pagans in
> Britain have this right too - over Seahenge, Stonehenge, Avebury, long
> barrows, chalk figures...? How is it that modern Pagans can claim
> religious
> ownership of these sites? What evidence do they have to convince me that
> they are more "indigenous" than an archaeologist, or say, Trinny and
> Susannah? Is it about archaeologists being politically correct?
> Because if
> that is the case, then it is *no case* it is completely silly.
> What benefit
> is there in being politically correct about this - and what does
> that even
> mean?
>
> British archaeologists might want to weigh in about this "Archaeologists
> apologise to Pagans" topic on the American Pagan blog, 'The Wild
> Hunt' where
> notifications and updates about the row over the chalk figures have been
> posted. http://www.wildhunt.org/blog.html
>
>
> ~Caroline Tully.

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