Going through some old internetty bits and bobs of mine and came across this. It was part of a project I submitted for my Landscape Archaeologies Past & Present course that I did at uni a few years ago. The Neolithic sites here, two stone circles and an excarnation site, are in a thoroughly modern setting. The Balfarg stones are in the middle of a housing development, the excarnation site is next to the busy A92 and the Balbirnie stones were picked up and moved to make way for a road. So it’s a very modern Neolithic that we have here in Scotland.
Ever wondered what people rocked out to in the Levant during the Bronze Age? Of course you have! Open Culture have posted an interesting wee article about cuneiform tablets that were excavated during the 1950s at Ugarit. Ugarit was a Levantine city that was abandoned/destroyed at the end of the Late Bronze Age during the LBA collapse. The LBA collapse saw the collapse of many of the great civilisations of the ancient Near East through a mixture of climate change, war fare, competition for resources, and ever widening economic inequality.
The reasons for the LBA collapse are frighteningly similar to the ones which we face today and so I think this music reaching us across the millennia has a particularly haunting quality. It’s an echo from a civilisation that couldn’t rise to the challenges we face and unless we get our collective shit together perhaps all that will remain of our achievements will be a song across time.
And if we don’t get it together let’s just hope it’s not Justin Bieber that survives…
Here’s a lyre interpretation of the song by Michael Levy.