Rock, Paper, Scissors
Brian Anderson has been a lecturer and course tutor at the Summer School since 2015. We recently caught up with him to ask about his new course entitled 'Talking Stones'
It's an intriguing course title, hard to categorize, so what's it all about then ?
Well, it is about rocks or stones which have been given special qualities by people. Talking Stones are found in various indigenous and traditional belief systems around the world. So my course covershistory, geography, art and social/cultural themes, explaining when and where these talking stones were created, by whom andwhat was their purpose in that particular society.
So Brian, give me an example of some 'talking stones'.
NeolithicStonehenge in Wiltshire is an obvious one. Some archaeologists believe it to be an astronomical calculator or an observatory that helped demarcate the seasons. Others view it as a place of healing, a kind of prehistoric Lourdes, which hosted hordes of pilgrims with the stones having recovery or recuperation qualities. So this iconic site could have been used for different purposes for its Neolithic builders, priests and following cultures. But importantly, the stones were believed to be imbued with special meaning.
So which 'talking stones' will you be covering on your course?
We will visit Avebury, not far from Stonehenge; the giant heads, or Moai, in Rapa Nui (aka Easter Island); see rock carvings or petroglyphs in Jordan; Celtic and Pictish stones in the UK and Ireland, and discover awesome C12th corbel stones on a Romanesquechurch in Herefordshire. Plus much, much more.
Wow, that's quite a diverse range, and you have been to all of these stones?
Oh yes, I don't lecture on, or feature anything I have not seen at first hand, researched and photographed. That includes animals, plants and in this case, rocks or stones.
It sounds like a fascinating course, so thanks Brian telling us all about this exciting new course, 'Talking Stones'.
Brian Anderson will also be running 3 other courses - No's 225,227 and 230 - at MCSS 2024, details in our brochure on the website.
All courses run for 5 days
WK 1 8 Jul - 12 Jul
WK 2 15 Jul - 19 Jul
WK 3 22 Jul - 26 Jul
WK 4 29 Jul - 2 Aug
9.15AM to 12.15PM
1.45PM to 4.30PM
All Day Courses
9.15AM to 4.30PM